CORK City Council has officially launched its age-friendly seating in the city centre, with plans for more work later in the year.
Made possible with funding from the National Transport Authority (NTA), the retrofitted age-friendly seating is attached to the concrete and marble plinths in five locations in the city centre, including Grand Parade, Cornmarket St, and Patrick St.
The retrofitting includes wooden slats and backs, and armrests, in order to meet the criteria identified to qualify as age-friendly seating.
Additionally, five other benches will be retrofitted with armrests on the Grand Parade promenade in 2022. The project was initiated following consultation with the Cork Age Friendly City older persons representatives and a cross-directorate team was drawn together to deliver the age-friendly seating.
The locations and plans were reviewed by occupational therapist Linda Horgan and the seating was built by local fabricator, Euroforce Engineering.
“I’m delighted to be in a position to launch this project, particularly as the project was the result of such close cooperation and design across our organisation,” Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council and chair of the Cork Age Friendly City Alliance said, speaking at the launch.
John Mullins, executive chairman of Amarenco and Age Friendly ambassador for Cork city, lauded the initiative.
“This project is a perfect example of the fact that if you design for older people you accommodate everyone. It is functional, attractive and inviting for older people to enjoy their visit to the city and more likely to encourage them to come into the heart of it.”
Speaking on behalf of the Cork Age Friendly City Forum, Phil Ní Mhurchú praised the level of engagement with the group.
“It was wonderful to be involved in this project from beginning to end,” she said. “To know our voices would be heard and that our opinion matters is very important. To see the project delivered in such a short space of time and knowing that all future seating plans in the city would consider the age-friendly guidelines is very encouraging.”