Kevin Loftus shared through our website the example of Ballina, a town of 10,000 people on the west coast of Ireland. An urban focal point in a largely rural area, the town has seen a decline in industry over the last decades and suffers from some of the highest unemployment in the country.
Despite this, Ballina has a great community spirit, vibrant culture & a desire to improve its situation.
In early 2020, inspired by a grassroots effort in cleaning, greening & reviving Ballina, the idea for the town to become Ireland’s Greenest town was formed. This ambition responds to the urgency of climate change & recognition of the enormous social, economic & environmental opportunities that come with going green.
The initiative brings all stakeholders together on this journey to empower the community to take action on an individual level while defining town-wide strategies & projects to achieve their goals. Ballina understands that the future is green & will lead the way by building an inclusive, sustainable, carbon-free future.
In July 2020, Ballina Municipal district voted to adopt the target of becoming Ireland’s Greenest Town by 2025. Community groups, individuals & local businesses have received the initiative enthusiastically.
The vision for Ballina:
- people are prioritised
- household energy consumers become energy producers
- nature blends with the town & thrives
- you are never more than 10' by bike from where you want to be
- food is grown and produced locally & sustainably
The importance of broad collaboration & a combined top-down and bottom-up approach is central to this vision.
Schools, resident associations, local businesses & sports clubs are busy bringing forward initiatives that drive the overall ambition & inspire new action. The local chamber of commerce is bringing forth actions to transition the town towards a circular economy. Residents are signing up to the green town charter to commit to change on a household level. The local authorities are developing new energy, biodiversity & mobility plans to support the overall vision.
? © Ireland’s Greenest town initiative
- 29 Maj 2021