This report represents the outcome of a one-year research project on local sustainable development and the implementation of Local Agenda 21 on the island of Ireland.
The project was commissioned by the Centre for Cross Border Studies from a cross-border team of researchers: Geraint Ellis, Dr Bill Neill and Una Hand of the School of Environmental Planning at Queen’s University Belfast, and Brian Motherway from the Dublin-based environmental consultants Motherway Begley Ltd.
The report contains the first-ever analysis of the state of local sustainable development across the island, together with a set of recommendations that aim to reinvigorate local sustainability practice in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The aims of the project were to:
- Ascertain and compare the currrent state of Local Agenda 21 (LA21) programmes and projects in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland;
- Explore and compare the degree to which LA21 processes can contribute to civic identity-building in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and explore approaches to civic participation;
- Explore the potential for collaboration between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in establishing and implementing local sustainability strategies.
The project used a number of methodologies, including extensive postal surveys of local authorities and social partners all over the island; case studies illustrating how sustainability can be promoted on the ground; and focus and discussion groups of representative stakeholders.