SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
The 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable development sets out 17 Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”) adopted by the world’s leaders including Ireland’s government.
Galway Harbour Company will develop a sustainable development roadmap over the course of the project informed by these goals. This roadmap will be a strategic plan that allows this vision to be realised as the development opportunities emerge before, during and after the relocation of the port’s activities.
The roadmap will be a living document, which will evolve over time as building sector and urban design sustainability responses mature and as the plans absorbs changes in the regulatory environment. This will be done in consultation with the principal stakeholders and to a level of detail appropriate to the stage of development and the emerging timelines.
The sustainable development of the quarter includes anticipated responses to local targets and actions such as those already described in this vision.
CLIMATE ACTION PLAN 2019
The Irish Government’s ‘Climate Action Plan 2019’ sets out objectives and targets, including carbon-pricing, electricity and renewable energy capacity, buildings, transport, enterprise and adoption of low carbon technologies, the design of the built environment and buildings to eliminate carbon emissions, transport, land use, waste and the circular economy.
The objectives of the National Climate Action Plan provide an ideal opportunity for Galway Harbour to be an innovative, urban, user-friendly, environmentally sustainable development that meets the needs of all age groups and future generations.
Inherent in the Masterplan is the reuse and intensification of ‘brownfield lands’ close to the city centre, the creation of a connected high quality public realm for urban living and a move away from private car dependency which involves high levels of energy consumption.
Buildings are to be carbon neutral using sustainable, recyclable materials built to passive house standards or equivalent, using renewable energy with pv panels and natural ventilation systems.
INTEGRATING NATURE & BIODIVERSITY
Improving environmental quality involves working with the natural environment and encouraging biodiversity from the outset.
The existing harbour area historically formed part of the natural wetlands that today consists of the area around Lough Atalia and the Renmore Lagoon. The intention is to create natural landscape and biodiversity corridors around the Galway Harbour Enterprise Park and along the main infrastructure corridors that connect Lough Atalia and Renmore Lagoon to encourage native species, provide an attractive public amenity and enhance the landscape setting and aspect from the Inner Harbour area with screening to existing structures.
The Harbour development must respond to the challenge of flood risk management across the whole site with a combination of measures designed to fully integrate the flood defence measures into the proposed future use of the site. This will be done with a level of innovation and design agility so that these measures contribute to and enhance the public realm. The Harbour Company will work with Galway City Council to establish the best technical solutions consistent with the sustainable future use of the inner dock. The design of the flood defence measures can support the conservation and interpretation of the historic inner dock. The detail design and implementation of this will be carried out with reference to the conservation plan and the emerging sustainability road map.
Buildings are to be carbon neutral using sustainable, recyclable materials
RESIDENTIAL AMENITY SPACE
Residential amenity space around each residential development will provide space for residents to meet and develop friendships and a sense of community.
It is proposed that community gardens and/or roof gardens could form part of the amenity space related to the residential buildings. There is also scope for a temporary community and biodiversity garden using land awaiting development and for a more permanent allotment scheme nearby, potentially by Lough Atalia or in the Galway Harbour Enterprise Park.