The Center for Irish Towns (CfIT) is a trans-disciplinary research centre focusing on towns on the island of Ireland.
CfIT was initiated in 2019 by Orla Murphy and Philip Crowe and is hosted by the UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy. CfIT was the recipient of funding from the UCD Earth Institute’s Strategic Priority Support Mechanism in 2019.
The UCD Centre for Irish Towns (CfIT) brings together researchers and stakeholders from across the island of Ireland to support the revitalisation of Irish towns.
Irish towns are home to approximately one-third of the population and play a critical role in the cultural, social and economic life of the nation. But towns face multiple challenges such as long-term vacancy and a lack of investment in physical and social fabric, all exacerbated by a lack of data and knowledge, joined-up thinking, and a coherent, evidence based approach in terms of governance, policy and funding. These challenges negatively impact on social cohesion, urban resilience, and the well-being of current and future generations.
Irish towns are ideally placed to help accommodate predicted population growth and facilitate sustainable communities. Towns also have a key role in the just transition to a post-pandemic and low carbon society. A consensus that change is necessary is evident, for example in the emerging Town Centre First Policy (Programme for Government); the Government’s Town Centre Living Initiative; and the Heritage Council’s Collaborative Town Centre Health Check Training Programme. There is also a growing recognition of the need for research, knowledge sharing and collaboration to support this change.