Transition Galway is a community-based organisation focused on engaging the community around environmental change. It is a local-based initiative that forms part of a larger international network, The Transition Town Network. Founded in 2011 by a group of local residents, Transition Galway has been involved in a range of efforts to engage the community around issues of environment, risk, resilience and sustainability. These have included efforts around engaging a wider public through processes of ‘mainstreaming’ involving organising series of public talks, film nights, community gardening, radio series, fieldtrips, outdoor activities and social media activities to name a few.
The group is divided into a series of sub groups that work on various thematic dimensions of community engagement around issues of food, energy, education, outreach and psychological. Community visioning is another engagement tool that is central to the transition approach to community engagement. Transition Galway organised a series of public visioning engagement activities that involved creating a space for members of the local community to articulate their vision for a more sustainable and resilient Galway in 2030. The results of this process were published in a publicly accessible handbook ‘A vision for Galway 2030’ and accompanying short summary videos available online at galwaytransition.wordpress.com. Material and projects from this process was included in the successful Galway 2020 cultural capital bid application and Galway City Council Development Plan.
Since its inception, TG has worked to actively participate as a key player in the environmental governance landscape in Galway and Ireland more broadly. To this end, forging relations with a range of governance actors, including Galway City Council, Galway Chamber, the arts community, schools and other environmental and community development groups in Galway and beyond. Barriers to community engagement experienced by the group have included limited access to funding, maintaining ongoing momentum of voluntary people resources, group dynamics and accessing public space.