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Community planning

Belfast Agenda

  • The Belfast Agenda - the city's community plan

    We published our city’s first community plan in November 2017, the Belfast Agenda. The Belfast Agenda was then updated in 2024 to reflect the current priorities of community planning partners and the public.

    Created by a partnership of key city partners, residents and community organisations, the Belfast Agenda sets out our joint vision and long-term ambitions for Belfast’s future, as well as outlining our priorities for action over the next four years.

    Community Planning is about developing a shared vision for the wellbeing of our city.

    Community Planning is everyone working together to develop and implement a shared vision for promoting the wellbeing of the city and delivering real improvements for local people. It is about bringing decision making closer to communities and giving local people an opportunity to have their say on issues that matter to them.

    It is an exciting time for us and by working together we can explore new, innovative, and creative ways to deliver public services that will make a positive impact and help improve the wellbeing of the city and the quality of life for the people who live here. It means planning ahead to improve the big issues that matter to people like health, education, employment, and the environment.

  • What is the Belfast Agenda?

    The Belfast Agenda has come about as the result of an extensive, citywide engagement process involving residents, the voluntary and community sectors, city partners and a wider range of other public and private stakeholders with the aim of ensuring that our collective focus is on the right priorities to deliver on our big ambitions.

    Working together, we want to make this an even better place for everyone and make a real difference to people’s lives. Specifically, this is about, achieving our shared ambition to drive inclusive, sustainable growth and improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of our city and its communities. The Belfast Agenda will enable us to achieve this.

    The Belfast Agenda 2024 - 2028

    The Belfast Agenda was updated in 2024 to reflect the current priorities of community planning partners and the public. The updated strategy and action plans outline how partners plan to support the most vulnerable in our city while growing the economy, regenerating neighbourhoods, supporting communities and achieving our climate targets.

    This short video describes the key areas that partners have agreed to prioritise between 2024 and 2028.

  • Our plan on a page

    The plan on a page aims to capture all the key elements of the Belfast Agenda on one page. It includes:

    • The five strategic themes of the Belfast Agenda:
      • Our people and communities
      • Our economy
      • Our place
      • Our planet, and
      • Compassionate city.
    • Our outcomes: the five things people want by 2035.
    • Our ambitions: the key targets we have identified to make our vision a reality.

    Plan on a Page is represented in this graphic but the key themes, priorities and ambitions are explained throughout.

    If you would like more detail on the Belfast Agenda strategic plan or detailed action plans for 2024-2028 or supporting information, they are available at the following links.

    You can also find out how we’re doing by reading our Statement of Progress.

  • The partners

    Making it happen

    Our vision

    Belfast will be a city re-imagined and resurgent. A great place to live and work for everyone.


    The Community Planning Partnership (Partnership) was established in February 2018 and has continued to evolve ever since. It is made up of:

    • a strategic Community Planning Partnership
    • four Thematic Boards
    • delivery-focused Working Groups (or Tasking Groups), and
    • a Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Advisory Panel.

    Community Planning Partners are fully committed to working together with all our citizens to ensure we create a better future for everyone.

    Community Planning Partners

    View all our statutory partners. Links open in a new window.

  • Our people and communities

    Making life better for all our residents and communities

    Everyone in Belfast deserves to enjoy a good quality of life, regardless of who they are, or where they live. Work under this theme places wellbeing at the heart of our city strategy, with our communities as the lifeblood, both in terms of decision-making and helping to ensure that support gets to the people and places most in need. 

    Work under the People and Communities theme is currently concentrating on two priority areas:

    1. Health inequalities.
    2. Community and neighbourhood regeneration.

    What community planning partners will do for residents and communities:

    • Reduce the total number of people affected by chronic homelessness by five per cent per year.  Chronic homelessness is when people have experienced homelessness for at least a year, or repeatedly, whilst struggling with a disabling condition.
    • Improve the number of people satisfied with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
    • Reduce the number of overweight people or people living with obesity
    • Increase physical activity levels.
    • Increase the amount of people who are satisfied with living in their neighbourhood from 86 per cent to 90 per cent.
    • Transfer at least three publicly owned assets to organisations within the community.
  • Our economy

    Creating inclusive and sustainable growth, learning and opportunity.

    A thriving, prosperous economy is our city’s engine for change and critical to turning the outcomes curve in a positive direction. Creating the right conditions to accelerate inclusive and sustainable growth, learning and opportunity for all our residents is critical to safeguarding the economic future of the place we call home. Work under the Economy theme is currently concentrating on three priority areas.

    1.  Educational inequalities
    2.  Jobs and skills
    3.  Sustainable and inclusive economic growth

    What community planning partners will do for residents and communities:

    • Increase the percentage of school leavers progressing into positive destinations (such as employment or further and higher education) from a baseline of 95 per cent in 2021-2022.
    • Reduce the gap between those entitled to free school meals and those who aren’t from a baseline of 35 per cent in 2018-2019.
    • Reduce the working-age economic inactivity rate (excluding students) within the city from 23 per cent to 18 per cent. 
    • Increase the employment rate for people living with a disability from 37 per cent to 42 per cent.
    • Increase the number of new business start-ups from 1,435 per year to 1,800.
    • Reduce the number of jobs paid below the real living wage from 14.7 per cent to 10 per cent or less.
  • Our place

    Creating a liveable and connected, vibrant and competitive city.

    Belfast is a ‘right-size’ city: big enough for a buzzing city vibe; small enough to feel you belong.  We’ve come a long way but there is still much work to be done to attract more residents, build more homes, keep our city centre and neighbourhoods thriving whilst making sure that everyone is actively and sustainably connected. Work under the Our Place theme is currently focusing on three priority areas.

    1. Housing-led regeneration.
    2. Connectivity, active and sustainable travel.
    3.  Future city centre and wider city regeneration and investment.

    What community planning partners will do for residents and communities:

    • Increase the number of homes by 6,000 units across all types of property.
    • Start to build 400 social homes per year across the council area.
    • Retrofit 745 homes.
    • Deliver the Department for Infrastructure’s Eastern Transport Plan.
    • Increase the percentage of people who walk or wheel, or cycle to five days a week from 54 per cent to 70 per cent.
    • Average 70 public transport journeys per person per year by 2030.
    • Reduce the number of vacant units within the city centre by 5 per cent, from a current baseline of 23.41 per cent.
    • Continue to draft local planning policies in the Local Development Plan
  • Our planet

    Creating a sustainable, nature-positive city.

    We are committed to tackling climate change and biodiversity loss head on. This is a global challenge requiring urgent and localised action, if we are to mitigate against the immediate risks as well as take collective responsibility for future generations. Work under the Our Planet theme is currently focusing on three priorities.

    1. Re-naturing the city and improving the food system.
    2. Creating a sustainable circular economy.
    3.  Innovating to Net Zero.

    What community planning partners will do for residents and communities:

    • Protect an additional 1,770 homes and businesses from flood risk.
    • Plant 150,000 trees as part of the One Million Trees programme.
    • Reduce carbon emissions by 66 per cent by 2025.
    • Install at least 800 electric vehicle charging points for public use.
    • Support at least two community energy schemes to implementation stage.
  • Compassionate city

    Making Belfast a welcoming, caring, fair and inclusive city – leaving no one behind.

    As a compassionate city, we recognise the complexity and diversity of our people, and we are determined to make things better for everyone. Our cross-cutting themes will help to ensure that the most vulnerable people in our society have a genuine sense of belonging and have an equal opportunity to realise the full potential that Belfast’s economic, cultural and social prospects have to offer.  All our priorities and action plans have been considered through the lens of the following four cross-cutting priority areas.

    1. Inclusive growth and anti-poverty
    2. Good relations and shared future
    3. Older people
    4. Younger people

    What community planning partners will do for residents and communities:

    • Reduce the proportion of people living in relative poverty from 18 per cent (before housing costs). ‘Relative poverty’ means households with income below 60 per cent of the average household income.
    • Reducing the proportion of children (0 to 15 years) growing up in poverty from 22 per cent to 18 per cent (at least 3,000 children).
    • Support 600 to 800 older people (most in need) through activities which aim to improve their activity levels, help them feel more connected and less lonely and reduce their restrictions in carrying out day-to-day activities.
    • Increase the percentage of young people (16 to 24) who agree that they are able to have a say on how services are run, what the priorities are, or where investment is needed from 32.6 per to 40.5 per cent.
  • How we're doing

    Outcomes and progress

    Our boards oversee the delivery of programmes and projects that will have a positive impact on people’s lives and deliver against our stated outcomes.

    • Our city is home to an additional 66,000 people.
    • Our economy supports 46,000 additional jobs.
    • There will be a 33 per cent reduction in the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived neighbourhoods.
    • Every young person leaving school has a destination that fulfils their potential.
    • Our carbon emissions will reduce by 80 per cent.

    Actions are also measured through performance level reporting which helps us see how much has been done, how well it has been done and whether anyone is better off.

    View our Statement of Progress (link opens in new window)

  • Contact us

    If you’d like more information on Community Planning, to speak to a member of the team or to get involved, you can email

    You can also log on to our YourSay platform to give feedback and find out more.

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Policy and planning

Community planning, Belfast City Hall, Belfast BT1 5GS

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