The Abbey Quarter Riverside Garden and Skatepark in Kilkenny has been named the overall winner of the 2021 ULI Excellence in Placemaking Awards, receiving €5,000 for future improvements.
The awards were established several years ago to recognize organizations and communities across Ireland that make genuine efforts to improve their local communities by initiating placemaking projects that add to the public realm and make these places better places to ‘live, work, and play.’
The Abbey Quarter Riverside Garden and Skatepark Best Public/Private Sector Project won Best Public/Private Sector Project in Leinster and went on to win the overall top award.
The competition shortlists the best examples of Placemaking throughout Ireland and received a large number of entries. Judges, which included esteemed planners, architects and academics and the internationally renowned architect, urban designer and planner Daniel Ringelstein, all commented on the variety and calibre of entries received and the extent to which the importance of Placemaking is now gaining momentum in the Irish market. They mentioned in particular the many Covid-inspired projects which entered this year.
According to Kevin Nowlan, Chairman of ULI Ireland:
“These awards tie in with some of the key objectives of the Urban Land Institute in terms of identifying, showcasing and celebrating good design and placemaking in urban landscapes. The projects that have particularly appealed to the judges are those that promote health and wellbeing, offering ‘connectivity, permeability and accessibility’ for all whilst also promoting the best in architecture and design. The projects that particularly resonated with the judging panel are both architecturally beautiful and strong on design. We were particularly impressed by the calibre of Covid-inspired projects entered into this year’s competition considering how important placemaking has been over the last 18-month period”.
Myles Clarke, Managing Director of property consultants CBRE Ireland, who sponsor the competition, added:
“It is so important for the future of our built environment that we understand and champion great placemaking and sustainability efforts. I am delighted that CBRE are once again working with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) to formally recognise and reward those in the public and private sector who are building communities & creating amazing places and I look forward to ongoing collaboration with ULI on this project into the future as placemaking and ESG becomes even more important”.