The sun was out, the sky was nearly blue, the scenery was beautiful. There were over a thousand people holding hands. It was freezing, but there was a band, so all was well. The band led the walk and I liked to think that I was in Treme (without the post Katrina problems, of course).
Also, a bear and a mayor.
The Peace Bridge is recently opened, having been funded by the European Unions’s Shared Space programme, with the aim of bringing together communities which had previously been divided.
Apparently, “the Peace Bridge is one of the largest and most iconic projects to be supported under the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund’s Peace III Programme. Its inspiration was Derry’s iconic hands across the divide sculpture; conceived as two distinct structural systems that work in harmony. At the middle of the river both systems overlap, boldly interacting to create a single unified crossing – a structural handshake across the Foyle and an embrace in the centre of the river. The 235m long, four meter wide bridge connects the predominately nationalist west bank to the largely unionist east bank. It’s aim is to tackle problems of the separated communities by creating genuine new shared space or by transforming contested space. It is illuminated at night, allows leisure craft to pass safely at high tide and provides pedestrian and cycle access from the Cityside to the regenerated Ebrington site and St Columb’s Park.”
Photo from Cain
The Ebrington site is a former army barracks, which is in the process of redevelopment from a secure fortress to a cultural and community based resource. It’s the newest ‘shared space’ and is to be a significant venue during the City of Culture 2013.
Fun, friends, music, history and architecture- not bad for a day out!