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Everyone is an Urbanist

March 25 @ 16:30 18:00 GMT


The Academy of Urbanism is pleased to invite you to join an online discussion, planned by the AoU members based in Northern Ireland. 

This session aims to deliver a message of positive and successful placemaking as a collaborative process and to highlight the value and role of people and organisations in delivering and sustaining great places.

Cities are complex, constantly changing, with many hands shaping them. Through a combination of presentations and discussions, we wish to demonstrate the range of ways in which individuals and organisations are advancing positive placemaking and urbanism. Through the everyday activities that they do in public space, in partnership with institutions such as local government, and by using a mix of culture, arts, economic development, wellbeing, planning, and design quality, “Everyone is an Urbanist”. We welcome you to join the discussion and share your thoughts.


  1. Dr. Rachel O’Grady, Partner OGU Architects and Lecturer in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast.
  2. Brendan Moore, Moore on the Quay.
  3. Amberlea Neely, Founder, Starling Start. 
  4. Shane Quinn AoU, Development Director, Belfast Buildings Trust.
  5. Dr. Aisling Rusk, Director, Studio Idir.
  6. Henriette Vamberg, Partner & Managing Director, Gehl Architects, Copenhagen

The event will be chaired by James Hennessey AoU, Director, The Paul Hogarth Company & Mura Quigley AoU,  Associate Director, Urban Scale Interventions.

Meet our members in Northern Ireland

Arthur Acheson

Arthur Acheson is an architect and civic planner who has worked as a university lecturer and practitioner in Australia, Canada and UK. Arthur was nominated as an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism during the time when he chaired the Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture and the Built Environment for Northern Ireland and has participated in Annual Congresses, Place Partnering and Assessment visits.

Brenda Burns

Brenda is a Strategic Adviser on Property Development and Urban Regeneration with The Strategic Investment Board Ltd (SIB). She is currently working with a council client in coordinating an exciting masterplan for the regeneration & transformation of their beautiful, but currently underutilised riverfront.  Having spent the first half of her career as a director of private sector property companies, Brenda now works with local government clients to ensure developers deliver high quality buildings in regeneration areas, buildings which will enhance the social and civic experience as well as generating a return for the developer. 

Andrew Haley

Andrew is a Landscape Architect and Urban Designer who has played a central role as an enthusiast, designer and advocate of good placemaking across the UK, Ireland and abroad for almost thirty years.

As a Director with The Paul Hogarth Company, living in Northern Ireland, projects have included the strategy and delivery of regeneration of the Laganside area of Belfast, including Cathedral Quarter; Connswater Community Greenway; and Hillsborough Castle. In his role as Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Group for Architecture + Built Environment in Northern Ireland he leads the organisation’s provision of independent, expert placemaking advice to government departments, councils and the private sector. Work in relation to Living High Streets provides an opportunity for knowledge to be shared through his work as a High Street Task Force Expert and Design Council Built Environment Expert in England.

James Hennessey

James is an Urban Designer and Landscape Architect based in Belfast. As a Director at The Paul Hogarth Company he leads placemaking and regeneration projects across the island and his native Scotland, with a particular emphasis on collaborative methodologies. James is also an advisor to the Ministerial Advisory Group on Architecture & Built Environment (NI) and a guest tutor and PhD researcher at Queens University Belfast, where is exploring the relationship between streets and street names.

Helen Quigley

Helen is CEO of the Inner City Trust Group.  She is a former Mayor and Councillor of Derry/Londonderry.  Helen has many years experience in Business, Economic Development and City Regeneration Projects.

Mura Quigley MRTPI

Mura is an urban designer for a creative studio in Belfast called Urban Scale Interventions, where she leads on climate resilience and wellbeing projects. She is also writing up her PhD at the moment which explores urban resilience and the role of good design, and has published in leading academic journals on the topic.  Mura is passionate about collaboration, connecting with people and putting them first in the design process. 

Shane Quinn

Shane is Development Director of Belfast Buildings Trust, where he leads on regeneration projects, engagement, and policy, and he is a member of the AoU Council. The founder of Successful Belfast, Shane is involved in a range of civic and cultural regeneration initiatives, including Belfast’s UNESCO City of Music bid. He advocates cross-sectoral and collaborative placemaking as a way to greater civic confidence and cultural maturity in the City.

Further information on the programme & speakers will follow.

If you have any queries before then, please contact the AoU team on info@academyofurbanism.org.uk

Online Session