In this week’s And Finally, we cover all things play, our dark tourism recommendations, and the Dublin neighbourhood voted the world’s second coolest.
And Finally... 20 October 2023
Our weekly round-up for everyone in local government.
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Highlights from this week: all things play, our dark tourism recommendations, and the Dublin neighbourhood voted the world's second coolest
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Global Local: Play!
Local government playful? Of course! Local governments create safe play spaces, organise community events, and implement play-based learning programmes through education or in partnership with civic groups. It's well known that play significantly impacts children's cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development while also laying a strong foundation for learning. Of course, there are challenges such as funding, inclusivity, and safety concerns.
By addressing these issues and fostering community involvement, local governments have the potential to make a profound impact on children's development and create bright futures filled with endless possibilities. But it's not just about the kids. Playful placemaking transforms dull urban spaces into engaging learning environments. Local governments hold the power to implement and support such innovative projects, enhancing community connection and education. Child-friendly communities create benefits for the young, the young at heart, and the rest of us. Using principles from serious play can help local governments engage citizens more effectively, share learning about heritage and history or help employees develop skills.
In this week's Global Local, we take a fresh look at playful approaches to place making, show you communities in Denmark that have created magical playgrounds, plus new approaches to urban design, child-friendly cities and making civic engagement and even staff training more fun and engaging.
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Something for everyone
We’re all about celebrating and showcasing the best of local government. Everyone can read, enjoy and share our open features and interviews.
Local Democracy Week – are teenagers interested in local democracy?
To mark 2023’s Local Democracy Week, Fatema Limbada, Civic and Member Services Manager at Brent Council, explores the question of youth participation in local democracy in this think piece. With more and more research finding concerning rates of low engagement among the young demographic, how can those in local government help change the tide?
Is 20 plenty? How councils are leading the drive for slower traffic
A growing number of UK roads are subject to 20mph speed limits. Welcomed by road safety campaigners (plus pedestrians and cyclists), they face opposition from motoring organisations and some politicians. So how do such schemes work, and what do they achieve besides weighty arguments?
UNISON’s Champions Day
The LGIU is proud to support UNISON’s Champions Day, which celebrates local government workers and all they do for communities and services. We hear from Sarah Pearce, Assistant National Officer at UNISON who is leading their Champions Campaign, about how it all works and how you can get involved.
‘Decarbonising Communities Network’ in Mayo County Council
Next up in our series of articles showcasing the latest local government innovation from the Chambers Ireland 2022 Excellence in Local Government Awards, Mayo County Council shares the story behind the award-winning Decarbonising Communities Network.
Quick question of the week: Dark Tourism
Halloween is fast approaching and to celebrate LGIU will be casting an eye on all things "dark tourism". A semi-recent concept with a long tradition, dark tourism concerns sightseeing at some of the least happy places on Earth, sites of tragedy, war, incarceration, disasters and death. This week, we want to know what dark tourism destination you found the most interesting, moving or even chilling.
Or do you have a dark tourism site in your local area - tell us about it. Is there local government involvement in its management or related tourism? We'll run our favourite submissions in next week's And Finally. We're just looking for a sentence or two.
Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our dark tourism edition of Global Local on the 31st October, featuring an interview with the mayor of Salem, Massachusetts.
This week, some of the LGIU team's own recommendations for dark tourism destinations of note...
Our Scotland Commissioner Kim recommends the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, supposedly the most haunted graveyard in the world. Kim describes it as "amazingly atmospheric".
Head of Content Ingrid has visited several dark tourism hotspots in her time, ranging from the Paris Catacombs to Marx's and Adam Smith's graves. Ingrid is also hoping to visit Hank Williams' grave, Buford Pusser's "death car" and the Bloody Pond at Shiloh, Tennessee.
Andrew, our Head of Research, recommends Pere Lachaise in Paris, the most visited necropolis in the world, as well as the eerie Seafield House in Westward Ho!, Devon and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Vietnam.
Our Chief Operating Officer Heather says you "can't not mention the Taj Mahal" when it comes to dark tourism, as it is essentially "a very beautiful and over-the-top tomb".
Our Content Manager Freya reluctantly suggested the Body Worlds museum in Amsterdam, recalling the time she visited and "naively didn't actually know much about it, especially for someone who is really squeamish. We ended up accidentally walking around the museum the wrong way and it was only when I got to the end (the actual beginning) that I read the sign explaining how it was actual human bodies on display. I genuinely thought it was just plastic models, so I'm kind of glad I didn't know while going around because I don't think I would have handled it well!".
Jack, our Membership Coordinator for England, suggested Mary King's Close in Edinburgh, a street under the Edinburgh City Chambers with a reputation for hauntings.
Our Content Officer Sid recommends Alcatraz Island for an interesting mix of 20th-century history. Closer to home, he recommends Abney Park and Nunhead Cemetery in London for some of the city's best walking spots.
Simone, our Events Coordinator, recommends Narni Sotterranea, a historic subterranean underworld rediscovered in 1977, containing a church and prison.
Our International Operations Assistant Thomas highlighted the surging popularity of Northern Ireland's tourism industry, in part due to Troubles-related conflict tourism.
Finally, our Head of International Operations Hannah told us she once "took a lot of buses to get myself to Malmesbury specifically to see the grave of the first person to have been killed by a tiger in Britain". Hard to top that.
Exclusive LGIU member resources
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Scotland | Autumn Bulletin 2023
Australia | A Working Future for all Australians
England and Wales | England policy round-up: August and September 2023
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This story made us smile
Smithfield named the world's second-coolest neighbourhood
Global media and hospitality brand Time Out has named Dublin's Smithfield neighbourhood as the second coolest in the world - edged out only by Laureles in Medellín, Colombia, and beating neighbourhoods in Madrid, Copenhagen and Hong Kong. Time Out surveyed more than 12,000 people to inform its decision, before turning to the "insight and expertise" of its city editors and local experts, who considered factors like community and social ventures, thriving street life, and access to open and green space.
Irish Independent Irish Times Online
This story comes from Ireland Daily News.
Daily News is an LGIU member-only service that keeps you connected to all the local government stories in the national and regional
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