Maynooth University’s International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) has been recognised for conflict resolution work at a special event celebrating the pursuit of peace and reconciliation at Áras an Uachtaráin by President Michael D. Higgins.
Hosted at the Presidential Residence in Phoenix Park, Dublin, the President welcomed representatives from a number of organisations that have played an important role in the pursuit of peace and community reconciliation in Ireland.
The ICLRD is an umbrella organisation encompassing the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis at Maynooth University, the Belfast School of Architecture and the Built Environment at Ulster University, and the Institute for International Urban Development in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The Centre’s aim is to explore and expand the contribution that planning and the development of physical, social and economic infrastructures can make to improving the lives of people in both Irish jurisdictions and thus to peace-building and reconciliation on the island.
The ICLRD provides independent research, planning analysis and input from a range of international experts to assist policymakers, practitioners, local officials and community groups across Ireland in promoting good local and regional planning as part of the process of conflict resolution.
Commenting on the ICLRD’s invitation to Áras an Uachtaráin, ICLRD Director and Maynooth University Research Fellow, Caroline Creamer, said: “Our invitation is a recognition of the hard work undertaken by all of our partners and associates in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the US, in improving the lives of those in disadvantaged and conflict-stricken areas across the island of Ireland through improved spatial planning and evidence-informed policy.”
“We used the opportunity yesterday afternoon to speak with President Higgins about the importance of cross-border cooperation in the long road to peace and reconciliation. We have seen time and time again the role robust urban and regional planning can play in conflict resolution and social justice, and with the support of our key stakeholders on either side of the border, including the Irish state, we will continue our work to benefit communities across Ireland.”