Belfast City – Northern Ireland
Image by infomatique
The original idea behind the "Streets Of Dublin Project" ( www.streetsofdublin.com ) was to document the changes taking place in the City Of Dublin but the scope of the project has been expanded to include other cities, towns and villages throughout Europe. Recently I had the opportunity to visit the city of Belfast. Next week I visit Cork and towards the end of May I hope to visit Limerick.
Belfast is currently experiencing a tourist boom, being one of the most visited cities in the UK, and the second most visited on the island of Ireland. In 2008, 7.1 million tourists visited the city. There are numerous popular tour bus companies and boat tours running throughout the year. To further enhance the tourist industry in Northern Ireland, the Belfast City Council is currently investing into the complete redevelopment of the Titanic Quarter, which is planned to consist of apartments, hotels, a riverside entertainment district, and a major Titanic-themed attraction. They also hope to invest in a new modern transport system for Belfast, with a cost of £250 million.
Belfast expanded very rapidly from being a market town to becoming an industrial city during the course of the 19th century. Because of this, it is less an agglomeration of villages and towns which have expanded into each other, than other comparable cities. The city expanded to the natural barrier of the hills that surround it, overwhelming other settlements. Consequently, the arterial roads along which this expansion took place (such as the Falls Road or the Newtownards Road) are more significant in defining the districts of the city than nucleated settlements. Belfast remains segregated by walls, commonly known as "peace lines", erected by the British Army after August 1969, and which still divide 14 districts in the inner city.
All the international guides report that the people are very friendly and the city is very safe compared to other cities so if you get a chance you must pay a visit.