2018 International Healthy Cities Conference

Site Visits Wednesday 3 October 2018

Site visits have been arranged under the themes of People, Place, Participation, and Prosperity, Planet, Peace.


All site visits will start at 10.30am on Wednesday 3 October 2018 from the Waterfront Hall. It is estimated the tours will return to Belfast City Centre by approximately 12.45pm. Delegates will receive lunch as part of their chosen site visit.

Below is a list of site visits on offer, with a brief description of each visit. Booking can be done via registration form. Please note places on the site visits are limited.


People: a human focus to societal development that prioritizes investment in people to improve equity and inclusion through enhanced empowerment.


This theme includes equity and inclusion, empowerment, non-discriminatory governance, a rights-based approach to participation, universal access to public services, gender equality, and health literacy.    

1. Title: Innovative approaches to medicine

Host: Cancer Centre at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Macmillan Support and Information Centre

Places available: 20


Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is committed to ensuring that people affected by cancer have access to high quality information and support. The Cancer Centre provides chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy treatments for up to 2500 patients each week from across Northern Ireland.


Macmillan Support and Information Centre is a Belfast Health and Social Care Trust service in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Focus NI, Friends of the Cancer Centre and Action Cancer. Providing free information and confidential support to people living with cancer, as well as their carers, friends and family in a calm, relaxing environment. The Centre also offers wig fitting, counselling and complementary therapy services.


The visit will also include a tour of Botanic Gardens, a public garden occupying 28 acres of south Belfast and home to The Palm House and Tropical Ravine. The gardens are popular with local residents, students and tourists and a popular venue for concerts, festivals and other events.



2. Title: Regional Trauma Unit, Royal Victoria Hospital

Host: Emergency Department, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust

Places available: 20


Belfast Trust delivers integrated health and social care to 340,000 people in Belfast and is the Regional Trauma Centre to the 1.8 million population of Northern Ireland providing care for the most complex cases of multiple trauma.  The Emergency Departments are the busiest in Northern Ireland, treating around 150,000 patients each year.  


Belfast Health and Social Care Trust provides emergency services at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Mater Hospital and Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.  A new state of the art Emergency Department at the Royal Victoria Hospital opened in August 2015. The Emergency Department teams collaborate with other acute services as part of a seamless model of acute care.

As a University Teaching Trust, there are strong partnerships with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University providing high quality continuous training for all health and social care disciplines. 


An historical tour of the community surrounding the hospital will provide a unique insight into the legacy of the area.


3. Title: Diversity in South Belfast

Host: Chinese Welfare Association and South Belfast Partnership Board

Places available: 20


South Belfast is a dynamic and vibrant part of the city and home to the Chinese Welfare Association (CWA).  Working within a framework of racial equality, CWA enable all sections of the community to fully participate in both the development of the community and wider society. 


The Chinese Welfare Association are based on the banks of the River Lagan and work with the Chinese community and also provide support for a range of Black Asian Minority Ethics groups, to meet the health and social needs.


A visit to adjacent Ormeau Park, the oldest municipal park in Belfast, having been officially opened to the public in 1871. It is owned and run by Belfast City Council and is one of the largest and busiest parks in the city and contains a variety of horticulture, woodland, wildlife and sporting facilities.


Place: the social, physical and cultural environments that align to create a place that is actively inclusive, and that facilitates the pursuit of health and well-being for all.

This theme includes the physical and natural environment, the social environment, equity, trust and ownership, ethics, inclusivity, commerce, transport, and co-design and co-benefits.  

4. Title: Shaping the future development of Belfast, a Local Development Plan

Host: Belfast City Council

Places available: 30

The Local Development Plan (LDP) for Belfast will support economic and social outcomes for the city, while providing the delivery of sustainable development.


The development of Belfast’s Inner North West area masterplan provides opportunities for regeneration and addressing social and economic issues.


Following the presentation participants will take a walking tour through the Inner North West area.


This site visit will include a tour of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, once the literary heart of the city, now a vibrant area for bars, restaurants, culture, arts, and music. The narrow cobbled streets are a joy to wander around and explore.


5. Title: Connswater Community Greenway

Host: Eastside Visitors Centre

Places available: 40

Connswater Community Greenway is a £40 million investment in East Belfast. The project has been developed by the EastSide Partnership and delivered by Belfast City Council. 

Connswater Community Greenway has created a 9km linear park through east Belfast, connecting the open and green spaces. The Greenway has created a vibrant, attractive, safe and accessible parkland for leisure, recreation, community events and activities.

UKCRC Centre of Excellence for Public Health NI led a multidisciplinary team in Queen’s University Belfast to win a prestigious Medical Research Council award to evaluate Connswater Community Greenway (CCG) and its impacts on physical activity and the health of the local population in East Belfast.

Linking with local community development organisation East Belfast Community Development Agency (EBCDA) participants will have the opportunity to walk or cycle a 5km section of Connswater Community Greenway and learn about the impact the project is having on physical health and emotional well-being in communities


6. Title: Supported Housing for people living with dementia and developing Dementia Friendly Communities

Host: Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with Clanmil Housing Association, Radius Housing

Places available: 75

A partnership between local housing associations and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Hemsworth Court, Cullingtree Meadows and Mullan Mews provide bespoke, carefully designed housing for people living with dementia.  The supported housing environment enables independent living within a carefully designed location. A 24 hour domicilary care and enhanced support service is delivered on site by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust staff. The service focuses on each tenant’s unique situation and recognises the value of working in partnership with the tenants, their families, the local community and local businesses.   


A visit to the supported housing schemes will provide an overview of ‘Dementia Friendly Communities’ a voluntary campaign that brings together local voluntary and community groups, churches, schools, libraries and more who work together to increase awareness and understanding, inclusion and support for people and their families living with dementia.


A guided historical tour of the local area will take in the rich culture and heritage along the main routes connecting west and east Belfast to the city centre.


7. Title: Public Health tour of Belfast   

Host: Belfast Healthy Cities

Places available: 25

A walking tour through Belfast City Centre will identify key historical public health buildings and explore their impact on the city.  This walking tour will include a visit to Clifton House an impressive Georgian building, set in tranquil landscaped gardens in the heart of Belfast. Opened in 1774 by Belfast Charitable Society, the building was used until the late 1880s as Belfast’s Poor House.  It was used as a nursing home and hospital for older people and is now a unique event venue.


Participation: ensuring the participation of all individuals and communities in the decisions that affect them and the places they live, work, love and play.


This theme includes coherent governance, inclusive civic participation, accountability, empowerment, and city health diplomacy. 

8. Title: Treating conditions – exercise through prescriptions   

Host:  Active Belfast, Public Health Agency

Places available: 40

Health wise is an Active Belfast preventative initiative and a tailored programme to change the behaviour of adults who are inactive. It offers a range of physical activity opportunities to encourage adults to build physical activity into their everyday life for improved health and well-being.


The chronic conditions programmes provide physical activity rehabilitation and exercise encouragement classes for a variety of chronic conditions such as type 1 Diabetes, Cancer and cardiac rehabilitation.


The visit offers opportunity to participate in physical activity programmes and will include a tour of the Olympia Leisure Centre. A visit to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park will include a tour of the facilities and visitors centre.


9. Title: W5 Science Centre   

Host: W5

Places available: 50

A visit to the W5 Med lab in Titanic Quarter will showcase a new interactive, immersive health exhibition at the children’s Science Centre.  Walking from Belfast Waterfront to Titanic Quarter participants will view street art along the Lagan Weir footbridge and cycle way.


Situated in the Titanic Quarter of the city, free time can be used to explore the many attractions of the area, including the Titanic Museum and slipways.


10. Title: Early years; intervention approaches in Shankill   

Host: Greater Shankill Partnership

Places available: 25

Established in 1996, the Greater Shankill Partnership (GSP) is a community led regeneration agency in the Greater Shankill area of Belfast. Integrated Services for Children and Young People has been one of Greater Shankill Partnerships signature programmes since 2009.  The visit will experience Shankill Road early intervention project which tackles inequalities through family engagement and improving education outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. 


The visit will conclude with a guided historical tour of the Shankill Road an area rich in culture and heritage, and a main route connecting west Belfast to the city Centre.


11. Title: Belfast - an age-friendly city    

Host: Healthy Ageing Strategic Partnership

Places available: 30

Belfast Age-Friendly action plan for 2018-2021 will focus on meeting the needs of older people, in particular reducing social isolation.  This visit will feature an overview of initiatives and an opportunity to meet members of the Greater Belfast Seniors Forum who provide the voice of older people in the Age-friendly Belfast plan.


An overview of Age-friendly Belfast and Dementia friendly East Belfast will be provided and the opportunity to participate in a tea dance as part of Positive Ageing Month.


12. Title: Belfast – A UNESCO Learning City    

Host: Belfast Strategic Partnership / Footprints Women’s Centre

Places available: 30

Belfast is a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities and a key part of the focus is to make learning accessible to everyone in the city.  We wish to remove barriers to learning and develop collaborative action to use learning as a tool to reduce inequalities.


Footprints Women’s Centre is a great example of this approach, responding to the local needs of women and their families, building self-esteem, confidence and developing skills.  Operating as a social enterprise and trading company, re-investing all profits back to the women’s centre


A guided tour of west Belfast will be given en route to Footprints Women’s Centre, participates will have the opportunity to join learning activities.


Prosperityenhanced community prosperity and strengthened assets through values-based governance of common goods and services.


This theme includes enhanced community prosperity, strengthened assets, investment in the circular economy, ethical investment, sustainable economic development, and innovative solutions.

13. Title: Sustainable growth - a city region deal   

Host: Belfast City Council

Places available: 30

City deals are bespoke packages of funding and decision-making powers negotiated between central & regional government and local authorities. In the Belfast City Region, it is a proposed ten-year plan to improve infrastructure, develop innovation, skills, tourism and attract employment opportunities. The deal is described as a real ‘fast-forward' for economic growth.


Information will be provided on the impact of investment to enhance inclusion and help address social and economic and inequalities, issues in the city region.


A guided tour of Belfast City Hall will be provided, which opened its doors on the first of August 1906 designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the Baroque Revival style and constructed in Portland stone. 


14. Title: Prosperity along the River Lagan  

Host: Department for Communities, Destination CQ BID

Places available: 25

The Department for Communities is responsible for the continuing transformation of the Lagan River between Stranmillis Weir and Lagan Weir. During this boat tour the contribution of development in water sports, biodiversity, housing and business have enhanced the prosperity along the river. This site visit will include a walking tour of the Cathedral Quarter by Destination CQ, highlighting areas of significant development by members of the Business Improvement District (BID) to attract people and investment to the area.

15. Title: Glider - A New Mode of Travel for Belfast   

Host: Glider cross city service

Places available: 40

Translink is transforming public transport in Belfast in line with the vision ‘To Be Your First Choice for Travel in Northern Ireland.’


As part of ambitious plans to deliver excellent bus and rail services that will enhance connectivity and help to unlock the full potential of Belfast as a forward looking, dynamic and ambitious City, driven by talent and ready for investment. Glider, a new, innovative mode of travel for Belfast, from September 2018 is set to further enhance the image of the city and inspire people to choose public transport.


This site visit will include an experience of the cross city Glider route connecting neighbourhoods in east and west Belfast through the City Centre and Titanic Quarter. 

Planet: ensuring that the protection of the planet is at the heart of all city policies, both internal and external.

This theme includes divestment, disaster risk reduction, sustainable consumption and production, resilience, and mitigation of and adaptation to climate change.    


16. Title: Institute for Global Food Security   

Host: Queen’s University Belfast

Places available: 20-40

Queen’s University Belfast is leading the world in addressing one of the greatest global challenges – how to ensure the safety of our food. The visit will include a showcase of food, nutrition and health research ongoing at Queen’s University Belfast, accompanied by tasting opportunities of local food produce supplied by local artisan food companies.  During a visit to the Clinical Research Facility, will you to observe the facilities available for conducting dietary research with health-related outcomes.  There will be the opportunity to receive a brief health check.


The visit will conclude with a tour of Queens University, one of Belfast’s great architectural pieces. The Lanyon Building's front façade is instantly recognisable and a key feature of Belfast’s landscape.


17. Title: Bryson Recycling – leading social enterprise   

Host: Bryson Charity, Mallusk

Places available: 30

Bryson recycling is now the largest social enterprise recycler in the UK; and has been delivering recycling services for over two decades. Collecting and processing materials collected from over 60% of homes in Northern Ireland, as well as operating 8 recycling centres in Republic of Ireland and Wales.


Waste is an environmental problem, but through our social enterprise approach we consider it to be a resource that can be used to create opportunities to maximise social and environmental benefit. During a tour of the materials recovery facility (MRF) operated in Mallusk, you will see the processing of recyclables collected from over 250,000 households.


The visit will include a guided tour of the north Belfast with panoramic views of Belfast.


18. Title: Devenish Nutrition – Dowth Farm Visit, Co Meath*  

Host: Devenish Nutrition

Places available: 45


*This site visit will leave the Waterfront at 8.00am and return at 1.30pm.

Devenish is a farming and food company, delivering sustainable and innovative nutritional products and solutions for the feed industry, the food industry and for human health. The Devenish Lands at Dowth is an internationally-recognised research farm dedicated to sustainable agriculture and health. It has been designated one of six international Lighthouse Farms by Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the top university for studying agriculture in Europe. It has achieved a world-first in being the first whole farm to accurately measure the amount of carbon sequestered in its trees and hedgerows. It has been successful in winning significant research funding to examine the optimisation of soil, sward, meat quality, human health and environmental health. These research projects form an important part of Devenish’s overall strategy “One Health: From soil to society”. The Devenish Lands at Dowth lies within the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site which is known for Neolithic monuments built by some of Ireland’s first farming communities – Devenish’s first colleagues in farming, food and health innovation. Throughout its history it has been maintained as a single large landholding for many centuries which allows us to look at the remains left by farmers at a landscape level. As such, the Devenish Lands at Dowth represents the evolution of farming over 6,000 years in a single holding.

Peace: promoting peace through inclusive societies that focus on places, participation, prosperity and the planet, while putting people at the centre of all policies and actions.


This theme includes just and inclusive societies, freedom from fear and violence, sustainable development, respect for human rights and human dignity, equality and non-discrimination, ethnic and cultural diversity, equal opportunities, and shared prosperity.


19. Title: A Care Zone in North Belfast

Host: Care Zone

Places available: 25

The development of a Care Zone in North Belfast is part of ongoing regeneration in the area, linked to Public Health Agency’s Future Search work on suicide prevention. The Care Zone is a local response involving residents and community groups in Marrowbone area to empower and build capacity to support action to increase ‘hope’ and care in the area. The project has been working to identify the needs of local communities through data sharing and collection, developing partnerships and resources to create emotionally resilient communities and tackle health inequalities.


The site visit will take a guided tour of north Belfast including Belfast Castle.


20. Title: Health and Housing

Host: Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Places available: 50

The Housing Executive was established in 1971 as Northern Ireland’s strategic housing authority and is the UK’s largest social housing landlord, with approximately 85,500 dwellings.  Administering an annual budget of around £750m, and with over 3,000 staff, the organisation also provides home improvement grants to homeowners and private tenants, supports the improvement of energy efficiency in private dwellings and works to create more cohesive communities across Northern Ireland.


This visit is a bus tour of social housing communities in Belfast, including those in interface areas, where peace wall removals, re-imaging work and integration and conflict transformation activities have been nurtured and encouraged.


21. Title: Creating a shared city

Host: Girdwood Community Hub

Places available: 35

Shared City Partnership and Peace funded projects promote good relations across Belfast. Girdwood Community Hub has been transformed in to a state of the art shared space, offering first-class leisure, community and education facilities.  The site is being developed as part of the Special European Union Programmes Body Peace III priority “contributing to a shared society by creating public shared space” alongside plans to transform leisure services.  Developed as a shared site that promotes safe access for all and fosters greater social integration, delivering integrated plans to improve good relations and develop sustainable approaches to promoting shared spaces.

Following a tour of Girdwood Community Hub and the opportunity to participate in activities, participants will be given a tour of Crumlin Road Gaol, follow in the footsteps of over 25,000 prisoners as you make the journey through Northern Ireland’s only remaining Victorian Era prison. The will cover all aspects of the Gaol from the Tunnel linking the courthouse on the other side of the Crumlin Road to the Hanging Cell, the Historic Holding Cells, Centre Circle,

C-Wing and Graveyard.


22. Title: Irish language in east Belfast

Host: East Belfast Mission

Places available: 30

Turas, an Irish Language Centre in east Belfast, has made a breakthrough in promoting the Irish language in loyalist working class area. Facing challenges along the way, the Turas project has changed mind sets and softened hearts, providing a new context for the Irish language as a language of healing and reconciliation. Turas is the Gaelic word for journey.


A visit to East Belfast Mission will provide an overview of the Turas project and an opportunity to join a bus tour “In the Footsteps of Conn O’Neill”.  The bus tour will visit the ancient townlands once ruled by the Gaelic chieftain and experience the history and folklore of Conn O’Neill’s story.