By Ailiadh Walsh
University of Galway and Atlantic Technological University (Galway) joined the Mayor of Galway and the Galway Chamber on 24 October to launch and sign the Greater Galway Charter – a manifesto for long-term strategic thinking and planning for the region.
The Greater Galway Charter has two primary goals:
The first goal is an outline of the principles that will enable Galway to develop into a sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and proud city over the next 50 years.
The second goal is a manifesto for all cities looking to put vision-driven place-making at the centre of their long-term strategic thinking and planning.
The Greater Galway Charter is designed to be a living, working document that encourages cross-community discussions about the kind of city and places that the signatories envision for Galway by 2070, as well as the steps that may be taken to deliver this.
Mayor of the City of Galway, Councillor Eddie Hoare said: “The signing of the Galway Charter represents an enormous opportunity for discussion and real public engagement on the challenges and the unique opportunity which we face into here in the city of Galway.”
Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said: “When I was growing up, as Gaeilge we called Gaillimh ‘an baile mór’. Galway is a city now. This Charter sets out a core philosophy and future vision to guide Galway’s future growth, for discussion and debate, and will provide a rallying point for ‘Sustainable Urbanism’ around which our city can coalesce. I am very proud to have been involved, together with others, in this draft of the future, for the future.”
Dr Orla Flynn spoke of the aim of Atlantic Technological University to harness collective strengths, particularly in architecture and the sustainable built environment, adding: “The Greater Galway Charter signals a new way forward for Galway City and I look forward to the ATU community making a strong contribution.”
Dermot Nolan spoke of the long-term commitment of the Chamber to a vision of the city, saying: “Believe me when I say that Galway Chamber, representing the business community will not be found wanting in terms of how we can continue to support and drive the ambitions set out in this Charter for the future.”
The Greater Galway Forum oversaw the development and finalisation of the document. The various themes of the Charter were developed via a series of open workshops and debates facilitated by the Academy of Urbanism and the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland.
It is intended to encourage extensive, cross-community discussions on the kind of city Galwegians wish to see develop for themselves, their offspring, and their great-grandchildren.