Spatiality of Identity Conﬂict in Belfast: Historical Considerations
Whilst the arrival of town and country planning ‘proper’ in Northern Ireland is commonly taken to accord with the appointment of Professor Robert Matthew in 1960 to prepare a Belfast Regional Survey and Plan (Greer and Jess, 1987: 105), something of the essence of spatial planning in Belfast is lost if historical links to ethnic identity-constitution are not given central attention. It is difﬁcult to disagree with the view expressed by the historian A.T.Q. Stewart that:
topography is the key to the Ulster conﬂict. Unless you know exactly who lives
where and why, much of it does not make sense (Stewart, 1989: 56).