The head of Europe’s largest professional institute for planners has praised the regeneration of Derry during a visit to the city.
Colin Haylock, of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), said: “It’s clear that the regeneration of Derry is respecting the unique heritage and traditions of the town.
“I participated in the very early stages of the Peace Bridge as a planner-architect and it is genuinely satisfying to walk across something I played a small a part in.
“The bridge combines great design with functionality - greatly improving access for people from both sides of the river within the city.”
As well as visiting the Peace Bridge, Mr. Haylock also walked on the city’s historic City Walls and dropped into the award-winning An Gaelaras at Great James’ Street.
Colin Haylock added: “An Gaeleras is quite simply an amazing building and one which is entirely modern in outlook but also works beautifully with the surrounding area.
“There is so much that is of historic and cultural importance in Derry that needs to be cherished and protected – and the An Gaeleras building shows how new development can coexist with the past.”
Mr. Haylock added: “I have visited Derry on a number of occasions since the 1990s and it is good to see the city, which has had such a difficult recent past, change to one which is moving confidently forward, including its role as City of Culture 2013.”
The Peace Bridge was formally opened in June 2011 and An Gaeleras was completed in 2009 and is home to the Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin centre for Irish language, culture and enterprise.