Exploring Segregation and Sharing in Belfast: a PGIS approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Duncan Whyatt
  • Brendan Sturgeon
  • Bree Hocking
  • Gemma Davies
  • John Dixon
  • Neil Jarman
  • Dominic Bryan


This article presents a novel exploratory investigation into the location and characteristics of spaces that are segregated and shared between Protestant and Catholic communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK). Focusing upon a particularly segregated part of the city, this study uses state of the art participatory GIS and visualisation techniques to create qualitative, ‘bottom up’ maps of segregation and sharing within the city, as experienced by the people who live there. In doing so, it identifies important and previously un-reported patterns in segregation and sharing between sectarian communities, whilst challenging normative approaches to participatory GIS, illustrating how alternative methods might provide deeper insights into complex social geographies such as those of segregation. Finally, the findings of this work are formulated into a set of hypotheses that can contribute to a future research agenda into segregation and sharing, both in Belfast and in other divided cities.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the American Association of Geographers
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2018