A Vision for Ireland's Greenest Town

LocationBallina, Co. Mayo, Ireland
StatusConcept Design

A blueprint to the Green Transition in Irish towns

Ballina - Ireland's Greenest Town is an initiative to make Ballina Ireland’s greenest town.  It brings together families, business, community groups and the Local Authority in Ballina and North Mayo to work together on ambitious, transformative projects to bring about a brighter, more sustainable future. Built around action in five key pillars (People, Nature, Energy, Economy and Mobility), it sets out to develop best practice solutions for Irish towns that can be tested in Ballina and rolled out nationally.

The vision identity

A total approch

The vision is built around action in five key pillars People, Nature, Energy, Economy and Mobility, each with a high-level goal and strategies and actions defined to achieve them. This approach allows for broad stakeholder engagement and facilities a holistic Green Transition that avoids siloes thinking.

Five key themes

Visions of the future

Understanding that change on the scale of a town is incremental, the vision sets out to show how initial steps towards a sustainable future can be precipitate others, creating a positive momentum to reduces resistance to change and allows community ownership of that change.

A town centre to work, live, play, shop

Reimagining the town centre, not just as a space for shopping but as a rich mix of activity where the pedestrian is prioritised will encourage more sustainable forms of land-use and living patterns.

A network of safe, accessible lanes

To encourage more active travel and open up the potential of the towns back-land areas, upgrading the lane network is proposed. This will increase pedestrian permeability in the town and open up creative opportunities for these often forgotten spaces.

Activating the waterfront

The River Moy is Ballina's best asset but currently the town turns it's back on it. By activating the waterfront, we make the town a more attractive place for locals and visitors alike.

Greenways along the waterways

To connect from the centre to the periphery with active travel infrastructure, walking and cycle greenways are proposed along the River Moy. Combined with an approach to maintain and extend the native flora and fauna along the banks, this can benefit both people and nature.

Combining a green park

Three public green spaces converge at the confluence of the river Moy and Brusna. With the development of a dedicated walking and cycle network, the potential to connect these green spaces emerges. A new loop bridge would tie the spaces together to create a large urban park of sports and recreation facilities that service and connect the whole town.

An energy-positive community

An energy-positive community is a sustainable one that generates more energy than it consumes over a given period. Also known as “net-positive energy communities” or “zero-energy communities,” they are designed to minimize energy consumption through energy-efficient building design, use reduction measures, and the use of renewable energy sources. The vision sets out how this act the achieved in Ballina through the use of a smart energy network.

Steps to an energy positive community

Measures like large-scale retrofitting of building sock and infrastructure and the shift towards more sustainable forms of transport can reduce the amount, cost, and emission from energy use by around a third. This leaves the remaining energy demand to be met by the production and use of green electricity making everything electric.

Mixed energy production

Combining sources of renewable energy that can be produced locally through a smart energy network could match and surpass the town demands once reduction measures have been put in place. Connected to the grid, excess and shortfalls can to balanced and ensure energy security.


Vision Development
  • Kevin Loftus