Augustine Hill is aiming for One Planet Living endorsement, with a One Planet Action Plan designed by Bioregional to ensure that the development meets key sustainability commitments.
Features of Augustine Hill such as the dense use of land, energy-efficient buildings, proximity to public transport, pedestrianised interior, cycle parking facilities, green infrastructure, flood-resilient drainage, recycling facilities and reuse of heritage assets would contribute directly towards the objectives of the National Planning Framework around compact growth, regeneration of cities as environmental assets, sustainable mobility, amenity, climate mitigation and adaptation.
A spokesperson for Edward Capital and Summix Capital said that Augustine Hill has been designed by a world class design team, led by BDP Architects in consultation with Galway City Council, key stakeholders and the people of Galway. Cosmopolitan, open and urban – Augustine Hill is designed to be a one-of-a-kind place.
Designed as an integrated district and central part of Galway, it connects places to live and work with attractive cultural offers and leisure facilities as well as innovative retail and entertainment concepts.
“With this mixed-use development, Augustine Hill draws on the lively essence of contemporary Galway, providing it with a new neighbourhood and community so ensuring the primacy of the historic core is protected and provided for in the future.
“Our ambition is that Augustine Hill be the most sustainable scheme delivered in Ireland, one that complies with but also looks beyond current sustainability guidelines to where we anticipate guidelines on energy performance to be in 10 – 20 years from now.
Urban densification is something we in Galway have for too long neglected and must embrace. The Ceannt Station Lands are a strategic location in Galway City well served by high-quality public transport and in close proximity to the city centre.
In line with the principles of Ireland’s National Planning Framework 2040 ambitions, the densities and heights delivered in this location should be reflective of its strategic importance and achieve compact growth for Galway city.
Case for density and height is irrefutable
“The social, economic, planning, transport and environmental business case for density and height in Galway and other Irish cities is irrefutable. To not make better use of brownfield sites in or close to Galway city centre would be highly damaging and highly irresponsible,” the spokesperson said.
Ronan Leyden, Head of Sustainable Places, Bioregional (https://www.bioregional.com/ ) said that it has been exciting to work with the team at Augustine Hill to help them envisage how Augustine Hill can be developed to bring a new energy to the heart of Galway City.
“At this time of climate and ecological emergency, we need to make sure that any new development is carefully planned to help create a new low carbon future.
“So, we are delighted that the team have chosen to adopt One Planet Living as a design tool at this outline planning phase and intend to continue this into detailed design and delivery.
“The current outline plans lay the ground for achieving a zero-carbon development by committing to highly efficient building fabric heated by electrically driven heat pump technology. We look forward to working with the development team to secure the detail of this to ensure zero- carbon operation is achieved in practice.
“The scheme also addresses several other key aspects of sustainability. For example, they have made great efforts to help ease traffic congestion and make the city more walkable by prioritising access to public transport, adding much-needed cycle parking and maintenance facilities, and keeping car parking to a necessary minimum.
“We particularly like the ‘Island’ sky garden which, along with street-level planting and other green roofs, will maintain Galway City’s green signature.
“And there’s a generous amount of cultural and community space that the buzzing human ecosystem of Galway will be able to creatively use how it wishes. We are keen to see the team carry forward a commitment to true sustainability into the detailing and operation of Augustine Hill, so that it enables residents and visitors the opportunity to see what a sustainable, vibrant future for Galway might look like,” he concluded.
Lorcan O’Connor, CEO of CIE welcomed the announcement saying that CIÉ has a unique role to support not only sustainable transport but also sustainable development.
“With hubs in cities and towns across Ireland, CIÉ lands can play a key role in the provision of housing, employment, public services and leisure space in close proximity to frequent, high quality transport services – the very ethos of transport orientated development. CIE welcomes the publication of the Augustine Hill Masterplan which demonstrates the sustainable potential of such a site.”
Michael Mullen of BDP Master Planning Architects (www.bdp.com ) said that Augustine Hill provides a world class opportunity for the city.
“With placemaking a priority - the four public spaces and 11 varying streets all add to Galway’s unique character and connect in every direction to brace city and sea. Faithful to our design lineage for cities that include Oxford, Edinburgh, and Belfast, we seek to create an architecture inspired by the imagination of the local community.
“Fully integrated with Bonham Quay there will be places to work, rest and socialise. This is a new model for urban living in Ireland, one that is rooted in a love of place, with a familiar variety, colour and mix that people desire.
“Complementary to the medieval streets, rising up to provide views across the bay for all whilst maximising the potential of the transport interchange, it will be a compact and fully mixed-use district, renowned for its focus on sustainability through design and in use. We have aimed to create more with less.”