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Case Studies

The case studies on these pages are mostly rooted at home, although we have also illustrated good practice from organisations outside of 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. 


Celebrating Sustainability Video

This short film showcases some of the exemplary projects undertaken by some of the 26 ‘legacy’ councils and explores how this work has contributed to the pursuit of real economic, social and environmental sustainability. The film will enable councillors to develop a heightened awareness and understanding of the basic tenets of sustainable development. It can be of use to council officers working on sustainable development, providing a resource that may be used for a variety of educative purposes. In highlighting these outstanding projects, we hope it might stimulate their replication. 

Tree Planting at Jubilee Wood

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign, sixty new woodlands were established around the UK. The only one created in Northern Ireland is in Whitehead, where 60 acres of council-owned land were given over to the planting of 60,000 new trees. In February 2012, around 1000 volunteers from the local community and much further afield joined forces, under the supervision of the council and the Woodland Trust, to create a future forest from some neglected fields.

Making a splash – Bangor’s Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex

Situated in the heart of Bangor, the £38m Aurora building opened in 2013 as a new flagship leisure complex and Northern Ireland’s first Olympic Swimming Pool and Elite Diving Centre. It boasts some remarkable design and construction features at the centre of a highly sustainable and innovative project.

Closing the lid on waste

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has launched a new smartphone app to help its residents get a grip on their waste management. The Bin-ovation app was designed by a local couple, Michael and Deborah Brady. They’re a busy, young working family and, conscious of their sometimes overflowing bins, wrong colour bins left out on the wrong days and bins not being collected due to contamination, they decided to pursue a solution.  

Queen’s tackles its travel troubles 

Belfast has become all too well known for its queues of traffic and the congestion caused by the growing numbers of cars, lorries and buses on its road network.   Commuters face this burden every day; now, more and more people are asking themselves - why sit in traffic like this when you could be moving much faster by foot, by bike, by rail or by bus? As a recent Translink billboard put it, “You’re not IN traffic. You ARE traffic”

Reinventing Recycling – the Strahans Road Waste Facility, Strabane

In 2006, Strabane council began to plan a change for the town’s civic amenity and recycling services. Its existing three facilities were separate and obsolete, no longer fit for purpose. The planning culminated in a new £12m waste handling centre, opened in 2015, that is providing the district’s residents with a new state-of-the-art facility to serve the community for many years to come. The centre will revolutionise how waste is managed and dramatically reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill. Currently, recycling efficiency stands at 86%; at the former sites, rates were around 55-65%.