26 May, 2010

As goes Killorglin, so goes the Nation?

Had a decent discussion on Morning Ireland on Tuesday about the good news that councillors in Kerry decided to downzone land in Killorglin, and thus inject a touch more realism into their Development Plan.

In doing so they are anticipating the passage of the 2009 Planning Bill which is making its way through the Oireachtas.

I'll be discussing this as well as taking any general questions on the theme of 'proper planning' in a video-conference that I'll be hosting on Friday 26th May 2010 at 1pm. You can login at the link here and fire in any questions that come to mind. I'll be based in my office in Dun Laoghaire, but you can join me as long as you're connected to the interweb, somewhere.

Last night I spoke at the "Planning Our Retreat from Fossil Fuels: Exploring the Ramifications of Peak Oil" talk at Cultivate.
Richard O'Rourke and David Korowicz painted fairly pessimistic pictures of Ireland's failure to tackle this challenge in a discussion moderated by John Gibbons. Without being a Pollyanna on the topic I pointed out that we coped with a massive reduction in energy during the Emergency seventy years ago, and that low-energy technology is evolving very rapidly. We still need to move much more rapidly to reduce our dependence on oil, and need to to move this debate centre-stage.

I'm writing this from the 720 train to Kilkenny from Heuston. I'm on my way to open the "
Local Economies, Strong Communities" Conference in Kilkenny. Thanks to Mayor Malcolm Noonan for inviting me.

On Friday Cultivate is hosting the Convergence Festival Conference
Rethinking the City in the Greenhouse, Andrews Street, Dublin 2. There I'll be trying to answer the question "How do we transform our cities to be green, smart and resilient?"

On Friday evening there's a lecture by David Engwicht on the theme of "How to bring the Streets to Life" down in Dublin City Council's Wood Quay Venue. Apparently David likes plonking a chair down in the middle of the road and hold interviews while providing some automatic traffic calming at the same time. It all sounds intriguing!

All in all, lot's of discussion around the themes of sustainability this week, and I hope you can join me online this Friday at One to discuss the planning implications on www.irishdebate.com.

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