04 Dec 2021

'Talk of the Town' series to explore the future of Kilkenny's town centres

The public talks will also look at the deterioration of the City's traditional shopfronts

A public talk on the future of town centres with a particular emphasis on Kilkenny, will take place on Tuesday, May 29 at 7.30pm in the Pembroke Hotel.

'Talk of the Town' is the first in a series of occasional talks being organized by Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan and the first event will explore the potential in Kilkenny's built heritage as an economic driver for urban regeneration.

Cllr Noonan said: "We intend to look at the good the bad and the ugly when it comes to how our town (city) has evolved and developed in recent decades.

"We have had a lot of discourse about the deterioration of our traditional shopfronts, the loss of craft sign-writing and vernacular architecture, let alone reckless interventions into the old town such as KCAS and the impacts these have on one of Ireland's most important heritage towns.

"I am delighted that we have Hollie Kearns, formerly of the Irish Walled Towns Network and now with Butler Gallery, as our guest speaker on the night.

"Hollie brings with her, many years of experience in collaborative planning and the arts around themes of making and re-imagining spaces."

Cllr Noonan said that the evening was the first in a series of talks that will use people as experts, to take on board views and thoughts and to feed them by way of a submission into the next City development plan.

"Ultimately this is a forum to collaboratively explore how we can collectively enhance what we have, to conserve and re-imagine a future for our urban centres.

"We want people and families to want to come back to live in our town centre, we want vibrant shops and social spaces, we want to remove cars and dangerous HGV's from our town centres, where parents feel confident in sending their children out to walk or cycle to school.

"This can only be achieved through a radical rethink of our town centres. We need future proofed, resilient, climate friendly cities and old towns such as Kilkenny can be an exemplar for other Irish towns.

"The event is free, open to all who have an interest in the future of our historic town centre. We are looking forward to some interesting conversations on our town, how we use it and developing a shared vision for the future of these important social spaces," he added. 

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