The towns, neighbourhoods and buildings we experience directly influence our mood and quality of life. I feel this places a significant social responsibility on all involved in the development of our urban environment.
I grew up in the small seaside town of Kinsale on the south coast of Ireland. If you could imagine the quintessential coastal town in which to live, this would be it.
Two 17th century forts reach out into an enclosed bay, protecting the town with its narrow streets nestling between the sea and surrounding hills. Kinsale has a slew of independent shops, restaurants and galleries, all of which have been promoted by an active town committee since the late 1960s.
Kinsale had an active community spirit even in the arguably ...