Galway 21: Implementing the principles and practices of sustainable development in Galway City Council

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Resource or Project Abstract

To promote practical applications of the concept of sustainability by Galway City Council, this study seeks to develop indicators that capture quality of life considerations as perceived by the citizens of Galway. It forms part of a larger project funded by the EPA focused on integrating sustainability practices into all aspects of the local authority's activities and plans. The development of transferable models of good practice in this domain and their dissemination throughout the local government system in Ireland in particular, and more generally through publication in international journals, represent the ultimate goals of the project.

Quality of life considerations have recently emerged in the international literature relating to sustainability indicators. It is argued that sustainability initiatives that detract from the quality of life of citizens lack credibility. Consequently, quality of life is increasingly regarded as an integral part of sustainability programmes. There is little consensus, however, in relation to what exactly quality of life means and how it is most appropriately measured. Much of the literature on the broader subject of sustainability indicators is of relevance to the formulation and practical application of quality of life indicators. This literature stresses the merits of sustainability indicators as informational tools that can be used to engage citizens in working toward shared sustainability goals.

The derivation of quality of life indicators that give expression to the voice of the community at large is central to this project. Focus groups were used extensively to obtain the opinions of various strands of community in Galway, regarding the issues they considered to be germane to quality of life in the city. Nine major themes emerged as particularly significant: transport, size of the city, community, identity, facilities, planning and development, environment, economic and social considerations. The focus group discussions together with relevant international literature informed the design of a questionnaire survey through which new baseline information regarding quality of life in Galway was assembled.

The questionnaire survey was conducted with 300 participants from eight Electoral Divisions (EDs) across Galway City and County. Field investigations were undertaken in four urban neighbourhoods, Salthill, Renmore, Claddagh, and Ballybaan, as well as four rapidly developing satellite villages on the fringes of Galway City. The four satellite villages in question are Barna, Oranmore, Moycullen and Clarinbridge, each of which has experienced continuous population increase throughout the past decade or more. A nested random sample totalling 300 households was drawn from these areas in proportion to their population.

Prior to the questionnaire survey, advertisements were placed in the local press to highlight the research and inform the public about the process. Administering each questionnaire took approximately 10-20 minutes to complete. Fieldwork and data analysis were conducted between February and July 2007. The face-to-face administration of the questionnaire survey and use of visual aids meant that individuals traditionally marginalised from conventional written questionnaire surveys, such as persons who are functionally illiterate, were not excluded. In addition to questions relating to quality of life, the final section of the questionnaire survey covered demographic and household characteristics of the sample population.

This dataset contains the results of the extensive survey on quality of life considerations in Galway City and County. The questionnaire is attached.

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Contact Information for This Resource

Dr. Frances Fahy
University of Ulster
Environmental Research Scientist
Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Ulster,, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine, BT521 SA, Northern Ireland
Telephone: +44 (0) 28 70323229
e-mail: f.fahy@ulster.ac.uk

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Attachment Name and Download Link
End of Project Report    STRIVE_17_Fahy_Galway21a_epr.pdf  (0.34 Mb)
End of Project Report    STRIVE_17_Fahy_Galway21b_epr.pdf  (0.46 Mb)
End of Project Report    STRIVE_17_Fahy_Galway21c_epr.pdf  (2.22 Mb)
Offline Print Quality Version    STRIVE_17_Fahy_Galway21_syn_prn.pdf  (9.55 Mb)
Project Report Optimised For Online Viewing    STRIVE_17_Fahy_Galway21_syn_web.pdf  (2.62 Mb)
Att 6    Galway21_Fahy_Guide.pdf   (0.58 Mb)
Att 7    Questionnaire-QOL-2004-SD-FS-23.pdf   (0.25 Mb)

Suggested Citation Information

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Author(s)Fahy, F.
Title Of WebsiteSecure Archive For Environmental Research Data
Publication InformationGalway 21: Implementing the principles and practices of sustainable development in Galway City Council
Name of OrganisationEnvironmental Protection Agency Ireland
Electronic Address or URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=4698c7c3-f258-102b-930a-f07fa8cd0edb
Unique Identifier4698c7c3-f258-102b-930a-f07fa8cd0edb
Date of AccessLast Updated on SAFER: 2017-03-26

An example of this citation in proper usage:

Fahy, F.   "Galway 21: Implementing the principles and practices of sustainable development in Galway City Council". Associated datasets and digitial information objects connected to this resource are available at: Secure Archive For Environmental Research Data (SAFER) managed by Environmental Protection Agency Ireland http://erc.epa.ie/safer/resource?id=4698c7c3-f258-102b-930a-f07fa8cd0edb (Last Accessed: 2017-03-26)

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Access Information For This Resource

SAFER-Data Display URL http://erc.epa.ie/safer/iso19115/display?isoID=91
Resource KeywordsQuality of life, transport, intergration, civic responsibility, LA21
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project Code2004-SD-FS-23
EPA/ERTDI/STRIVE Project ThemeSocio-Economics
Resource Availability: Any User Can Download Files From This Resource
Public-Open
Limitations on the use of this ResourceAny third party usage of this data should correctly cite the owners of this data. Please see the automated citation below.

**** Data will be made publicly available in early 2009 ****
Number of Attached Files (Publicly and Openly Available for Download): 7
Project Start Date Thursday 1st January 2004 (01-01-2004)
Earliest Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Friday 2nd February 2007 (02-02-2007)
Most Recent Recorded Date within any attached datasets or digital objects Wednesday 9th January 2008 (09-01-2008)
Published on SAFERThursday 23rd October 2008 (23-10-2008)
Date of Last EditFriday 30th January 2009 at 12:38:39 (30-01-2009)
Datasets or Files Updated On Friday 30th January 2009 at 12:38:39 (30-01-2009)

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Geographical and Spatial Information Related To This Resource

Description of Geographical Characteristics of This Project or Dataset
The questionnaire survey was conducted with 300 participants from eight Electoral Divisions (EDs) across Galway City and County. Field investigations were undertaken in four urban neighbourhoods, Salthill, Renmore, Claddagh, and Ballybaan, as well as four rapidly developing satellite villages on the fringes of Galway City. The four satellite villages in question are Barna, Oranmore, Moycullen and Clarinbridge

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Supplementary Information About This Resource

In this section some supplementary information about this resource is outlined. Lineage information helps us to understand why this project was carried out, what policy or research requirements did it fulfil, etc. Lineage is important in understanding the rationale behind the carrying out of a project or the collection of a specific dataset etc. Links to web sites, applications, papers, etc are outlined to provide you with additional information or supplementary reading about the project or dataset

Lineage information about this project or dataset
Since the late 1990?s major strides have been taken in developing local strategies for sustainable development ? Local Agenda 21. In 1997 the publication Sustainable Development: A Strategy for Ireland provided for the development of Local Agenda 21 plans and the appointment of a designated Local Agenda 21 officer for each local authority. However, there are many difficulties involved in giving practical effect to sustainable development concepts at a local level (as outlined in the EPA Technical Description D1/2004). This project addresses these difficulties by (a) seeking to integrate sustainable development into all sectors, (b) promoting public participation and feedback including the involvement of underrepresented groups, (c) developing practical tools for use by local authorities (e.g. sustainability indicators, green maps) and (d) developing a framework for continuous evaluation and dissemination of sustainable practices. The initial objective of the project was to review current practices in all sections of Galway City Council and existing work in the area of Local Agenda 21 and to develop practical measures and tools for use in the City Council. These practical measures integrated and extended existing policies in the City Council e.g. ?Service Indicators in Local Authorities? initiative launched in May 2000. In accordance with sustainable development goals the project assisted the City Council in bolstering public participation in policy-making and improving the levels of trust between local communities and the City Council. Drawing on experiences of other European cities (in Sweden, UK, and Hungary) and some US cities (New York, Seattle), the project aims to produce Quality of Life Indicators and a Green Map for Galway City. The project methodology was designed so as to be readily transferable to other local authorities and to provide the basis for future comparative and collaborative work in Ireland and with other European cities. In keeping with the goals of Local Agenda 21 and sustainable development principles (as outlined in DEHLG brief on Local Agenda 21) the project involved high levels of public participation at the local level including often under-represented groups e.g. youth. It embraced the quality of life and well-being of the entire community. Project outputs represented a holistic and integrated environmental assessment of social, economic, and cultural aspects of community life in Galway.
Supplementary Information
This dataset contains the results of the extensive survey on quality of life considerations in Galway City and County. The topics contained within the questionnaire covered a wide range of quality of life issues, including public perceptions of community, crime, facilities, environmental and economic aspects of life in the respondents neighbourhoods and throughout the city. The questionnaire contained both closed and open-ended questions. The questionnaire survey was conducted with 300 participants from eight Electoral Divisions (EDs) across Galway City and County. Field investigations were undertaken in four urban neighbourhoods, Salthill, Renmore, Claddagh, and Ballybaan, as well as four rapidly developing satellite villages on the fringes of Galway City. The four satellite villages in question are Barna, Oranmore, Moycullen and Clarinbridge, each of which has experienced continuous population increase throughout the past decade or more. A nested random sample totalling 300 households was drawn from these areas in proportion to their population. The results of the analysis reveal that, by and large, high levels of satisfaction exist with regard to many parameters of quality of life in Galway City. However, the results also identified a number of areas of dissatisfaction and demonstrate how certain issues vary significantly from one electoral division to another and that some are confined to specific locations. Detailed results have been published in previous interim reports (also see Fahy and Ó Cinnéide, 2006a; 2006b; 2007; 2008a; 2008b and forthcoming). A collection of 25 GIS maps have been produced highlighting the differences in perceptions of many aspects of quality of life across the city of Galway (Fahy and Ó Cinnéide, 2007).
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