Uimhir Thagarta Uathúil: 
Liz Nolan

8 Urban and Architectural Design

To whom it concerns, re:

'How can we make our urban areas more attractive areas to live in ?'

Devise a Streetscape policy or guidelines for implementation. Incentivise compliance to ensure the 'Kilkenny Medieval brand' is not undermined by generic brand names, shoddy shopfronts and flourescent lighting. Introduce a distinct 'weighting criteria' model to better support enterprises that reflect local culture and heritage. The objective would be to enhance the 'soft power' of Kilkenny city. ie Trail Kilkenny, Taste Kilkenny along with those family businesses that enhance our streets to ensure Kilkenny's reputation for quality and authenticity is protected. Consider design principles from initiatives such as Dublin's 'Business Improvement District' or Westport where the aim is to improve the image of the city not just to benefit tourism but for locals and workers. Prioritise 'product' over 'marketing', along with concept of 'sustainable/responsible tourism' to ensure Kilkenny's built and natural assets remain so for next generation.

'How can we encourage the occupation of upper floor units for residential purposes in town centres?'

Showcase 3 units reflecting different use, style and size. Connect with Irish Architecture Foundation and participate in the 'Open House' weekend initiative. Invite guest speakers along with local influencers to raise awareness and demonstrate how units can be attractive living spaces. Connect with Design Craft Council of Ireland for design ideas; utilise our own cultural capital assets. Consider 'Culture Connects' ethos (as in Dublin City Council) as a means of consulting locals and obtaining relevant input.

'How can Kilkenny be promoted to encourage enterprise, attract inward investment and to increase employment?'

Explore what factors contribute to Kilkenny having had among the lowest employment growth versus other regional counties (Enterprise Ireland, October 2017). Given the development of a marketing strategy by 'Invest Kilkenny', and subsequent failure of site visits by IDA identify the key deterrents for inward investment. Conduct an audit. Create a vision. Explore merits of developing a Kilkenny Business Development Bureau - as done in other cities to strategically plan new businesses. Connect with Destination Kilkenny.

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