Derry has been shortlisted for the ‘Great Town Award’ 2012.
These prestigious awards are held annually by the Academy of Urbanism whose members include leading urban designers, architects, planners, community activists, councillors, engineers and developers.
In May of this year, at its Annual Congress in Glasgow, the Academy announced shortlisted finalists for the titles of European City of the Year, Great Town, Great Neighbourhood, Great Street and Great Place 2012.
Derry has been shortlisted as one of three who will potentially go on to be the recipients of the Great Town Award and, as part of the judging process, members of the Academy will visit the city over the coming weeks to assess such qualities as active community life; street vibrancy and vitality; cultural diversity; quality of parks and public spaces; character and local identity; as well as the city’s plans for the future and its intended mechanisms for delivering these.
Mayor Maurice Devenney said of Derry’s nomination: “I am looking forward to meeting with representatives from the adjudication panel over the next couple of weeks to highlight why this Great Town of ours should win this award.”
The Great Town category is defined as towns with less than 150,000 habitants and the other shortlisted destinations are Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and Totnes, Devon.
Local architect Michael Hegarty was a member of the Academy of Urbanism Award shortlisting panel which met in London earlier in the year.
He said: “Derry beat off competition from very strong contenders in the ‘Great Town’ category... When added to City of Culture, the nomination of Culturlann for the Stirling Prize and our spectacular new Peace Bridge, people beyond here are now starting to recognise what Derry people have always known - Derry is a Great Town!”