Quality of life in BelfastAs well as improving our economy, job prospects and regenerating the city, we want to create a successful and vibrant city where people want to live.
Quality factors are important to people living in Belfast, they include things like clean streets, availability of green spaces, safer and healthier environment, level of pollution and the perception of crime, amongst others.
House pricesLike all parts of the UK, house prices increased significantly in Belfast in the last decade as a result of the housing boom, but have come down in value since the peak of the boom in 2007.
The average house price in Belfast is £142,200 (third quarter 2011), which represented a 2.9% annual increase from 2010.
The environmentThe environment affects many aspects of quality of life and helps determine the attractiveness of the city to both visitors and residents.
In Belfast there are over 2,000 acres of parkland and nature reserves which include two city parks, nine district parks, 77 playgrounds, 36 local parks, five country parks and Belfast Zoo.
A lot of the parks are home to buildings of huge cultural heritage such as Belfast Castle, Malone House and the Palm House, in Botanic Gardens.
Community safety and crimeCrime in Northern Ireland remains low in comparison to other UK cities.
There has been an 11% reduction in crimes recorded since 2005 and a 23.3% decrease in crimes recorded in the last decade, with 29,835 crimes recorded in 2010/11.
Belfast is recognised as
having a vibrant, revitalised
cultural life. The growing
energy within the culture
and arts sector is clear
Belfast is home to 70 cultural festivals, a range of key concert and performance venues, and award winning theatres. In the past decade, Belfast’s culture has seen the arrival of a new generation of visitor attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars.
We have 1,040 listed buildings, 13 designated areas of conservation and 20 designated areas of townscape character. The proud heritage and history of Belfast is important and is celebrated through the eight museums and heritage centres across the city.
The iconic Titanic Signature Project pays respect to the craftsmanship and mastery of the famous ship. It opened in March 2012, to coincide with the centenary of the ship’s launch.
The Cathedral Quarter, Gaeltacht Quarter, Queen’s Quarter and Titanic Quarter derive their strong identity from their rich traditional heritage. Belfast is punctuated by beautiful Victorian and Edwardian buildings which continue to enhance the lives of today’s citizens with a rich architectural heritage.
Belfast has also produced some internationally renowned artists such as Grammy award winner Van Morrison, pianist Barry Douglas and Oscar nominated Kenneth Branagh.
FestivalsOver half a million people participate in our festivals all over the city, including Queen’s University’s annual Belfast Festival, the Belfast Film Festival, Belfast Children’s Festival and the Festival of Fools.
The St Patrick’s Day festival in March offers a carnival atmosphere for all the family with a wonderful and colourful carnival parade dancing through the city centre streets.
Belfast also plays host to the biggest Orange parade on 12 July every year which attracts tens of thousands of participants and spectators.
More information on these festivals and events can be found at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events