Relaunching Titanic critically considers the invocation of Titanic heritage in Belfast in contributing to a new ‘post-conflict’ understanding of the city. The authors address how the memory of Titanic is being and should be represented in the place of its origin, from where it was launched into the collective consciousness and unconscious of western civilization.
Relaunching Titanic examines the issues in the context of international debates on the tension between place marketing of cities and other alternative portrayals of memory and meaning in places. Key questions include the extent to which the goals of economic development are congruous with the ‘contemplative city’ and especially the need for mature and creative reflection in the ‘post-conflict’ city, whether development interests have taken precedence over the need for a deeper appreciation of a more nuanced Titanic legacy in the city of Belfast, and what Belfast shares with other places in considering the sacred and profane in memory construction.
While Relaunching Titanic focuses on the conflicted history of Belfast and the Titanic, it will have lessons for planners and scholars of city branding, tourism, and urban re-imaging.
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William J. V. Neill is Emeritus Professor of Spatial Planning, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Aberdeen, UK.
Michael Murray is Reader at the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning, Queen’s University Belfast, UK.
Berna Grist is Senior Lecturer in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland.
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