The Connswater greenway is a project which will, over the course of the next two or three years, link up pretty much all of the existing smattering of parks and walkways from the Titanic quarter through to the Castlereagh hills.
Although it’s an area that I’ve been in and around for most of my life their booklet highlights a whole bunch of things that I never knew existed. In fact, it comes across as a much more interesting area than you would expect, picking out as it does interests ranging from George Best’s home and Van Morrison’s home and haunts through to a 400 year old bridge in what it a fairly compact area.
That bridge is the most surprising for me as I went to school right beside it yet never knew of its existence until Wednesday morning! To be fair, it doesn’t look that impressive these days but then ancient footbridges rarely do and this one crosses the river at a point where the flow tends to collect a whole heap of junk ranging from fallen branches through to the Tesco trolley which seem to get everywhere these days.
Whilst the majority of the open spaces exist already, many of them have seen better days and the walkways have generally fallen into disuse over the years. Thus one of the major tasks of the project is to spruce up what’s already there which is no small task given the span of the greenway. This will include re-routing some of the stretches of river to both create a more typical meandering look and to sort out the flooding problem that arises along some sections of the rivers. In addition to all the prettying up the playgrounds scattered along the route will have their numbers increased somewhat and upgrades to those that are already there.
One of the most staggering figures that was quoted in the presentation on Wednesday was that over 50% of the population in the area is “economically inactive” ie there’s a very high level of unemployment. Whilst this project won’t directly change that, it should help to pretty up the area substantially which may in turn attract more businesses to move to what was once an area with close to 100% employment thanks to the shipyard, aircraft factory and all the supporting businesses which they drew in.Copyright © 2004-2014 by Foreign Perspectives. All rights reserved.