Mo Cheád Phóg/My First Kiss

Galway, Ireland – This Valentine's Day, the University of Galway's UrbanLab launched an innovative and engaging project titled “Mo Chéad Phóg” (My First Kiss), inviting the public to map the locations of their first kisses in Galway. In a unique blend of urban studies and romantic nostalgia, this map-based survey aims to uncover the hidden geographies of love and connection within the city.

Dr. Patrick Collins, director of UrbanLab, expressed his enthusiasm for the project: “It’s a time of year when romance is in the air. We are encouraging people to (anonymously) share the locations of their first kisses in Galway. These moments are significant in our social development, marking either the late bloom of romance or the beginning of a new way of seeing the world.”

The “Mo Chéad Phóg” survey seeks to go beyond traditional urban design's focus on functionality and public provision. By collecting data on these intimate, personal experiences, UrbanLab Galway hopes to gain insights into how emotional connections influence the use of urban spaces. This understanding could lead to innovative approaches to city planning and design, making Galway a city that not only meets the functional needs of its residents but also resonates with their personal histories and emotional landscapes.

“We are moving towards a deeper appreciation of how personal experiences shape our interaction with urban environments,” Dr. Collins added. “This project is about recognizing the layers of love, memory, and connection that contribute to the essence of Galway. By mapping these moments, we aim to enrich our approach to urban development and create spaces that truly reflect the diverse experiences of those who live in and love this city.”

UrbanLab Galway invites all residents and visitors who have shared a first kiss in Galway to participate in the “Mo Chéad Phóg” survey. The results are expected to offer fascinating insights into the intersections of public space and personal narratives, contributing to the ongoing conversation about the role of experience and emotion in urban design