Shaftesbury Square is a major urban space at a key focal point between the city centre and the suburbs of inner South Belfast. It links the vibrant suburbs in and around the University Quarter with their large concentration of young adults with the resurgent city centre. Yet it continues to under-perform with a shabby wider environment and the Square itself, dominated by moving vehicles. Likewise, the neighbouring major streets have experienced commercial decline and many are in very poor physical condition.
This development framework reviews the characteristics of this area, identifies the scale of remedial action required, assesses what is possible and recommends specific measures that will facilitate its transformation. A key challenge will be the reinstatement of Shaftesbury Square as an attractive, inviting and well-used space, yet accommodating its essential traffic function. If this is achieved the wider regeneration of this area will become more likely.