Hometown Architect calls on communities and local architects in Dublin to reanimate town centres

by Alison O'Hanlon
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Hometown Architect

As communities around Ireland face challenges like vacancy, dereliction, traffic management, and depopulation, the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) is calling for local architects and community stakeholders to propose collaborative projects to regenerate their town or village centre, including in Dublin.

The project proposals are being called for under a new round of the Hometown Architect initiative that has opened for applications. Hometown Architect is a key initiative of the IAF’s Re-imagine placemaking programme.

This is the second round of Hometown Architect, whose focus is supporting small and medium towns outside of major urban centres, including in Dublin. Three projects out of the total number submitted from across Ireland will be selected for development funding of €10,000 each plus mentoring and practical support from the IAF’s experienced placemaking team. 

Project proposals for Hometown Architect 2024 must be made jointly by community stakeholders in Dublin and an architect with a local connection to Dublin.

Hometown Architect
Hometown Architect invites communities and local architects in Dublin to reanimate town centres

Proposals should focus on issues of particular concern, opportunities or innovations for town centre regeneration in line with the Government of Ireland’s Town Centre First Policy. This policy aims to make town centres across Ireland viable, vibrant and attractive locations for people to live, work and visit, including in Dublin.  

Submissions will be assessed by a panel of experts, including the IAF team, Town Centre First Policy specialists and independent experts.

Announcing the opening of the second round of Hometown Architect, director of the Irish Architecture Foundation, Emmett Scanlon, said “As an organisation with a national focus and remit, Hometown Architect is a key initiative in the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine placemaking strand of work.

I am very pleased that we can launch a new call for a second round of proposals. The IAF is committed to supporting and enabling communities and architects to use their local knowledge, experience and ambition to transform their towns into sustainable places to live while fostering and protecting civic pride.

Also commenting, Minister Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Rural and Community Development, said “My Department of Rural and Community Development shares responsibility for the national Town Centre First Policy. A key aim of this policy is to enable local communities and local businesses to be key drivers of development as well as central to the reimagining and planning of their towns for the future.

“Projects like these set the scene for others attempting similar focus on vacancy and dereliction in our rural towns and bringing new life and focus back to our town centres, empowering people to affect change at a local level. 

The three successful projects will be announced in February 2024. 

Two online information sessions about the Hometown Architect initiative for interested communities will take place from 1.00-2.00pm on Tuesday, 21st November and from 12.00pm-1.00pm on Wednesday, 13th December.

To register, visit the Reimaginewebsite at www.ReimaginePlace.ie/open-call.

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