Webinar to envision a new future for Ireland’s bog communities

Beauty, inclusiveness and sustainability are the main themes of a new European Commission festival hosting a discussion on the future of Ireland’s peatland communities organized by the Irish Architecture Foundation and taking place this Friday June 10.

The discussion links to the Irish Architecture Foundation Workers’ Villages climate action project, which works with Midlands communities living with the impact of Ireland’s transition from industrial peat harvesting, including in Cloontuskert , Co Roscommon, Lanesborough, Co Longford and Kilcormac, Co Offali. Workers’ Villages is a creative community-led project, supported by Creative Ireland’s Creative Climate Action Fund, which raises awareness of climate change and empowers citizens to effect meaningful behavior change.

The panel discussion ‘Communities in Transition: Reimagining Place, Communities and Climate Action’ will include members of peatland communities in Ireland. They will share their journey of transition away from industrial peat harvesting, their concerns about protecting built architecture and industrial heritage around its legacy, and their aspirations for the future.

They will be joined by members of the Zollverein Foundation, which operates a former coal mine and coking plant in Essen, Germany, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001 and the biggest tourist attraction in the Ruhr area, attracting 1.5 million visitors a year. They will highlight how they transformed the site into a cultural destination that offers museums, concerts and events, while retaining the original industrial architecture.

Commenting on the event, Nathalie Weadick, Director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, said: “As a partner organization of the New European Bauhaus, the Irish Architecture Foundation is delighted to host this online panel at the Innovative Festival of New European Bauhaus. The festival is about exploring bold and imaginative projects that put sustainability, culture, heritage and aesthetics at the heart, as a way to reimagine a new future for Europe.

“Our panel provides a space to consider how Irish peatland communities in transition, including those we are working with on the Workers’ Villages project, can benefit and even thrive. By living with and in the built architecture of this important phase of Ireland’s industrial heritage, the bog communities have become stewards of its heritage and care about how it is protected. We want to make sure their voices are heard.

“We are delighted to welcome the Zollverein Foundation into the discussion and look forward to learning from their experience in transforming a major industrial complex into ‘the world’s finest coal mine’ which is now a World Heritage Site. and a major tourist attraction.”

“Communities in Transition – Reimagining Place, Communities and Climate Action” is the Irish Architecture Foundation’s first Reimagine session of 2022. The online event will be moderated by Hans Zomer, CEO of the environmental organization Global Action Plan, partner of the Reimagine program. . The event is part of the program of the first European New Bauhaus Hybrid Festival, an initiative of the European Commission.

The webinar takes place on Friday June 10, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is free, with pre-registration essential at https://reimagineplace.ie/news/communities-in-transition.

Reimagine is funded by the Arts Council, the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Reimagine was made possible with seed funding from Creative Ireland’s National Creativity Fund.

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