The Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) held its URBACT Info Day at the Custom House last Thursday, the 25th of January. The event was well attended with local authority staff from throughout Ireland joining us on the day.
The day begun with some networking over tea and coffee during registration, before hearing from Ireland’s Contact Point Karl Murphy about what the day had in store. Bernie Roe, Assistant Director for EU, and Corporate Affairs at the EMRA spoke about the EMRA’s functions with a focus on why the URBACT and European Urban Initiative (EUI) Contact Point roles were of importance to the work of the Assembly, including allowing us to work across our 31 local authorities and helping in the delivery of the regions’ spatial and economic strategies.
Pauline Riordan, Planning Adviser (DHLGH), spoke about the national planning context, implementation, and other funding opportunities. This led nicely into presentations from both Karl and Naïma Jomni (URBACT Secretariat) about URBACT’s impact in Ireland and the details of the recently opened call for Innovation Transfer Networks. It remains open until March 20th at 2pm! The audience later enjoyed hearing URBACT testimonials from Aoife Sheridan, Senior Executive Officer at Fingal County Council and Lorraine O’ Connor, Town Regeneration Officer at Longford County Council. Aoife and Lorraine have vast experience in URBACT projects. Currently, Aoife is Lead Partner on the EcoCore network and Lorraine is a project partner on the U.R. Impact network.
Aoife and Lorraine spoke openly about the positive impact URBACT has had on them, their staff, and the work of their local authority. Both encouraged those in the audience thinking about being part of URBACT to get involved! You can read more about the themes of the current call here.
Later following a networking lunch, an expert panel of Aoife, Lorraine, Pauline, and Naïma was formed, and using the interactive tool Mentimeter, Karl moderated a session including a series of reflections and questions being put to the panel for their responses. This session generated great interest and the panel comprehensively addressed the questions submitted by the audience.
Before the Info Day concluded, Karl Murphy presented the EUI programme offering. EMRA was appointed as Contact Point for the Programme late last year and both URBACT and the EUI jointly offers a menu of options for all our local authorities throughout Ireland to help foster sustainable urban development.
You can reach out anytime to Karl Murphy, EMRA at email@example.com to chat further about either of the programmes.