Belfast city masterplan

Client Name
Belfast City Council
Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Planning


SLR was appointed to refresh and update the Belfast City Masterplan Strategy, adjusting its objectives to meet the new challenges of the 2020s.

Belfast City Council first published its city-wide Masterplan in 2004. This was a response to the need for a joined up, singular vision for the city that could guide its development as it emerged from some 40 years of civil conflict.

Belfast City Council positioned the Masterplan as a core policy document which informed its response to the regional planning debate in Northern Ireland, in particular the Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan, the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland and the Regional Transportation Strategy.

The Masterplan document has also guided the Council’s regeneration activity and the development of its social and economic strategies including the impressive growth which the city has seen in the tourism sector in recent years.


SLR’s role was to lead and coordinate a multi-disciplinary team to examine and align the city’s regeneration themes and its investment strategy and to set down the urban design framework to guide the next phase of City Centre development.


The team developed six regeneration themes and six signature project interventions to deliver a positive stimulus:

  • The Leaning City – The relocation of The Ulster University to the Cathedral Quarter
  • The Accessible & Connected City – The Glider Bus Rapid Transit Network
  • The Low Carbon City – The Clean Tech Hub at Giant’s Park
  • The Digital City - Digital Creative Hub and Smart City Network
  • The Neighbourhood City - Windsor & Casement Hubs
  • The Living City Centre- Royal Exchange mixed use quarter

SLR was subsequently appointed to prepare the ‘Back to the River’ strategy for Belfast City Council looking at the integration of the River Lagan corridor within the city.