Planning and housing experts, architects and artists will come together with local authority representatives, and those engaged in health and social care, geography, arts and heritage for a conference at Carlow Visual Arts Centre on 11 October, which aims to inject new character and life into Ireland’s town centres and civic infrastructure.

Registration is now open for the ‘People, Place and Participation’ conference. The IPI CPD-accredited event is the brainchild of Ann Mulrooney, Director of the VISUAL Contemporary Arts Centre in Carlow town centre, and Workhouse Union. It all builds on a year-long town planners’ project at the arts centre. Local authorities from neighbouring counties are already coming on board for this practical conference and workshop.

Ann Mulrooney (pictured here) oversees progress on one of the gallery installations ahead of the ‘People, Place and Participation’ conference at Carlow’s Visual Arts Centre.

The event, which is expected to draw over 100 people, including planners, councillors and artists, will examine the roles that creativity, civic engagement and place-making play in urban and rural planning and design, according to Mulrooney.

“We will also examine how local authorities and government agencies can work positively with ground-up initiatives, lived experience and knowledge and participatory processes to re-imagine and enliven our shared spaces and civic infrastructure.

“This event will have broad appeal for the wider community and those engaged in positive change as well as local authority professionals, government policy makers, academics and researchers or those in private practice, working in related fields. The George Bernard Shaw Theatre will be full of people who are passionate about the future of our cities and towns,” she added.

Invited speakers include Ian Doyle and Alison Harvey, The Heritage Council; Marjetica Potrč, Artist and Architect; Helena Fitzgerald, Architect; Emma Geoghegan, DIT;  Arts Action Group, Take A Part Carlow; Michelle Browne, Artist; Shem Caulfield, Thomastown Community River Trust in Kilkenny and more.


For bookings and more info visit