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Title: Planning and sacralised spaces in Northern Ireland
Author: Michael, Laura J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 6512
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis considers the potential of collaborative planning practice to effectively manage and develop sites within Northern Ireland, which are memorialised and sacralised by former conflict and tragic events of the past. It considers the extent to which collaborative methodologies are capable of dealing with the diverse discourses and interpretations that surround space and place. The research unpacks the understanding of space and place from a cultural geography perspective, alongside a consideration of theoretical planning approaches, understanding that techno-rational mechanisms, largely in operation by planning systems, are ineffective in understanding or facilitating the development of such sites which are sensitive to the past. As a result, the thesis deconstructs the key tenets of collaborative planning theory and reassembles it with these understandings of place as a conceptual mechanism to assess the development of three case study sites. All three of these sites are opportunities of strategic investment, delivered to the Northern Ireland Assembly under the Reinvestment and Reform Initiative. At present, rational mechanisms have not failed in facilitating development, despite political, economic and community optimism at the time of their transfer. The research also explores the inconsistencies and ethical challenges raised as a result of the commodification of sacralised sites for tourism or heritage products, seeking to understand the complexities of adding the 'tourist gaze' to these sites. The varied motivations and interpretations of such users are also explored, demonstrating a tourist market that is nuanced and diverse in its interests. Three case studies and a tourist survey are utilised in this research, combining both quantitative and qualitative methods underneath an interpretive epistemology to explore the 'layers of meaning' that contribute to the sacralisation of space. The thesis then provides recommendations regarding collaborative and agonistic structures which may more successfully engage with former sites of conflict, in the future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available