City of the Future Design Competition Belfast News, Northern Irish Architecture Contest 2022

City of the Future Design Competition in Belfast

31 May 2022

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

The City of the Future: An Urban Design Competition

10k Prize

City Of The Future – Competition To Design Belfast’s First Inclusive And Sustainable Neighbourhood Launched With 10k Prize

Mohammed Osman, Tawsul Mohammed, Marissa McMahon and Laura Ryan of Take Back the City coalition launch the Take Back the City Design Competition on the Mackies site in Belfast. The competition to design a sustainable neighbourhood on 25 acres of publicly owned land in an area of high social housing need has a prize fund of £10,000:
City of the Future Design Competition Belfast
photo courtesy of Take Back the City coalition

City of the Future Urban Design Competition, Belfast

May 31st, 2022 – Take Back the City Coalition is launching an international competition for architects, planners and urban design consultants to submit a design to transform Belfast’s largest publicly owned site

With the potential for 950 gentle density homes in the area of highest social housing need in Belfast, entrants are being encouraged to submit design concepts to help transform the site formerly occupied by Mackies, once one of West Belfast’s largest employers.

Plans for the 25 acre vacant site will be judged by a panel of local and international experts. Following a period of community engagement, the winner of the £10,000 prize will be announced in October 2022 and will have the opportunity to take their design to master-plan stage.

Mackies 25 acre site in West Belfast:
Mackies 25 acre site in West Belfast
site photograph courtesy of Take Back the City coalition

Marissa McMahon of the Take Back the City Coalition said: “Take Back the City is led by families in housing need. We are trail-blazing a community led process to build a better Belfast. We want to build a sustainable city, without walls, where every child has a home. Our coalition is supported by experts in housing development, technology, communications, permaculture, housing policy, planning, human rights and equality. We are looking for an individual or organisation with the design skills to bring our vision to life.”

A first of its kind for Northern Ireland, this project is located on a historical interface, in a society emerging from conflict, where walls have separated communities for generations. The Take Back the City coalition is particularly interested in receiving entries which demonstrate innovative solutions to overcome the divisive architecture and politics of Belfast by creating communities which deliver on the principles of equality and human rights enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement, the cornerstone of the fragile Northern Ireland peace process.

Submissions can include novel or innovative methods including short films, technical drawings or other formats. The designs will be judged on the six principles of development which have been developed by Take Back The City through a participative community engagement process. The six principles are: a healthy place to live; adapting to the challenges of a changing climate; an inclusive community; co-creation in design; local employment and skills; self-management and autonomy.

Entrants will be invited to the ‘City of the Future’ event at the Innovation Factory on the Mackies site on 10 and 11 August 2022 and all entries will be displayed on the web platform, as part of a community engagement process. The closing date for all submissions will be 30 September 2022 with winners announced in October 2022.

For more information on the competition, please Follow Take Back the City on social media, facebook: @pprproject, instagram: @nooneleftbehind_ppr, twitter: @ppr_org.

To enter, please complete the entry form available at

The City of the Future Urban Design Competition has been funded by Oak Foundation.

Judging and Prizes

The Competition entries will be judged by a panel which will include:

• Families in housing need from the community around Mackies
• Hugh Ellis, Director of Policy at the Town and Country Planning Association, UK
• Martin Dunn, Dunn Development, New York City, USA
• Marissa McMahon, Build Homes Now Organiser and TBTC Coalition Co-ordinator, NI
• Pauline O’Flynn, GROW, NI
• Agustina Martire, Queens University School of Architecture, Belfast, NI
• Rory Hearne, University of Maynooth, Ireland
• Dessie Donnelly and Ruairí McCann, Rabble Tech Co-operative, NI

City of the Future Design Competition Belfast, Northern Ireland images / information received 310522 from Participation and the Practice of Rights Project Ltd

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