Galway City Council has submitted a bid to the EU Urban Innovation Fund for a pilot project to help identify how a collaborative approach with a range of stakeholders and the wider community can make Galway’s medieval city centre a better place for living, learning, working and relaxing.
Galway City Council has partnered in a consortium with the Atlantic Technological University, Galway Chamber of Commerce, Galway Culture Company, Northern & Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) and University of Galway to make this bid.
“Urban regeneration is complex but it is key to the sustainable development of Galway city,” says Dave Hickey, a former president of Galway Chamber, who chairs the team which put together the bid.
“A cornerstone of this project and the funding behind it will be ‘place-based participation’ – that is the involvement of the community throughout any urban redevelopment process. If the community is not engaged and interacting with a project, it will not achieve its goals.”
The EU recognises the need for cities of all sizes to develop new ways to renew their urban areas; to increase the amount of people living and working in our cities, reducing urban sprawl. Re-purposing existing buildings and re-imagining existing under-utilised spaces can help address the significant vacancy issues in Galway.
At its heart is the New European Bauhaus (NEB) – a creative and interdisciplinary initiative that connects the European Green Deal to our living spaces and experiences with an over-arching goal of making Europe climate-neutral by 2050.
“Unlocking the potential of our urban centres is key to sustainable development of our cities”, says CEO of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath.
“Each of the partners brings different capabilities to the consortium which gives us a better chance of success in securing EU funding, in a highly competitive process. Partnering with the NWRA gives us insights and access we’ve not had before, while Galway Culture Company’s participation places culture and creativity at the heart of what we do. The universities have long experience of applying for EU funding and a breadth of expertise envied by many.”
This is the first time such a wide-ranging partnership has come together to bid for EU funding aimed specifically at sustainable urban development in Galway.
A joint statement from Atlantic Technological University and University of Galway says: “Both universities are delighted to be partners in this initiative as we have a wide range of complementary skills across our campuses, from University of Galway’s Urban Lab being set up at Nuns’ Island to the Environmental Science & Archaeology department at Atlantic Technological University, Sligo and much more.”