Sign up to our newsletter

Find about what we're up to with regular updates
sign up now!

Awards Community Public realm

Place Shapers wins National Planning Award


We are delighted to announce that the Place Shapers project in Blanchardstown won the Participatory Planning Award at the National Planning Awards 2013-2014.

The Place Shapers project is an innovative urban design project commissioned by the Irish Architecture Foundation and Fingal County Council Arts Office. The aim of the project was to enable young people to critically appraise the architecture and design of their local area and to communicate their discoveries to their community and to those responsible for its design.

Place Shapers won the Participatory Planning Award “because of its real innovation in extending the reach and impact of planning outwards to younger people”.

Architects Robert Bourke and Kate Dowling worked with young people from Luttrellstown Community College in Blanchardstown over a five month period, holding workshops in which students investigated their neighbourhood and identified ways to improve it.

The Place Shapers team’s imaginative design addressed the issue of urban permeability, presenting a creative response to the many boundaries which restrict movement around their local area.

The judging panel also recognised “the innovative use of contemporary information technologies including a project blog, and audio visual systems which revealed that permeability, or the lack of it in new housing areas, was an important planning issue for younger people in the area.”

Through this project the young participants gained a deeper understanding of their built environment and presented their ideas at formal council meetings.After gaining the support of local government officials, county councillors and residents, the team built their design and held a public event to present their ideas to the community.

The process captured the attention of residents groups, local politicians and Fingal County Council who now wish to look at permanent solutions to address the issue of permeability.

The Irish Planning Institute Award was presented by Minister of State for the NewEra Project Fergus O’Dowd TD at Dublin Castle on February 21st.

The Place Shapers Skerries project involved TY students from Skerries Community College working with architects Maria Tarsouli and Myrto Dowling, focussing on new ways to enliven the coastal path.

Watch the Place Shapers film on IAF TV
Filmmaker Peter Kelly documented the process over several months and you can see the 25min film on IAF TV.

The Place Shapers project is a joint initiative of the Irish Architecture Foundation and Fingal County Council Arts Office, made possible with the support of the Arts Council and the Government Policy on Architecture Implementation programme 2009 -2015.

See the Place Shapers blog for more information.