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New European Bauhaus
News article29 May 20211 min read

A community-driven prototype for the green transition

We are interested in making the places where we live and our experiences more beautiful and sustainable, together.


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


Publication date
29 May 2021