During the recent World Urban Parks congress hosted in Adelaide, Australia Fingal County Council’s Senior Parks and Landscape Officer, Kevin Halpenny was presented with the ‘World Urban Parks Distinguished Individual Award’ for his exemplary advocacy and relentless efforts in fostering urban livability, sustainability, and community engagement through parks, open spaces, and related initiatives.
World Urban Parks is a global non-profit organization that promotes the importance of parks, open spaces, and recreation in urban environments. It is dedicated to creating healthier and more sustainable communities through advocacy, collaboration, and shared knowledge. The ‘World Urban Parks Distinguished Individual Award’ is awarded to individuals who have had major ongoing contributions that have impacted the sector.
The World Urban Parks citation stated that – “His work embodies a dedication to advancing the parks, open space, and recreation industry while championing the principles of urban biodiversity and the utilization of Ecosystem Services and Nature-Based Solutions in addressing the challenges of burgeoning urbanization.
“A staunch advocate for public health and wellbeing, Kevin believes that parks and urban green infrastructure are fundamental to community wellness. His approach emphasizes evidence-based practices in planning, management, and health promotion, ensuring the development of strategies that positively impact historic landscape restoration, biodiversity action plans, transportation infrastructure, and the creation of new parks, sports facilities, and urban green spaces.”
Cllr Adrian Henchy, the Mayor of Fingal, said: – “This is a tremendous and well-deserved honour for Kevin who has been instrumental in overseeing the development of our parks, open spaces and recreational facilities. It really puts into perspective what he has achieved in Fingal when that work is recognized with such a prestigious global award.”
AnnMarie Farrelly, the Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, said: – “Kevin Halpenny has been with Fingal County Council from the very beginning and his imprint is all over the county in the many projects he has led over the past 30 years. He has always been focused on delivering top quality projects, so this award is a well-deserved recognition for that commitment to best practice at a world-class standard.”
Luis Romahn, the Chief Executive of World Urban Parks, said: – “Kevin J. Halpenny’s visionary leadership has led to the introduction of innovative initiatives focusing on Green Infrastructure Planning and Management. His invaluable contributions have not only created diverse capital projects but have also laid the foundation for a more sustainable and healthier urban environment. World Urban Parks recognizes Kevin J. Halpenny’s outstanding commitment and contributions, lauding his efforts as a beacon of inspiration for professionals in the parks, open space, and recreation industry. His remarkable achievements and dedication align perfectly with the ethos of the Distinguished Individual Award, acknowledging his profound impact on shaping urban landscapes for the better.”
Kevin Halpenny who is a landscape architect and environmental engineer has been working with the Fingal County Council since 1994 when it was founded, he has previously worked in the Parks Departments of Dublin County Council and the London Borough of Islington, and previously was the president of the Irish landscape institute and is currently a Chair of the World urban Park’s Europe Committee as well as their Climate Change and Resilience Committee.
He has worked on many Fingal County Council projects over the past 30 years such as the renovations of the Shackleton Gardens in Clonsilla and Bremore Castle in Balbriggan. His current projects is the construction of Ballymastone Recreational Hub in Donabate and the redevelopment of Ward River Valley Park in Swords.
Kevin Halpenny commented: – “I am truly honoured to receive the Distinguished Individual Award 2023 from World Urban Parks. I believe this award directly reflects the collective commitment and support of Fingal County Council for the planning, development and management of high quality public open space and outdoor amenities in Fingal.”
Kevin Halpenny has previously worked on the new Porterstown Recreational Hub in Castleknock. The new state-of-the-art sports facility was officially opened on the 15th of June by Cllr Howard Mahony, the previous Mayor of Fingal. Porterstown Recreational Hub features a top-class running track and an all-weather sporting field designed to provide an exceptional platform for athletes of all levels to excel in their chosen sport and aims to create an environment that encourages physical fitness, community engagement, and sporting excellence. The facility offers a cutting-edge track, ensuring athletes have the opportunity to train and compete at the highest level. The all-weather sporting field which the running track surrounds will provide an outstanding venue for local teams, enhancing the overall footballing experience.
Cllr Howard Mahony, commented: – “I am exceptionally proud to stand here today to officially open this magnificent sporting facility. Delivery of this key project is testament to our commitment to fostering a healthy and active lifestyle for our residents in Castleknock and the surrounding Dublin 15 area. It is a place where dreams will be chased, records will be broken, and sporting talents will be nurtured. I am confident that this state-of-the-art recreation hub will inspire our community to engage in sports and will serve as a centre for outstanding athletic achievements.”