Transforming College Campuses and Connecting Communities for a Safer and Healthier Tallaght


Since the 1960s, a move towards suburban living in Dublin has increased the reliance on cars for many, with newer communities such as Tallaght suffering from a lack of amenities within walking distance, such as supermarkets, parks, and playgrounds. As Ireland moved to a more suburban design, so did many of our university campuses, resulting in challenges, including impacts on the physical and social health of students and transport poverty due to financial costs and long commute times. To understand and address these issues, researchers at TU Dublin have commenced a project that will engage with campus users, policymakers, and planning experts to co-create an action research programme to improve the walkability and liveability of local neighbourhoods close to the University’s campuses in Blanchardstown, Grangegorman and Tallaght. 

Named CRAWL (Campuses Role as Actors in Walkable and Liveable Communities), the project is a partnership between TU Dublin and the Office of the Planning Regulator, which has received funding from the Science Foundation Ireland’s (SFI) National Challenge Fund Sustainable Communities Challenge. The first CRAWL engagement event, a World Café, convened a range of experts, policymakers, and the community on the Blanchardstown Campus of TU Dublin recently with Minister Jack Chambers T.D. in attendance. 

 “Key to an individual’s decision to walk in their neighbourhood is their perception of safety, security and comfort”, explains CRAWL Co-Principal Investigator and Sustainability Action Research & Innovation Lead at TU Dublin, Dr Lorraine D’Arcy. “Policymakers and planners around the world are grappling with growing demand for more liveable cities; much of the focus is on developing public transport. However, fostering walkability is essential in enhancing a locality’s liveability. The CRAWL team heard from users of our campuses in Blanchardstown, Grangegorman and Tallaght on the types of safety, convenience and accessibility measures required by the community to make these environments more conducive for walking.” 

Commenting on how the University will use feedback from this event, CRAWL Co-Principal Investigator TU Dublin, Dr Eoin McGillicuddy, said, “Using TU Dublin campus locations as a testbed, the research team will draw upon the findings of our engagement with the community and the expertise of an already established multidisciplinary national advisory committee to develop an action plan to enhance our University’s campus experience for all users. It is really exciting work that has the potential to provide good practice guidelines for college campuses across Ireland and other suburban environments, such as business parks and healthcare settings.”

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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