53 I never felt I had privacy [in London], because you walked out of the front door, you were on the street. You walk out the back door and there was a right of way between all the houses, people could walk down behind. Another participant met her future husband in London and while he was from an Irish family, he had never visited Ireland: I brought him back. I did say to him at the time we got married, I said “You realise at some stage we do have to move back, this is not, you know negotiable.” Particularly if we were going to have kids, I just though no, there’s no way, I don’t want to be bringing them up in a city. While the concepts of well-being and quality of life have received a good deal of attention in the literature (see for instance Stiglitz et al. 2009) the concept of liveability is much less developed. Drawing on the work of Australian urbanist Kevin Lynch, Harrop (2008) emphasizes the significance of three foundational values in assessing liveability: continuity, connection and openness. For Lynch, liveable places must accommodate people, support their well-being and enable them to pursue their individual aspirations and goals, (Lynch, 1981). Veenhoven (2000) observes that while liveability is associated with quality of life as a whole, it also emphasizes close networks, strong norms and voluntary activity. The opposite of liveability, she notes, is social fragmentation. Participants in Townscape demonstrated a strong sense of social and communal solidarity anchored in everyday social relations and practices. Liveabiity in Stradbally derives from being enmeshed in familial and local networks as well as good neighbourliness. Residents generate solidarity based on a strong sense of identity and sense of place. Their activism enhances their sense of themselves as part of a vibrant community: You meet people at the Court Café…it’s just a treasure of a place. Because it’s kind of they are just a really nice family that run it. There’s an elderly farmer, who parks his tractor outside and goes in there for his dinner. There is a queue every day for the home baked bread. I think people are just really old fashioned and nice. I mean there’s a lot of problems. It has all the problems of a modern town. But I think there’s a core of people, people have a kind of core of community still here, and decency, and if you’re nice to them they’ll be nice to you…I don’t know there is just a very gentle side of people here. It’s a very friendly town. People you’ve only met once will go out of their way and cross the road to wave at you, beep their horn. This sense of the social collective is most apparent in the widespread support for the Electric Picnic Festival that is perceived as the town’s “signature” event and is viewed positively by all participants: People come from all over the world, you go on holidays and when you say where you are from Ireland they ask about Electric Picnic, and I say yes. I live next door to it. It is a fantastic thing. Great for the economy in Portlaoise too and all round. It’s like anything else: you see the seedy side of it but also the best in people. The arts, the imagination, the creativity of people. It’s absolutely awesome.