Rewild Dublin?

A one-day conference exploring the role of urban rewilding in mitigating climate change impact and biodiversity loss, and improving resilience in our city.

Featuring walks, talks, conversations and commensality, the conference is free to attend and no booking is required (places on a ‘first come’ basis). Lunch is optional but needs to be booked – see below.

Wednesday 15th May 2024
NCAD, Harry Clarke Lecture Theatre, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8


  • 9.45-10.00 Introduction – Sophie von Maltzan
    Sophie von Maltzan who organised this conference on behalf of UCD Landscape Architecture, is a socially engaged environmental artist, landscape architect, gardener and farmer. She explores how citizens can be involved in the shaping of public spaces in ways that encourage biodiverse “communities of place” to develop.
  • 10.00- 10.30 Associate Professor of Sustainability Science Marcus Collier and artist Gareth Kennedy in conversation
    Dr. Marcus Collier is an Associate Professor of Sustainability Science in the School of Natural Sciences in Trinity College Dublin. His research focuses on the interface between social and ecological systems. He is leading the NovelEco research project, exploring novel ecosystem theory as a bridging concept and a conduit for rewilding urban society.
    Gareth Kennedy is an artist and lecturer in Sculpture and Expanded Practice at the NCAD. His practice explores the social agency of craft and anachronistic technologies in the 21st century and generates communities of interest around experimental material cultures. He is lead coordinator on NCAD FIELD, which charges students with developing new ‘Naturecultures’ on a Novel Ecology site beside the college.
  • 10.30-11.00 Hans Visser, Biodiversity Officer with Fingal County Council will be exploring some of the opportunities for urban rewilding
    Hans Visser, Biodiversity Officer, Fingal County Council, led the publication of the Fingal County Council Biodiversity Action Plan 2022 to 2030 and established a “Biodiversity Forum”  to oversee the implementation of over 100 actions from the Biodiversity Action Plan.
  • 11.00-11.30 Break
  • 11.30-12.30 Leslie Moore, Dr Catherine Keena and Sophie von Maltzan in conversation on immersive engagement with nature and rural and urban biodiversity
    Leslie Moore, the Head of Parks, Biodiversity and Landscape Services at Dublin City Council, is a Horticulturist and Landscape Architect. His team have been implementing a number of Greening Strategies in the City over the last few years which have involved the de-paving of 3 hectares of hard surfaces, the planting of hundreds of trees and plants which support biodiversity and two new parks.
    Dr. Catherine Keena is the Teagasc Countryside Management Specialist. She specialises in farm biodiversity and can often be seen speaking about the topic on RTÉ, Catherine specialises in best practice rural land management, she advises on how to enhance biodiversity, maximise ecosystem service value and the benefits of hedgerows in agriculture and rural areas. She is also a member of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Steering Group.
  • 12.30-13.30 self-guided walk to different sites of biodiversity in Dublin 8
    – NCAD Field, Bridgefoot Street Park, the Bee project on Watling Street, South Earl St allotments, Francis Street and local other sites to meet landscape architects, planners, community representatives and others who have designed and/or care for these settings.
  • 13.30-14.30 lunch provided by the Luncheonette (please note booking required – click here or see details below*)
    Luncheonette is a nomadic long term art project centred around hospitality and food, started by Jennie Moran in the NCAD canteen in 2013. It is a prolonged exploration into the complex alchemy of placemaking, centred on the provision of shared experiences using nourishment, shelter, comfort, warmth, light, tone and spatial poetry.
  • 14.30-15.30 Ecologist and writer Anja Murray, artist Seoidin O’Sullivan and landscape architect Brian Gaynor in conversation with David Crowley on community engagement
    Brian Gaynor is a landscape architect who works for Trees on the Land, a not-for-profit charity that plants and supplies native trees with communities and landowners. He has produced the Portlaoise Biodiversity Action Plan with Portlaoise Tidy Towns.
    Anja Murray is an ecologist, policy analyst, broadcaster and author, familiar to many from Eco Eye on RTÉ1 and radio documentaries (including Nature File & Root & Branch on RTÉ lyric fm). Anja’s work explores the wonders of Irelands natural world, the challenges and solutions to the current crisis, and creative approaches to helping people to re-engage. Her bestselling book Wild Embrace was published in 2023 by Hachette Ireland.
    Seoidin O’Sullivan is a socially engaged artist and lecturer at NCAD. Her practice and projects explores the urban ecological commons and has resulted in a number of community-led greening projects.
  • 15.30-16.00 Artist Jennie Moran on giving and taking from nature
    Jennie Moran is an artist who uses the philosophy, culture, and infrastructure of hospitality to create opportunities for shared connection. She researches the reciprocity between humans and more than humans, climate crisis as a hyperobject, collective experience and the anthropocene through hospitality.
  • 16.00-16.30 break
  • 16.30-17.10 Screening and talk by film-maker and environmentalist Randal Plunkett on the role of wilderness in contemporary film-making
    Randal Plunkett, the 21st Baron of Dunsany, is an Irish film-maker and the owner of Dunsany Nature Reserve, the first Irish project to be recognised by the European Rewilding Network.
  • 17.15-17.30 closing address from Professor Joerg Rekittke
    Joerg Rekittke is a trained nursery gardener, registered landscape architect and Head of Landscape Architecture at University College Dublin. He has held academic positions at RWTH Aachen University, Wageningen University (WUR), the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).

* An optional Rewild Dublin lunch (vegan) will be offered by Jennie Moran / The Luncheonette, a long-term art project exploring hospitality and food. Lunch is €12 and must be booked in advance – please book here. If you wish to attend, but not take lunch, there is no need to book. Places to attend the conference are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The conference is organised by artist and landscape architect Sophie von Maltzan with artist Gareth Kennedy with support from the UCD Earth Institute, NCAD and Landscape Architecture, UCD.