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UrbanLab Galway is made up of multidisciplinary team, led by Patrick Collins and Ulf Strohmayer.

Patrick Collins is a native of Galway and has worked as an Economic Geographer at the University of Galway since 2012. Prior to that he was a researcher at the Whitaker Institute where his work looked at the location decisions of multinational tech companies. More recently, Pat has turned his attention to Creative Economies and Cultural Production. Through a number of EU funded projects, Pat has sought to better understand the relationship between culture, creativity and production as well as identifying the unique role played by Geography. Pat has contributed to both of Galway’s designation of UNESCO City of Film and European Capital of Culture. He has published over 20 internationally peer reviewed journal articles and two books. He is currently Director of the newly formed UrbanLab Galway at the University of Galway. His new book Galway: making a capital of culture is published by Orpen Press.

Ulf Strohmayer is the Established Professor of Urban Geography at the University of Galway. A native of Germany, he studied and taught in Sweden, France, Pennsylvania and Wales (U.K.) before settling in the West of Ireland in 2001. His academic interests lie especially in social and historical philosophies and urban planning in Western Europe. Ulf served as Head of Geography (2001-09), of the School of Geography and Archaeology (2008-13) and of the Academic Union at the University of Galway since 2013. A strong advocate of collaborative decision-making, he co-founded the UrbanLab Galway in 2020 together with his colleague, Dr Pat Collins. The Lab brings together talent from Ireland, Europe and beyond to explore concrete solutions to the challenges posed by sustainable urbanism, with a particular focus on small- to medium sized cities. He publishes widely in international journals on issues relating to urban planning, history and sustainable urbanism more generally. Presently, he is writing a book on ‘Urban Vacancy’ for Routledge.

Mark Justin Rainey is an urban and cultural geographer who arrived in Galway in 2020. Born in Canada but raised in Manchester and with family in Japan, he is an interdisciplinary scholar who combines activism, public engagement and scholarship. Mark has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Philosophy and has worked in cultural sector management and the refugee justice sector in both the UK and Australia. In 2017 he was awarded a PhD in Cultural Studies from the University of London. Most recently, Mark has taken up an interest in the geographies of local development and the role of the creative sector in placemaking. He was Project Lead on UrbanLab Galway’s Church House Consultation in 2022 in collaboration with Galway City Council. He is currently a researcher on the Horizon Europe INSITU Project which explores the role of the creative and cultural industries in peripheral areas of Europe.

Oisin Slevin has recently joined as a Researcher at the University of Galway. Prior to that he spent close to a decade working as a Industrial/Software Engineer. His work focused on creating Manufacturing Simulation Models and devloping automated GIS systems for Telecoms to provide Fibre to the home in multiple countries. More recently his work has been focused on creating interactive 3D City Scale models, VR Experiences and an Urban index of Galway City.

Lua Flannery is a researcher and product designer in the University’s UrbanLab Galway. Lua’s work explores creative and equitable practices for civic participation within the context of planning and development. Recently completing a master's in digital art & design, her work focuses on creating mechanisms for positive social impact by embracing engagement processes, digital & interaction design. Recognising the crucial role that spaces and places play in shaping societies, Lua aims to establish tools that not only facilitate, but also democratize access to planning and design systems and provide co-creation opportunities for contributing to healthier, more inclusive, and sustainable futures.

Maeve McGandy is a doctoral researcher and tutor at the University’s Geography department. As a Geography Scholar, her research explores adaptation to climate change at various scales. Focusing on the spheres of planning, policy & practice, she is investigating whether and how local knowledge(s), generated via participatory approaches, can help address the needs of communities impacted by climate change along the West coast of Ireland. Maeve holds an MA in Environment, Society & Development from NUI Galway and a BSc in Geography from Queen’s University, Belfast. Prior to embarking on PhD study, she worked as a programme manager for UN-Habitat, in the Asia-Pacific region, on climate adaptation, urban resilience & knowledge management projects. At the UrbanLab, Maeve works on designing and implementing innovative knowledge co-production practices for community-oriented planning.

Philip Keegan is a recent graduate from the University of Galway with a first-class honours MA in Environment, Society, and Development and BA in Sociology, Politics and Geography.

Philip’s research focuses on geopolitics, discourse analysis, and the representation of minorities within the media.