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Salthill Hotel Galway



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Connecting Galway city and the nature of our ocean & waterways

Join us for an evening to explore the potential of blue space, our coasts and waterways, in Galway City for promoting health, wellbeing, culture, social connection, tourism, and much more.

While we live in an increasingly urbanised world, we must not forget that we live and share space on the blue planet, with three-quarters of its surface covered by water.

The event is FREE, but places are limited so please book now.

(For FULL programme of URBAN BLUE events in Galway City on May 2nd, see below).

What to expect

A lively and engaging evening that brings together a diverse mix of people from civil society, business, non-profit, policy, practice and research / academia.

Engage in conversations that explore our innate, everyday connections to blue space, and that ask:

  • In what ways does blue space enhance our quality of life?
  • How, and in what ways, can our city create and promote sustainable ways of living and being with our coastal and inland waters?

Learn how blue space impacts and is impacted by society, and the importance of healthy blue space for healthy communities.

Hear about emerging research into the emotional, psychological and therapeutic benefit of engaging with blue space.

“Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea” (Sylvia Earle, in ‘The World is Blue’, 2010).

What is ‘blue space’?

Blue space refers to all visible, outdoor, natural, or semi-natural surface waters with potential for the promotion of human health and wellbeing (e.g. rivers, lakes, canals, coasts, sea).

What is ‘Urban blue’?

Urban blue, or ‘blue urbanism’ is a concept popularised by author and sustainability expert Tim Beatley. It recognises increasingly urbanised world we live and that the majority of the world’s populations leave on or near coastal areas and waterways. Urban Blue seeks to highlight the interconnections between healthy blue space and healthy cities and communities.


10.00 – 10.30am, Ladies Beach, Salthill

Dive in! Get immersed in the big blue! Join us for a dip in the ocean* at Ladies Beach. All welcome.
(*swim at own risk)

11.00 – 12.30pm, Silver Strand

Art in Nature - Join artist Finbar McHugh and surfer-scientist Easkey Britton in the creation of a collective 'art in nature' installation. FREE / Open to all. Bring a curious mindset!

2.00 - 5.00pm, Salthil Hotel

BLUE VISION - NEAR Health (NUIG) Backcasting workshop on 'healthy future blue spaces'.

Places limited, by invite only. If interested in participating, please contact:

Join the conversation: @HealthyIreland @HealthyGalway @NEARhealth_NUIG #BlueSpacesGalway #UrbanHealth

Learn more / Useful links


Healthy Ireland

Irish Ocean Literacy Network

Blue Mind

Urban Ocean

Blue Urbanism

Reading / Resources

Beatley, Timothy, 2014. Blue Urbanism: Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans, Washington, DC: Island Press.

Earle, Sylvia. 2010. The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean’s Are One, Washington, DC: National Geographic.

DePledge, Michael and William Bird, 2009. “The Blue Gym: Health and Wellbeing From Our Coasts,” Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol 58, pp.947-948.

Wheeler, Benedict, et al, 2012. “Does Living By The Coast Improve Health and Wellbeing?” Health and Place, Vol 18, pp.1198-1201.


URBAN BLUE CONVERSATIONS organised & hosted by HEALTHY GALWAY CITY in partnership with NEAR-Health, NUIG.

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