01 Oct 2022

OPINION: Come on out and engage with Limerick city's future

Nigel Dugdale's City View

OPINION: Come on out and engage with Limerick city's future

The future of Georgian Limerick will be one of the themes explored in the City Engage series

NEXT week will provide a superb opportunity for the people of Limerick to engage in a series of events that are focused on how we as a community would like to see our city develop into the future.

‘City Engage Limerick’ is a series of community engagement events aimed at gathering public opinion about the future the city.

The events will provide a platform for Limerick people to share their views on the future direction of the city.

The key themes will look at how can we best take advantage of Limerick’s medieval heritage. What about Georgian Limerick? How can the city best connect to its greatest asset, the River Shannon?

Limerick City and County Council in conjunction with SAUL, School of Architecture University of Limerick will be posing these questions through a new consultation process to collect people’s thoughts, hopes and opinions about living in Limerick.

Living Limerick is about developing a vision for living in the historic core of Limerick City. Through the process we will explore ways to make the city more liveable in the design of new public realm projects and initiatives.

It will support volunteer groups to assist in transforming Limerick’s streets, parks and riverfront into more engaged public spaces. Through the Living Limerick process we will gather and share the hopes for Limericks historic city centre.

By coordinating, analysing and representing the views of these communities the aim is to develop an inclusive vision for the city.

As part of this, a series of events will take place throughout the year under the banner ‘City Engage Limerick’.

The first week builds on the ongoing council supported-research on the city carried out by SAUL and includes community learning events curated and moderated by Professor Merritt Bucholz, head of SAUL and a Street Design Workshop co-ordinating by Rosie Webb, senior architect with Limerick City and County Council. This series is the first of its type to be undertaken in Ireland.

Ms Webb is leading the project and said: “City Engage Limerick is all about getting the views of the people and groups who call Limerick home. How can we make the city centre a more attractive place for people to live? How can we best use the River Shannon?

"These will be some of the topics that will be discussed as part of this process. It’s all about getting people and groups involved in the plans for Living Limerick,” she adds.

“We hope that the range of events being held will allow people to choose a time that suits them to engage with Limerick City and County Council and to give their views about Limerick City. This first City Engage Limerick week of events will be the first of many throughout the year focusing on different themes, such as the riverbank, Georgian Limerick and the medieval quarter and how best these places can be improved.”

Prof Bucholz said: “We want to help Limerick build an accessible vision of a great city. Using physical models and prototypes we will help people understand how they can help build a city they want in a way they understand. These events aim to provide an open door to the design of the city and a really new way to get great ideas for its future from the people who know it best!”

The first City Engage Limerick week begins on Tuesday February 28.

All events are free and open to the public.

The first session will be entitled ‘Listen and Learn’ and will focus on three community learning lectures including presentations by Garry Miley from Waterford Institute of Technology who will discuss the origin and future of the grid.

Irenee Scalbert from SAUL in Limerick will discuss ‘Limerick- the Uninterrupted Monument’ and Mark Brearly will focus on industry in the city.

Wednesday, March 1, will feature a series of street design workshops held at FAB Lab on Patrick Street and will include presentations by Tom Grey from Trinity Haus and Giulia Vallone from Cork City Council as well a ‘Pecha Cucha’ evening where short presentation by citizens will focus on our aspirations for O’Connell St.

Thursday, March 2, will feature talks by Peter Carroll from A2 Architects, Elizabeth Hatz from KTH in Stockholm and Ger Carty from Grafton Architects – all of these talks will be held at Limerick Chamber on O’Connell St.

Finally Friday, March 3, will see an open critique of our community street ideas. This event will be held at Narrative 4 on O’Connell St at 5pm.

The City Engage events will present the people of Limerick a great opportunity to commence an engagement process to guide the future direction of city’s urban design. I would encourage you all to play your part.

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