More speakers, tours, and info on workshops will be added to this page as they are confirmed.

Wednesday 8 June

Scene-setting afternoon city tours to acquaint and reacquaint delegates with Belfast, followed by a Civic Reception at City Hall.

13:30 – Registration at Oh Yeah Centre

The Oh Yeah Centre is Northern Ireland’s contemporary music centre. It is situated in the city’s Cathedral Quarter.
Oh Yeah Centre, 15-21 Gordon Street, Belfast BT1 2LG

Please note that lunch will not be available at registration so consider this in your plans. We encourage you to drop off your luggage off before this point but there is an opportunity to leave it at the Oh Yeah Centre. Tours start after registration and yours may start from another location.

14:30 – Afternoon Tours

These tours will run simultaneously and Wednesday attendees will be invited to register for their preferred tour in advance. Tours will leave from the Oh Yeah Centre and nearby after registration, so aim to be there by 14:00. Click any of the tour titles or photos to find out more.

Belfast City of Music Walking Tour
Read tour description

Belfast City of Music Bus Tour
Read tour description

Belfast’s Secret Peace Lines Bus Tour
Read tour description
With Dr. David Coyles

Views of the City Walking Tour
Read tour description
With Joe Laverty and Belfast Design Week

Gaeltacht Quarter Architecture Walking Tour
Read tour description
With Ciaran Mackel

Attendees have been sent instructions on how to register for their preferred session in advance.

17:30 – Registration & Civic Reception

Drinks reception with a city welcome and cultural performances.
Belfast City Hall, Donegall Square N, Belfast BT1 5GS

Please note: This is a drinks reception and we encourage you to think about your evening meal options in advance. The local AoU team has suggested the following quality options near to City Hall:

Other options can be found using

Thursday 9 June

Congress Belfast Day with morning sessions at The MAC and afternoon workshops across the city, followed by Cultural Reception at Ulster Museum.

8:30 – Day Registration

The MAC is Belfast’s contemporary arts centre, located in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter area. Welcome refreshments will be available.
The MAC, 10 Exchange St, West, Belfast BT1 2NJ

9:15 – Actions or Visions?

Deirdre Hargey MLA
Minister for Communities and former Lord Mayor of Belfast

Cathy Reynolds
Director of City Regeneration & Development, Belfast City Council

John Greer
Director of Economic Development, Belfast City Council

11:10 – What is a City? What is Belfast?

Fiona Bell
Chief Executive, Thrive

Deborah Colville
City Innovation Manager and Head of Smart Belfast, Belfast City Council 

Michele Bryans
Chief Executive, EastSide Partnership

Simon Hamilton
Chief Executive, Belfast Chamber of Commerce

12:20 – Investing in Places for Impact: Panel Discussion

Daniel McKendry
Principal Landscape Architect, A&DS

Andrew Haley AoU
Chair, Ministerial Advisory Group on Architecture and the Built Environment

Natascha McIntyre-Hall
Head of Regeneration, Gleeds

James Eyre
Commercial Director, Titanic Quarter

14:00 – Afternoon Site Workshops: Opportunities from Obstacles

These workshops will each start with a site tour by foot or bus, leaving from the MAC. Click any of the workshop titles or photos to find out more.

Maritime Mile: How does the regeneration of the waterfront, an area rich in history integrate with the city?

Inner East: How can we stimulate inclusive & sustainable urban inner city growth?

Shaftesbury Square & Botanic: How can we collaboratively design a people-focused space?

Belfast Grand Central Station and Weavers Cross: How can major transport investment truly connect the city?

Cathedral Quarter: How can a historic cultural quarter continue to thrive amidst a context of change?

Attendees have been sent instructions on how to register for their preferred session in advance.

16:15 – Congress Belfast Day Reporting, Keynote, and Cultural Reception

The Ulster Museum is the home of Northern Ireland’s treasures, situated in south Belfast within the city’s Botanic Gardens. Transport will be provided from workshops where walking to the Museum is not feasible.
Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB

Thursday Keynote: Anuela Ristani

A practical, deliverable perspective on Cities Overcoming Challenges

Anuela is the Deputy Mayor of Tirana in charge of International Affairs and Sustainable Development

18:00 – Cultural Reception

Drinks reception with cultural performances

Please note: drinks will be available and we encourage you to think about your evening meal options. The local AoU team has suggested the following quality options within a ten-minute walk of the Ulster Museum:

Other options can be found using

Friday 10 June

Congress International Day at Crumlin Road Gaol, followed by Congress Dinner* at Titanic Belfast

8:30 – Day Registration

The Crumlin Road Gaol is a repurposed Victorian Gaol. It is approximately 15-minutes walk from the Cathedral Quarter area/Ulster University, in north Belfast. Metro Bus Routes 12B and 12C pass directly outside the Gaol. Single bus fares cost £1.60. 
Crumlin Road Gaol, 53-55 Crumlin Rd, Belfast BT14 6ST

9:15 – Informing Experiences

Ramon Marrades
Director of Placemaking Europe and Strategy Advisor to the Creative Bureaucracy Festival

Martin Hulse
Trust Manager, Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust and Trustee, Heritage Trust Network

Abby Garrison
VP Community Investments, United Way of Greater Chattanooga and Former Director of Causeway, Chattanooga

Niamh Kelly
Project Coordinator & Youth Ambassador at Reimagine, Remake, Replay (RRR)

11:35 – Breakout Discussions

These discussion groups will run simultaneously and Friday attendees will be invited to register for their preferred discussion in advance.

Urban Stories = Urban Design:
How the stories of people inform the design of places
With Dr Agustina Martire and Nicola Rochfort

A Green & Healthy City:
Nature based solutions
With Richard Guise, Richard McLernon, and Peter Carr

Rural Urbanism:
The future of village & town high streets
With Rita Harkin and Ali Harvey

12:25 – Lessons of Resilience

Exploring Belfast’s particular lessons of resilience, as told by people rooted in the city’s experiences

Professor John Barry
Co-chair of the Belfast Climate Commission and Professor of Green Political Economy, Queens University Belfast

Diane Emerson
Associate Director and Belfast Office Leader, Arup

Finn Kennedy
Writer and theatre director

14:15 – Climate Leadership

Miguel Anxo Fernández Lores
Mayor of Pontevedra, Spain

Chris Conway
Group Chief Executive, Translink

Wieteke de Jong
Strategic Advisor, City of Eindhoven

Robert Burns
Director of Housing and Community Development, Fingal County Council 

Bregje Somers
Deputy Head of Programme and District Management, City of Eindhoven

16:20 – Cities Overcoming Challenges

Closing Keynote: Stephen Willacy

Stephen is currently Direktør at Stephen Willacy Architecture + Urbanism after recently completing his tenure (2012-2020) as the Chief City Architect at Aarhus City Council, Denmark where he was responsible for achieving architectural quality for large-scale plans and projects across the city.

19:30 – Congress Dinner

Drinks and dinner with cultural performances at Titanic Belfast.

Titanic Belfast is Belfast’s world-class and award-winning visitor attraction in the heart of the Maritime Mile. It is approximately a 20-minute walk across the Lagan Weir Bridge and along the waterfront from the Cathedral Quarter area. Alternatively, the G2 Glider service from Custom House Square will pass Titanic Belfast. Single Glider fares cost £1.60.
Titanic Belfast, 1 Olympic Way, Queen’s Road, Belfast BT3 9EP

*Congress Dinner is included in all 3 day tickets except Charity/Community. If your ticket doesn’t include Congress Dinner or you would like to bring additional guests, Dinner only tickets can be bought on Eventbrite.

See map below for venues and workshop sites. All are within 20-30 minutes walking distance from City Hall, some much shorter.