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Dr Vincent Carragher

Research Fellow
Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering


Project Title: Research exploring sustainability measurement, drivers and Sustainability Development Goals at the community scale

Keywords: SDGs, Sustainability, transition, behaviour change, community intervention, drivers, Discourse Based Approaches, Participatory Action Research.


Vincent’s research has been funded by a number of organisations including the Irish Research Council, Interreg, Intelligent Energy Europe and the EPA. The IRC funded the development of a novel Ecological Footprint for Irish communities and currently 95 Ecological Footprints (EF) have been carried out. The research embeds the EF measurement and its communication in the community. Living labs now exist in Ireland where through regular cycles of EF measurement, reinterpretation and open discourse the carbon intensity of current day lifestyle practices and behaviour is reduced.

Vincent’s research has also critically reviewed community interventions which compel sustainable-behaviour change identifying 109 drivers enhanced by those interventions. It tested and ranked these drivers and barriers using Discourse Based Approaches within Irish communities. It produced sustainability driver profiles for each of these communities. These profiles were then utilised in the co-design of sustainability practices and policies for these communities. The co-design facilitated a rich harvest of sustainability ideas with the communities and expert stakeholders in policy, resource use and sustainability practice. Many of these ideas have been co-produced into   Associate Professor Sarah McCormack was the PI in this research.

His research includes an EPA funded project on the traffic generated NO2 impacts on health in vulnerable groups and communities for which the PI’s were Professor Margaret O’Mahony and Professor Brian Broderick.

Vincent has recently won EPA funding to investigate the Sustainable Development Goals at the community scale. This see’s the department partner with the Wheel in a major identification of SDG action in communities across Ireland. Subsequently the identification of the exemplar SDG case studies and the 109 sustainability drivers will be utilised to roll out a national competition for communities. The monitoring of this best-practice competition will provide further iterations to this research in the future. Likely directions will be the co-production of community exemplars of sustainability. Associate Professor Sarah McCormack is a collaborator in this research.