The People's Land Trust project reimagines future sustainability and urban land use in Cork city's northside. The project uses an experimental approach bringing together a radical school and the Community Land Trust model in a co-creative social art project. 

What is a Community Land Trust 

A Community Land Trust (CLT) is a community-led mechanism for holding land in perpetuity for use by communities. Community Land Trust's developed from ideas of common ownership and the stewardship of land or natural resources for future wider community benefit. 

While CLT’s are a legal structure, the CLT model has been adapted by communities around the world according to the needs of the communities it serves. Through participatory decision-making, CLT 'Trustees', co-create agreements that are appropriate for their locality. 

There are many questions to consider when deciding what's appropriate, for instance, if an agreement reflects how the land is held for future beneficiaries - our children and their children's children - what does the CLT need to provide or to preserve for the future?

The People's Land Trust art project is interested in the potential of adapting these ideas for Cork City.  

The project is a space for meeting, sharing and learning. It's a space for coming together to creatively and practically experiment. It's a space to imagine setting up one of the first urban Community Land Trust's in Ireland. 

What is a radical school 

‘Radical schools’ are an alternative space for learning that has its roots in 1960’s South America. The thinking behind them is that learning can happen in an equal participatory way with everyone’s experience being valued and shared. In the People’s Land Trust School people come together to learn about the Community Land Trust model and use their shared understanding to imagine how it could be adapted for Cork.

Project Ambitions 

A short term goal - to come together to grow a community with shared knowledge and understanding of the CLT mechanism, with a view to considering together how it might be adapted locally for Cork city's northside. The People's Land Trust School is a way to kick start and inform this process, to gather knowledge from different sources and to work through ideas in creative and practical workshops.


A long term goal - to find a suitable plot of land within the boundaries of the northside of the city. This may be a gifted plot of land, community purchased, grant-aided or crowd funded. 



The People's Land Trust is a social art project initiated by Cork based visual artists Marilyn Lennon, Colette Lewis and Elinor Rivers. As three artists we have been working together in partnership since 2018. 


With support of research and development funding from the Arts Council of Ireland and Cork City Council Arts Office we are working with Berlin based architect Dr. Sabine Horlitz as our mentor on the formation of Community Land Trusts.  Dr. Noelle English is collaborating as a witness writer through out the duration of the project. We are receiving support from Cork City Partnership on this project.  


The People's Land Trust project is a recipient of the Arts Participation Project Award, Arts Council of Ireland (2021),

Artist in the Community Award, Research and Development Strand with Mentoring, Arts Council of Ireland managed by CREATE (2020) and Art in Context, Research and Development Award, Cork City Council (2020) and the Artist in the Community Award, Research and Development Strand,  Arts Council of Ireland managed by CREATE (2018).