The 3-Cities Project is the first research initiative to commence within Project Lifecourse and focuses on Dublin, Limerick and Galway City.  The 3-Cities Project, which adopts a participatory and explorative qualitative approach, aims to re-imagine services and communities to maximise participation for potentially vulnerable people in their communities and cities and in Irish society.  Focusing on older people (aged 65 years and over), children and youth (aged 12 to 18 years) and people with a disability (sensory/physical and intellectual disability) in Galway, Limerick and Dublin, the 3-Cities Project has five main objectives:

  1. Capture the diverse life-course perspectives of children and youth, older people and people with disabilities, on community participation, and integrate their voices into policy and practice innovation;

  2. Explore the role of community and city contexts in shaping the participatory experiences of children and youth, older people and people with disabilities;

  3. Critically review existing service infrastructure for supporting participation amongst children and youth, older people and people with disabilities in community and city life;

  4. Underpinned by a commitment to citizen engagement, develop a shared understanding of the assets and opportunities of community living across the life course, with children and youth, older people, persons with disabilities, and local and regional stakeholders;

  5. Develop, implement and evaluate integrative models for participation that support and enable children and youth, older people and people with disabilities.

The 3-Cities Project has been interested in how to enhance the participation of the three citizen groups we have worked with in our cities. To reflect the multifaceted nature of community participation, the project has maintained a focus on services that support community participation related to: health and social care; social inclusion and connection; housing; transport; and education, training and employment.

The 3-Cities Project is an ambitious and unique programme of work which is the first example of an applied research effort to address this topic for the three target groups in an integrative way. The work programme gives particular consideration to how services and communities can account for life transitions and life pathways, and aspects of human development across the life course.