Re-imaging Public Realm

Linen Quarter BID is working to realise a programme of interventions within the Linen Quarter aimed at making the district more pedestrian friendly. These interventions follow the announcement of measures to improve the pedestrian and cycling experience in Belfast by the Department of Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon in May 2020.

Linen Quarter BID has championed the concept of sustainable urban regeneration since 2018. Its regeneration vision has already laid the groundwork for the phasing out of motorised traffic, and implementation of high quality cycle and pedestrian spaces within the district.

Improving the cycling and pedestrian infrastructure within the Linen Quarter will encourage workers, residents and visitors to the district, to use more sustainable modes of transport. This will help enhance the health and wellbeing of our population whilst improving air quality within the city. These interventions also have the potential to facilitate social distancing by accommodating pavement café areas, as well as other outdoor activities that can help to improve the viability of local hospitality businesses.

Linen Quarter BID are working closely with the Department for Infrastructure and Belfast City Council to progress this £500K public realm programme. Funding for these projects is partially drawn from the City Centre Revitalisation Fund, administered by the Department for Communities and Belfast City Council, with the Linen Quarter BID providing additional funding.

The interventions to be taken forward include installation of ‘parklets’ that incorporate public seating and planting; transformation of on-street parking bays to create enhanced pedestrian zones and opportunities for pavement cafes; and the development of a new social hub at Brunswick Street.

This Parklet is the first of its kind installed in Belfast city centre. It sits directly on top of two parking bays located on the western side of Linenhall Street (on the corner with Clarence Street). It creates a widened pavement zone that is sheltered against traffic by a balustrade that incorporates a crash protection system.

The Parklet aims to create the experience of a micro park within a dense urban environment to enhance city centre ecology and green space. It is envisaged that the Parklet will help to increase dwell time and spend in the local area while also helping to improve air quality by reducing motorised traffic.

The Parklet was launched by the Minister of Infrastructure and Belfast Lord Mayor on 2nd July 2021, and has received very positive feedback since then.

The next phase of the BID’s public realm programme will see a 19m parklet installed in front of 19-21 Bedford Street, which will feature space for pavement café purposes while also providing public seating and an information point for the Golden Mile walking route. This Parklet was opened on 14th October 2021.

A 29m Parklet in front of 7-17 Linenhall Street will follow that will feature more space for pavement café purposes alongside public seating.

The closure of Brunswick Street between the junctions of Franklin Street and James Street South allows for the creation of new large-scale pedestrianised space. A raised timber deck will sit on top of existing road surface and will include bench seating and planters. The scheme also features a container bar with associated outdoor seating, a stage area for occasional entertainment and a games area.

Linen Quarter BID aim to continue to explore options for pedestrianisation of (parts of) underused road surfaces and on-street car parking in the future in consultation with the Department for Infrastructures and Belfast City Council.

For more information on any of the above, please contact: