Belfast's 'Peace' Walls: An Iron(ic) Curtain?
||McCord, John; William McCluskey, Michael McCord, Martin Haran, Davis McIlhatton, Peadar Davis
||Belfast's 'Peace' Walls: An Iron(ic) Curtain?
||20th Annual European Real Estate Society Conference in Vienna, Austria
||Belfast's 'Peace Walls' exist to physically segregate and provide a measure of security to the communities on either side. A legacy of the Northern Irish 'troubles', they lie along traditionally controversial and/or fractious 'interfaces' between the (broadly speaking) nationalist, catholic communities and the unionist, protestant communities, typically in the densely populated streetscape of Belfast's urban fringe. Whilst they do, ostensibly achieve this aim, the question arises as to their longer term and/or wider socio-economic impact. Borders and boundaries have previously been viewed as places where different populations are kept apart. Increasingly, and for the benefit of all concerned, they are being viewed as places where people can come together. Whilst the incidence of violence and disorder is currently reduced in the vicinity of hard barriers, it may well be that these structures have the capacity to prevent the restoration of normal community interactions. They may also be providing their 'benefits' at a high cost, with regards to issues such as house price reduction. Accordingly, this paper attempts to measure the disamenity effect of peace walls on house prices, primarily focusing on the effect of distance, which is calculated using a hedonic pricing specification and spatially referenced data, using a GIS based approach. The emerging findings demonstrate that a greater negative pricing effect is evident with proximity to the peace walls in most, but not all sub markets and housing types. The results of the research are of particular interest to those concerned with property valuation and social policy formulation and analysis in regions with contested space.
||Housing, Spatial analysis, Segregation, Disamenity effect, Hedonic modelling
Post discussion ...
||D-8: Housing Markets & Economics
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