• 15 Jun 2020

Sustainability, climate action and connectivity to the fore in proposed RIAI Design Review for new Galway City neighbourhood

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16 June 2020: The future development of a key site in Galway City for housing with some commercial use, is being put to public consultation to gather feedback and ideas from the local community. The 8.63 hectares (21 acres) of land at Sandy Road will involve the creation of a new neighbourhood and will be the largest single urban regeneration project to take place in the city.

The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) was commissioned by the Land Development Agency (LDA), in partnership with the Galway City Council (GCC), to undertake a Design Review for the Sandy Road site and to provide architectural proposals that could inform, guide and shape local and regional planning policy going forward. 

The objective of the Design Review process is the revitalisation of the brownfield site, delivering affordable homes and creating a sustainable urban neighbourhood. Central to the regeneration of the land is establishing an attractive living space for the future including vibrant, pedestrian friendly streets and developing new cycle routes to Galway city and other major employment locations. 

The Design Review was undertaken by five RIAI Registered Architects, who each put forward different proposals and visions that show a range of possible ideas for the site. All of the submissions involve the creation of a new urban quarter with high quality housing alongside workspace and commercial hubs. The RIAI’s Report can be viewed hereThe deadline for public feedback is 31 July 2020, by email to galway.sandyroad@lda.ie.









Image Caption: Proposal by Jonny McKenna - New Square

Commenting on the process Kathryn Meghan, CEO of the RIAI, said: “Our purpose at the RIAI is to drive excellence in the built environment. The proposals submitted as part of this Design Review showcase just that. The Design Review process works by involving architects at the earliest stage of a project to provide their expertise to create visions and achieve the best for a site’s potential. The five innovative and exciting recommendations each have the potential to revitalise the Sandy Road site and deliver a new sustainable neighbourhood for Galway city. The analysis of the issues and concepts put forward by the architects will be of great benefit in informing future stages of the project and we look forward to the next stage of the process.”











Image Caption: Proposal by Dr. Alice Casey MRIAI 

John Coleman, CEO of LDA  said: “This project has the potential to truly transform Galway city and encourage integrated brownfield regeneration to support the growth of the city. We have been very impressed by the quality and standard of each of the proposals. It is very encouraging to see how closely the common themes that have emerged across all proposals align with our objectives at the LDA, namely, compact growthggrowth, sustainability; high quality living and open spaces and the rebalancing of the movement and transport hierarchy in favour of walking, cycling and public transport. We would like to extend our thanks to the RIAI, GCC and all the stakeholders involved in this Design Review process  and look forward to the next stage in the development of this project.” 








Image Caption: Proposal by Valerie Mulvin FRIAI

Chief Executive of Galway City Council, Brendan McGrath commented: “This is a very important and exciting time for Galway. Over the past 35 years the city has expanded significantly, making Sandy Road now a central location. If done well, this regeneration project will afford Galway the opportunity to plan and develop major infrastructure which will benefit the city for generations to come. We thank the RIAI and the LDA for the collaboration and commitment to this process.











Image Caption: Proposal by Paul Mannion FRIAI







Image Caption: Proposal by Michael Pike MRIAI

The draft Design Review Report and an accompanying short film are available from this link and on galwaycity.ie, lda.ie. Following feedback, a final Design Review Report will be issued by the RIAI.

The deadline for public feedback is 31 July 2020  by email to galway.sandyroad@lda.ie.