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Disused Religious Space: Youth Participation in Built Heritage Regeneration

School of the Built Environment, Ulster University, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim BT37 0QB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sherin Wing
Religions 2017, 8(6), 107;
Received: 27 February 2017 / Revised: 24 May 2017 / Accepted: 30 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sacred Spaces)
The rights of young people to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives has been encouraged since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Since then, policy-makers and planners have started to consider the views of youth, especially those aged 11–17. The size of the youth population and their feelings of social isolation are two important reasons to include them in the decision-making that affects their local built environment. Little is known about youth opinions of the built environment and in particular disused religious buildings which can become a significant part of local cultural heritage. This paper explores youth perceptions, place attachment and influence on identity of a prominent disused local Methodist church in the City of Belfast. The paper details the expressive methodological approach designed to encourage youth participation in the regeneration scheme. The findings of the study showcase the valuable connections that can be made between youth and heritage religious buildings through education programmes. The project conclusions also highlight the benefits to be gained from engaging youth in local built heritage and will be of interest to those involved in the design, planning and redevelopment processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: youth participation; disused religious buildings; built heritage regeneration youth participation; disused religious buildings; built heritage regeneration
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Davison, K.; Russell, J. Disused Religious Space: Youth Participation in Built Heritage Regeneration. Religions 2017, 8, 107.

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