Clonakilty, West Cork, Ireland was delighted to be named Best Town in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards Ceremony.
The award is one of five given out annually by The Academy of Urbanism, to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. The market town of Clonakilty has won this year’s Great Town Award. The quality of the design and maintenance of the public realm in Clonakilty is exemplary; particularly the main street with its bespoke paving features and street seating, and also the reclaim and redesign of Emmet Square, which has been done to a very high standard. The town was also credited for its volunteered and sponsored Clonbike scheme and its town architect in the community model.
'The quality of the town centre and the town’s location close to the sea and beautiful beaches make it an attractive place to visit'
The assessment team of the Great Town Award noted “The quality of the town centre and the town’s location close to the sea and beautiful beaches make it an attractive place to live, do business and visit. Clonakilty is a good example of those three elements coming together in a sustainable way that celebrates local distinctiveness, tradition, entrepreneurialism and a strong sense of local pride.”
'Particularly welcoming and embracing new ideas and concept wholeheartedly'
The assessors also credited the town for being particularly welcoming and embracing new ideas and concept wholeheartedly.
Steven Bee, chair of the Academy said “Clonakilty has a distinctive physical character derived from its setting and its Georgian and Victorian heritage. This was disturbed by traffic management in the mid-twentieth century, but is now being recovered, with significant social and economic benefits. The role of the Town Architect and Town Mayor in encouraging participation in the planning, and implementation of improvements have been key. Refreshed open spaces and improved links have restored the town’s character and pride, and stimulated tourism”.
For more information, interviews with winning entrants and awards ceremony photographs, call Stephen Gallagher on 07840 436 844. For more information about The Academy of Urbanism, visit: www.academyofurbanism.org.uk.