Interface residents given opportunity to reimagine the future

An image created by 3D Visioning tool.
An image created by 3D Visioning tool.

A reimagined vision of the future at a Derry interface has been brought to life using the latest technology in a bid to stimulate community discussion.

Residents living in the Bogside and the Fountain/Bishop Street areas have been working with the Triax Neighbourhood team towards creating a more inclusive community with regeneration and community development at its heart.

An aerial view of the city.

An aerial view of the city.

The outcome of that work has been a combined vision of a local shared community, brought to the screen by a 3D visioning tool, funded by the Housing Executive and the International Fund for Ireland’s Peace Walls Programme.

A flyover movie shows what the future could look like, encompassing 17 different sites, and is aimed at stimulating local discussion in both communities as to how to deal with the three interface sites in the future.

It shows how the area would look like were the interface to be removed, reimaged and regenerated.

The project centres on three interface sites including the old shirt factory at the bottom of the Fountain, the development of the interface wall and Gaol Tower and the development of an old Housing Executive commercial unit in the Bogside.

“By providing residents with a vision of possibilities for the future and working alongside their needs, we hope to create resident led physical change to the area.”

The long-term aim of the project is to create the opportunities for these communities to come together to provide opportunities for employment, training and education and at the same time helping to manage, remove or soften some of the interface sites.

A number of viewing events have been held in both areas and in the city.

Jennifer Hawthorne, the Housing Executive’s Head of Neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted to have funded this innovative project, which will act as a catalyst for communities at this interface to jointly decide the steps they can take to transform their physical environment in order to achieve a shared future.

“The use of the 3D Visioning Tool is a first for the Housing Executive in the North West and we are hopeful that it will be embraced as successfully as it has been in interface areas in Belfast.”

Sophie Blake-Gallagher, Development Worker with the Peace Walls Project said: “We at the Peace Walls Project are dedicated to improving people’s lives on the interface. The visioning tool was designed in consultation with local community groups and organisations.

“By providing residents with a vision of possibilities for the future and working alongside their needs, we hope to create resident led physical change to the area.”

Dr Adrian Johnston, Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland, said: “The 3D visioning tool will provide a very useful mechanism for the residents of the Fountain Estate and Bishop Street to become involved in the development of options for very significant and positive social and economic regeneration plans for their areas.

“The visioning tool will assist the work of those tasked with the implementation of the Urban Village concept, and I look forward to the seeing the future plans.”

The 3D Visioning Tool work was carried out by Urban Innovations.