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Reimagining the Irish City and Town

This two-day event aims to focus attention on the radical reform of our current planning, design and delivery systems urgently required to enable Irish Cities and Towns to survive and prosper in the coming decades.

The event will review the Urban Design principles articulated in the Freiburg Charter and to consider how they can be updated for application in an Irish context, in Galway, using the Irish Cities Galway 2070 Plan, prepared by the Irish Cities Group as a reference for the context of the review.

Recognised as one of Europe’s greenest cities, Freiburg has an important story to tell about regeneration and challenging convention with creative initiatives in neighbourhood and housing, planning, transport and energy whilst maintaining its trajectory to become an extremely liveable city which effectively combines modernity with tradition. Awarded the title European City of the Year 2010 by the Academy of Urbanism, Freiburg celebrated the recognition by hosting a study tour for Academicians, culminating in the production of a Charter which advocated best practice in sustainable urbanism. The Charter comprised twelve high-level principles, distilled from experience, for reflection and adaptation to suit different geographical circumstances and local administrative structures.

The Academy championed the Charter as a catalyst for progressive dialogue and in the twelve years since its inception it has helped to raise aspirations and improve practice among our growing network of cities, towns and people. In August 2022, as the enduring impacts of Covid on work and commuting patterns crystallise and as the challenge of climate change moves from esoteric theory to hard edged existential threat in a context exacerbated by an energy crisis which threatens global stability, the moment seems opportune to contemplate a New Charter for a New Challenge.

Galway is a city which is looking to remodel itself for the emerging new age and is starting on the long-term conversations required to facilitate a significant transformation using work carried out by the Irish Cities group as jumping off point.

Full programme at

This is a joint event between the AoU and RIAI in partnership with Galway City Council

Admission is between 125 – 225 euros.

Location: Saint Nicholas’ Collegiate Church Lombard Street H91 PY20 Galway Ireland

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