In the late 1800s there was a strong movement towards creating green spaces, particularly for the urban, working classes.
At this time, diseases, such as tuberculosis, were rife in cities and it was believed that sun and fresh air were the cure. The development of Bellevue— from a tram stop to a viewing platform to a zoo, pleasure gardens and the Floral Hall—is a great example of this. As part of this development, pathways were made, leading right up to McArt’s Fort on Cave Hill. This movement also lead to the creation of public areas, such as Ligoniel Park, Falls Park, Woodvale Park and the expansion of Cave Hill Country Park.
As Belfast rapidly developed to the west and north, the issue of how to provide green space and healthy recreation for citizens was seen as important and even today this continues to be a key motive for how the Belfast Hills will be developed sustainably.