Seminar outlines how Sligo can be more ‘playful’

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Participating towns in URBACT’s Playful Towns National Transfer Practice Initiative descended on Sligo town centre today to show invitees from all over the country how they can put the ‘play’ into ‘place-making’ and animate Ireland’s towns. The event will comprise three key-note speakers who are at the cutting edge of place-making in their cities – Helsinki, Copenhagen and Cork. A fun filled afternoon on the streets of Sligo demonstrating ideas for bringing play onto the streets will follow.

ichael Clarke, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council: “I am delighted that Sligo has been chosen as the location for this positive and interesting seminar on how to make our towns more playful. Locally and nationally, we are on a journey to rejuvenate our town centres, and I look forward to welcoming participants from all over the country on behalf of Sligo County Council to explore how play can be used to increase vibrancy within and

engagement with our towns and communities’.

Urban regeneration, placemaking, dereliction, vacancy – these are all buzz words of recent times. We are witnessing the greatest injection of public funds into our towns that the state has ever seen via the Urban Regeneration and Rural Regeneration Development Funds. The new Town Centre First policy places towns at the heart of decision making and amendments to the Planning Act have introduced measures to tackle dereliction and vacancy in town centres. The ultimate goal of all these initiatives, funds and policies is to create town centres that function as viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, while also functioning as the service, social, cultural and recreational hub for the local community. There is no one solution. But small actions are achievable, with high impact and at little expense. Using play and playfulness to animate our towns serves to engage communities and encourage a sense of ownership over public spaces.

Today, the 5 participating towns in the Playful Paradigm initiative will show case what they have achieved over the last year and will demonstrate how any town can do the same to animate their towns. The event will be based in the Council Chamber, City Hall.

Dorothy Clarke, Director of Services, Sligo County Council, said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming participants from all over the country to learn about incorporating PLAY in to the day to day activities of a local authority as well as the benefits of being involved in an URBACT

program. Sligo County Council’s program of events this year was enriched

by its involvement with this URBACT initiative with a series of very

successful’ play-streets’ We hope to expand this program of events in

2023.”

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