In 2005 the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development (DSD), which has statutory responsibility for urban regeneration in Northern Ireland, held an international competition for the £75 million redevelopment of Belfast City Centre Public Realm (BCCPR). Their requirement was to find an integrated design team headed by a landscape architectural/urban design practice of international repute. AECOM won the competition and was appointed as lead consultant.

The project covers an area encompassing the whole of Belfast City Centre, some 114 hectares. The project includes five flagship landscape and urban design interventions which will, over the next decade, lead to the transformation of the physical environment of Belfast City Centre, taking into consideration issues of transport and utility.

AECOM led the design team in preparing a masterplan and vision statement for the public realm within the City Centre, then prioritized the selection of projects and developed designs, facilitating a subsequent design-build tender and contract award for the first phase of the project. As lead landscape architect and project supervisor, AECOM ensured that the implementation set the benchmark for future phases of work and  delivered the original masterplan vision. We coordinated an extensive project team and continued consultation with stakeholders and consultees throughout the process.

The completed project has transformed the retail environment of Belfast City Centre and has set the framework for the future phases of Belfast’s citywide public realm over the coming 10 years, which will complete the transformation of the physical environment of Belfast City Centre through a process of major urban improvement and renewal.

In November 2012, AECOM’s work on Belfast Streets Ahead, the public realm overhaul of central Belfast, won significant plaudits, including The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Grand Final Award. it was also Highly Commended, Design Over 5 Hectares, in the Landscape Institute’s 2012 Awards.