IT was celebrations all round again for Clonakilty when it won ‘Best Place of the Year 2017’ at the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland (RIAI) awards held in the Mansion House in Dublin last weekend.
This award marks the second phase of Cork County Council’s Clonakilty 400 Urban Design Master Plan where safety, inclusive design and place-making were crucial principles to further establish the pedestrian priority over the motor car, already applied to Astna and Emmet Squares. Phase one of the Masterplan saw Clonakilty win the RIAI Public Choice Award in 2014. Deputising for the County Mayor, Clonakilty native Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan spoke of the success at this people-centred approach.
‘This award is the icing on the cake for what has been an award winning year for Clonakilty,’ he said. ‘Following on from our success at the ‘Great Town’ award in London last November, this award is further recognition for our incredible new streetscape. Clonakilty’s popularity as a tourism destination is growing quickly and we are seeing tourism figures grow year after year,’ he added.
‘Clonakilty is now a far more pedestrian-friendly town. It is a town for people. Much of this can be attributed to the fantastic work of Cork County Council’s architects department which has created spaces that the community use for events and gatherings, as was seen at the hugely successful Clonakilty Street Carnival last weekend.’
He said the now-completed Clonakilty Masterplan project has resulted in an increase in footfall and economic development of the town.