Walking the City: Street vs Motorways

Streets are key elements of urban space; they are in essence public spaces and connect diverse areas of the city weaving the urban fabric. Once motorways replace existing streets, they tear the fabric and transform the qualities of the urban landscape.

As in cities throughout the world, during the 1960s the growth of private car ownership took over the development of urban areas in the island of Ireland. Motorways and suburbs were on the table of planning authorities. Some of them were built and some were not. The result of these planning decisions transformed the way city streets were used, for better or worse. How did this phenomenon take place? How did policies and politics influence the development of these new urban and suburban spaces? But most of all, how did the motorways transform the spatial qualities of cities? What is the consequence of those transformations today? Are some of those plans reverted? Have streets regained a new set of values?

We invite architects and planners interested in public space and its character to contribute with papers about streets, motorways and urban transformations related to them in the island of Ireland. We hope to have a good discussion unveiling issues of urban public space in historical and current terms.

Session chair: Augustina Martire, a.martire@qub.ac.uk