Planning Derry, Planning and Politics in Northern Ireland, by Gerlad McSheffrey
Published by Liverpool University Press in 2000, 136 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N2585)
Brand New Book
This is the story of the making and implementation of a city and regional plan for the Londonderry area (the plan was first published in 1968). It was not without its critics, but in time it became generally accepted by the local population and has largely been implemented, although some important elements await the resolution of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
The author was a member of the small team that made the plan and he places it in context, explaining how it came to be made and describing the formation of the team. Against the background of the general social, economic and physical conditions of the city and the region, he focuses particularly on the housing crisis before elaborating on the process of making the plan in the difficult circumstances that prevailed. He recounts the problems encountered in getting the plan accepted and then, some time later, in its implementation.
The book is not an academic study of the planning process, but rather an attempt to explain major strategies based on personal recollections. These involve value judgements concerning people and political and religious views in Northern Ireland at the time, but McSheffrey has set out to be objective and avoid bias or the espousal of a particular political viewpoint.