RTPI President Janet Askew has visited Dublin to talk to Irish planners about their specific needs and challenges. Despite having a significantly different planning system from those in the UK, Dublin appeared to be facing up to similar issues and working in a similar context of reduced resources and pressures on planning to deliver.
Janet met with Acting City Planner, John O’Hara, and Council staff who outlined the work being undertaken on the new Dublin City Plan (pictured, right). The key issue was about delivering housing to meet high levels of need and making sure it was of a high quality.
It was clear that a large amount of work had been done providing an evidence base for the plan and the tight project management and statutory deadlines in place meant that it was being delivered quickly.
During my year it has been wonderful meeting students all over the world. I was delighted to visit University College Dublin, which has an active planning school and some excellent students.
There was then a visit to Dublin Docklands where Deirdre Scully outlined the Strategic Development Zone model used to redevelop the area. This clearly provided certainty for developers and communities, as well as delivering development at pace. Large scale foreign investment has been attracted to the area with companies such as Google, Facebook and Air BnB locating in the area. A tour demonstrated high quality design and a mixed use neighbourhood which had a real buzz. Key was that it was very well connected by public transport and had given priority to pedestrians and cycles.
Janet had also been invited to have lunch with An Bord Pleanela, Ireland’s independent planning inspectorate. Again despite a different way of doing this, issues and challenges were similar to that experienced in different parts of the UK and so discussion centred around how best to facilitate learning from different systems and the varied approaches to planning across Ireland and the UK.
RTPI student bursaries
After this Janet visited University College Dublin (UCD) where she talked to staff and students and presented bursaries funded by RTPI and UCD to Postgraduate students Sam Wallace and Luke Wymer (pictured, left). She also congratulated Dr Mick Lennon for winning the Early Career Research award at the RTPI Awards for Research Excellence.
"During my year it has been wonderful meeting students all over the world. I was delighted to visit University College Dublin, which has an active planning school and some excellent students. I met several of them today, all of whom were engaged with the major planning issues in Ireland – so many of which are relevant across the UK and beyond”
Find out more about RTPI Ireland.