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Galway public realm strategy initiative

Words: Roger Milne
Galway City / iStock-685883670

Galway City Council has confirmed to The Planner that it wishes to appoint an urban planning or urban design/architecture-led multidisciplinary team to prepare a public realm strategy.

This initiative “will be required to be specific to Galway City, user-friendly and highly visual”.

“The aim of the strategy is to guide the enhancement, management, use and development of the public domain in collaboration with all stakeholders,” explained the council.

The Galway City Development Plan 2017-2023 commits the council to prepare such a strategy.

The council has made it clear that future development and placemaking policy priorities for Galway City include public realm and urban amenity projects.

The blueprint will support the implementation of national policy and identify opportunities within the public realm for projects, which will attract funding from the National Development Plan 2018-2027 and other possible funding opportunities. The strategy will also complement measures in the Galway Transport Strategy 2016-2035.

According to an article in The Irish Times, council chief executive Brendan McGrath has suggested that the strategy should cover “an area extending from Eyre Square in the centre and west by the Claddagh and to Salthill. It would embrace the ‘cultural quarter’ defined by the Galway City Museum and the Pálás arthouse cinema, recently completed and opened”.

The ambition was to match it to city transportation needs, with a “shared space” between pedestrians and public transport on Eglinton Street.

McGrath has acknowledged that the strategy would be influenced by key decisions on Galway port development and the proposed “bypass”, a controversial road plan to alleviate traffic that cuts close to the city and involves a new bridge over the river Corrib.

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