New project aims to revitalise rural towns and villages

By Steven Fox

A project looking to connect to strategic initiatives to reinvigorate rural towns and villages has been announced at the University of Galway.

TREBUChEt (Town Revitalisation through the Integration of Vacant Buildings into the Circular Economy) is being led by the Irish Centre for High-End Computing at the University of Galway, in partnership with University College Dublin and the Heritage Council.

Project lead Dr Liam Heaphy says the project hopes to “extend the discussion on end-of-life and upcycling to consider the wholesale reuse of existing buildings, relevant for Ireland with its particularly high rate of vacancy and dereliction in urban centres of all scales.”

“In doing so, we can better support broader objectives of carbon reduction, urban revitalisation, and safeguard Ireland’s built environment heritage for future generations” says Heaphy.

The project is part of a group of projects endeavouring to address climate change and other emerging, complex environmental problems at University of Galway, that have received over €2.3 million in grants.

Other projects include the development of nitrous oxide emission verification systems, assessment of the implications of radon in deep-retrofitted dwellings, and improving the understanding of ozone levels in Ireland.

University of Galway were the most successful institution in the call for projects.

Professor Jim Livesey, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at the university, said that “the investment by the EPA is a testament to the success of research across higher education in Ireland.”

He says that the focus of this funding on environmental research “further demonstrates the drive among our researchers to collaborate for the public good and the ambition to respond to the challenges facing humanity and society, now and in the years ahead.”

The EPA Research Programme is an initiative by the Government of Ireland, funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate, and Communications.

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