Lonely Planet Writer

Clonakilty in West Cork wins the Great Town title at the 2017 Urbanism Awards

Irish eyes were smiling when the pretty town of Clonakilty in West Cork claimed the title of Great Town at the recent 2017 Urbanism Awards Ceremony in London.

Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Visit Cork County
Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Visit County Cork

The Irish town came out top from more than 40 other towns across Europe. The judges said that the quality of the town centre and Clonakilty’s location close to the sea and beautiful beaches make it an attractive place to live, do business and visit.

Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Clonakilty.ie
Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Clonakilty.ie

The Urbanism Awards are an initiative of The Academy of Urbanism, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the quality of life for urban dwellers.

Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards
Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards Image by Getty

It visited and assessed 150 examples of the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments across Europe, taking into account social, economic and environmental factors.

Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Clonakilty.ie
Clonakilty in Cork has been named the best in the UK and Ireland at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Cork County Council

During the ceremony, the Danish capital of Copenhagen was crowned European City of the Year. It beat fellow finalists Eindhoven and Montpellier to win the title. The judges praised the city for its collaborative approach to planning its development, which has put citizens at the heart of decision-making over the past 20 years. Its open governance and ‘unplanned planning’ have resulted in a string of exceptional spaces, the citation said.

Copenhagen wins European City of the Year at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Frank Fischbach
Copenhagen wins European City of the Year at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Frank Fischbach

The English city of Bristol’s self-build development, Ashley Vale, took home the Great Neighbourhood award, while Walthamstow’s Wood Street was awarded the Great Street prize. Waterford in Ireland won Great Place for its Viking Triangle cultural and heritage area.

Waterford won Great Place for its Viking Triangle at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Waterford Viking Triangle
Waterford won Great Place for its Viking Triangle at the 2017 Urbanism Awards. Image: Waterford Viking Triangle