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Case Studies

All too often, we ignore the lessons to be learned on our own doorstep. We hear of the great sustainability work taking place in Copenhagen or Curitiba and suppose that we can’t replicate those projects in our own places.

The case studies on these pages are firmly rooted at home. Most are the work of councils, although we have also illustrated good practice from other organisations in Northern Ireland.

We encourage you to read these introductory articles and get in touch with the listed contacts if you want more detailed information. Use them as inspiration, copy them, reinterpret them or just admire them. They show that good practice can sometimes be a nimble traveller after all.


Handiheat - Improving Energy Efficiency for Rural Areas

Handiheat is a European project focussed on energy efficiency in rural communities who are heavily dependent on fossil fuel imports, and where fuel inequity is prevalent. Northern Ireland Partners include Northern Ireland Housing Executive and the ARC Healthy Living Centre in County Fermanagh as well as partners from Finland, Iceland, Shetland, and the Republic of Ireland

The project aims to address policy and establish a set of resources and toolkits, which can be implemented to help provide sustainable energy solutions for these communities. 

Recycling Investment Fund in Ards and North Down

Ards and North Down Borough Council established its 'Recycling Community Investment Fund' in 2016 as a thank you to residents for their recycling efforts. Since then, the funding has been used to support a range  of projects that directly benefit local residents and neighbourhoods.

Industrial Symbiosis at Haffey Sports Grounds

Based in Portadown, Haffey Sports Grounds aims to create and maintain high quality sports grounds and golf courses across Ireland.


Video Conferencing at Fermanagh & Omagh District Council

In late 2016, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council identified a need to install a video link conferencing system, allowing for effective video conferencing between the Council’s principal administrative buildings, the Townhall in Enniskillen and the Grange in Omagh. 

The main drivers behind this decision were:

  • Provision of enhanced emergency preparedness arrangements for the Council

Sustainable regeneration at Giant's Park

Belfast City Council's Giant's Park is a trail blazing regeneration initiative, to transform a closed waste landfill site into innovative environmental resource park. 

Located on the shores of Belfast Lough, Giant's Park, comprising 340 acres, is the largest regeneration site in Belfast. As Belfast's first Environmental Resource Park, the site offers significant potential to deliver jobs and demonstrates Belfast City Council's commitment towards the green economy and building a resilient city of the future. 

Community Energy in Northern Ireland

There is an increasing recognition that community energy has the potential to create significant social, economic and environmental opportunties for communities in Northern Ireland.

The emphasis of community energy projects is on local engagement, leadership and control, project outcomes which benefit local communities, and making a valuable contribution to creating vibrant communities.

Creating a Sustainable Community in Cloughmills

Cloughmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, with the help of its dedicated Community Action Team, is working to improve the social, economic and environmental quality of life in the local area.

In early 2008 Cloughmills Community Action Team consulted the wider community through a series of public meetings to help draw up a 5 year Action Plan to address various local issues. As a result a number of projects were pursued over the plan period which included promotion of healthy lifestyles, biodiversity, energy efficiency, village appearance and support for local businesses.

North West Greenway Network

The North West Region - comprised of Derry City and Strabane District and North and East Donegal - is home to a rich natural, cultural and built heritage landscape, and some of the island’s highest quality, natural scenery. Situated on the Northern Ireland - Republic of Ireland jurisdictional border, the area is heavily reliant on cross-border movement of both people and goods, with about 325,000 cross-border vehicle journeys made per week (Department for Infrastructure telemetric data 2016).

Sunflower Fest promotes 'Refill Not Landfill' message

With over 500 summer music festivals gathering in the UK alone they can have major adverse affects on the environment. One of the most worrying issues is the vast use of single-use plastic that heads straight to landfill. However, many festival's are now looking to take a more eco-friendly approach and play their part to reduce their impact on the environment.

NI Water's Source to Tap Project

A major €5.3M cross-border project, to improve water quality in rivers and lakes in the Erne and Derg catchment areas which provide water that serves parts of counties Fermanagh, Tyrone, Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Longford has launched.