New Series of Eco Eye Looks at Tackling the Demise of Irish Towns

Ireland’s longest running environmental series, Eco Eye, kicked off its new series this week, with an investigation into the demise of Irish towns and the efforts being made to reverse their decline.

The episode was broadcast on RTE One on 4 January, 2022.

In this episode, presenter Duncan Stewart visits Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin and Sligo town where he speaks to people to learn about the challenges towns face in in keeping their centres vibrant and liveable. He learns about the impact out-of-town shopping centres have had and how the trend for living in suburbs rather than in town centres has had a negative effect on urban centres

He finds out how, over time, this has resulted in more shops on the main street shutting down and essential services such as post offices, banks and Garda stations closing too.

The episode looks at the attempts to stem this current trend. It examines ways to reverse the decline and looks at what needs to be done to get Ireland’s towns back on their feet and turn them into thriving compact communities.

The Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) and the Heritage Council collaborated with the producers of Eco Eye on this episode. Further episodes dealing with the theme of sustainable spatial planning and focussing on tackling dereliction and urban sprawl will be broadcast in February.

In 2020 and 2021 the OPR collaborated with the producers of Eco Eye on five episodes which examined the importance of spatial planning in creating more liveable villages, towns and cities. These episodes are available on our You Tube Channel