Interview with the Lord Mayor: Belfast's transformation and ambition

Written by Brian Kilkelly on 6 December 2013

Watch the interview with Máirtín Ó Muilleoir as he explains Belfast’s ambitious strategy and the importance of buildings to help embed and sustain peace, to create jobs, and ensure prosperity for this city of 300,000 people.

He describes a new Belfast that believes in diversity, is attracting international talent, and points to a thriving tourism business that expects to reach 2.4m visitors during 2014 with a potential spend of £500m.

Máirtín describes the importance of resiliency to the city – explain that he also believes that cities need to be adaptable, flexible, and agile. To achieve this, Belfast is doing a number of things: making sure buildings are vibrant, good quality, and well used. Belfast is looking outwards for ideas and expertise in order to keep ahead. He shares that they are part of the IBM Smarter Cities initiative, that Daniel Libeskind is building a new peace centre, and that Boston Architects is leading on a new university campus.

Máirtín also believes in the importance of partnership between international experts, indigenous designers, and local developers to ensure the authenticity of buildings and growth of their own talented enterprises. Belfast believes that it has as much to share with the world, as it has to learn.  Máirtín is keen to increase the engagement with other cities across the world.

Belfast is certainly transforming and will benefit much from the energy and ambition of it’s new Lord Mayor.

Categories: Architecture, Meet the experts, Economy, People