Start Date

1st October 2023

End Date

31st December 2024

Funding Body

Creative Climate Action Fund II – Agents for Change, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme


University College Cork/ MaREI

Project Partners

The Playhouse Derry, Derry City and Strabane District Council and Mayo County Council

Principal Investigator

Dr. Lydia Cumiskey

Research Area

Climate Impacts and Adaptation


Ireland’s climate is changing with impacts already being felt, and expected to continue and intensify, especially in coastal towns and cities, across Derry-Londonderry and Mayo, vulnerable to coastal and riverine floods. Floods and their catchments don’t abide by administrative, geographical or political boundaries, as such knowledge exchange and learning between flood-affected communities and other government, scientific and policy actors is crucial.  BluePrint addresses this need using a creative co-creation process in the Derry City and Strabane District area, an All-Island learning exchange with Mayo and a creative co-creation toolkit to support actors working with communities on climate adaptation and flood resilience across the island of Ireland.  

The BluePrint project is a recipient of the Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme. It is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications. The fund supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empower citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations.

Aims and Activities

The BluePrint project engages flood-affected communities across generations, in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area, from villages Eglinton and Newtownstewart, in an artistic co-creation process to share and exchange their lived-experiences around flooding and climate adaptation.

A social engaged artist will creatively engage communities to co-create an artwork to communicate their lived experiences and support wider climate resilience outreach, engagement and policy in Derry-Londonderry and beyond. 

Experiences from the co-creation process in Derry-Londonderry will be shared in Mayo through an All-Island two-way learning and exchange bringing together other artists, government actors and scientific partners working on, or interested in, creative co-creation processes for engaging communities around climate adaptation and resilience.

Research and evaluation activities during the co-creation process in Derry-Londonderry and the learning exchange with Mayo will result in a creative co-creation toolkit targeting local governments and other professionals working with communities adapting to climate change across Ireland.

BluePrint Team

The BluePrint project is managed by the MaREI Centre, University College Cork, with partners the Playhouse, Derry City and Strabane District Council, and Mayo County Council.

  • Lydia Cumiskey is the BluePrint project investigator at UCC/ MaREI and is leading the research and evaluation of the co-creation process, learning exchange activities and creative co-creation toolkit development alongside colleagues Dr. Denise Mc Cullagh, Catriona Reid and Aoife Deane.
  • Paula Lakin is the BluePrint community engagement lead at the Playhouse, coordinating activities for the co-creation process with our socially-engaged artist and intergenerational participants in Eglinton and Newtownstewart.
  • Sara Walmsley is a socially-engaged artist and researcher who is facilitating the artistic co-creation process with the flood-affected communities. Lived experiences of flooding and climate change will be explored through the creation of digital soundscapes, while performance task workshop activities will support imaginative and shared reflections. This participatory and collaborative process supports documentation and learning for the toolkit.
  • Cathy Burns is the Climate Programme Manager at Derry City and Strabane District council, bridging connections with local flood-affected communities and supporting the co-creation process and further application of outputs.
  • Laura Dixon is the Climate Action Coordinator at Mayo County Council and is facilitating the All-Island learning exchange on creative co-creation for climate adaptation and resilience with Mayo.

The BluePrint team receives additional collaboration support from the Northern Ireland Environment Link/ Climate Northern Ireland (Dr. Jane McCullough) and Climate Action Regional Office Atlantic Seaboard North.

Flood-affected Communities

The BluePrint brings together two communities affected by flooding – Eglinton and Newtownstewart – within the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.

Eglinton is a village north-east of Derry-Londonderry City, close to the City of Derry Airport, which is exposed to fluvial flooding from the River Muff, tidal flooding from Lough Foyle and surface water flooding. The village experienced severe flooding in August 2017 where over 100 homes were damaged as well as critical infrastructure, with a similar area flooded again in July 2022. Participants in BluePrint include representatives from the Eglinton Community Resilience Group and youth from the Londonderry YMCA living in Eglinton. 

Newtownstewart is a village south of Strabane in County Tyrone, with the Strule River flowing it. The village experienced severe flooding in 2017 impacting the St Eugene’s Church (Glenock), local GAA pitch and many homes. Despite the risk of continued flooding, flood protection infrastructure was deemed financially inviable and a focus on properly level resilience measures prevails. Participants in BluePrint include community members active in the St Eugene’s Church (Glenock) restoration.

BluePrint will also facilitate exchange of learning on creative co-creation processes with communities in Mayo, including Crossmolina Town, which has a long history of flooding.  

 Flooding in Eglinton in 2017 (Credit: DCSDC)

Flooding in Eglinton in 2017 (Credit: DCSDC)

Strule River and old arched stone bridge in Newtownstewart (Credit: DCSDC)

Strule River and old arched stone bridge in Newtownstewart (Credit: DCSDC


The BluePrint project will result in:

  • Co-created artwork and outreach materials for wider risk communication in Derry
  • Creative co-creation toolkit for engaging communities around climate adaptation resilience

All project documents will be shared here when available.

Creative co-creation process

A series of workshops, led by socially engaged artists Sara Walmsley, will take place between March and August 2024 with the flood-affected communities, and a public showcase event in Derry-Londonderry in September 2024.

The co-creation process will involve participants in performance task workshops, each focusing and developing a theme key to climate change, adaptation and resilience. Each workshop will generate creative material that feeds the final co-created art piece. A playful and reflective approach uses music and theatre techniques to support participants in reaching a negotiated creative expression of their shared experiences. This process is inclusive, organic and highly creative in that it can react to all voices and abilities within the group.

The process begins by developing and using a sound walk in each of the localities to allow participants to share with the whole group the realities of flooding as they have experienced it. This use of sound walks is crucial to grounding the whole creative process in the realities and memories of lived experiences of climate change. The visits to each other’s community sets the tone for the subsequent knowledge exchange and reflections between participants. This will also have an impact on the sense of ownership that each community participant will feel towards the final co-created artistic output.

An All-Island Learning and Exchange Workshop will take place in Enniscoe House, Mayo on July 4th 2024 to share experiences on creative co-creation with communities supporting climate adaptation and resilience from Derry, Mayo and beyond.

participant making a model of the Strule River gushing through the old arched stone bridge in Newtownstewart
participant making a model of the Strule River gushing through the old arched stone bridge in Newtownstewart

An initial meeting with the flood-affected communities on March 9th 2024 provided a taster into the creative process. For example, one participant shared their experience of the sound of the River Strule gushing through the old arched stone bridge in Newtownstewart.

Partner Logos

Playhouse Derry Logo Mayo County Council Logo Derry Council Logo