With the signing of the Belfast Agreement, Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK) entered a new phase of urban development. Moving away from notions of division, Belfast City Council envisaged an inclusive and accessible city. Over a 20-year period there have been significant changes in Belfast’s physical, socio-cultural, and political structure reframing the city as a post-conflict space. How-ever, there has been limited analysis of the role of parks in this process. This paper examines per-ceptions of parks asking whether the promotion of a “shared spaces” policy is aligned with local use. Through a mixed-methods approach park users were surveyed to reflect on the meanings of parks in the city. We argue that although residual interpretations associated with historical socio-cultural divisions remain, parks are predominately multi-community amenities. Analysis il-lustrates that although destination parks attract greater patronage, there is visible clustering around ‘anchor’ sites at the local scale especially in neighborhoods with significant Catholic or Protestant identities.
- public space
- community planning