08 February, 2007

One hundred days

...Or thereabouts till Election Day, although Paddy Power doesn't seem to be banking on the 18th May just yet.

We've had a few good days recently, seems like the fate of the Planet is inversely related to the Greens' poll ratings. Even Ruairi Quinn is talking about climate-proofing the National Development plan for gosh sakes!

A lively Green Party Dún Laoghaire branch meeting this evening, Two dozen people, and we had to resort to sitting on the table, as we'd run out of chairs. People want vision and they want ideas, it's as simple as that. The Green Party doesn't for a minute have a monopoly on either of those, but we have been beating the drum on climate change for a long time, and people are starting to notice.

Yesterday went well. Publishing an Urban Development policy has been an aspiration of mine for years. hats off to Deirdre Joyce, one of our researchers for pulling my own scattered thoughts and those of others together. Five pages of comments on the ireland.com poll with the question "Do you think an independent planning agency, as suggested by the Green Party, is needed?" the last time I looked, and 79% in favour.

The Cake Café in the Daintree Building on Camden street in town was the venue, and a perfect place it is. The building is a brilliant example of good practice: - mixed-use; mix of the old and new; green cement; grey water; wood cladding; bicycle parking, the works. Mike and Brian from Solearth Ecological Architecture did themselves proud. Remind me not to have press conferences outside in February ever again though! It was a tad on the chilly side.
This diagram that I borrowed from the 'Towards an Urban Renaissance' report is one of my favourites, though. We nicked it from Richard Rogers' report and it really clearly illustrates how to build sustainable urban neighbourhoods.

Chris, Patricia and Trevor spoke well, and we adjourned into the cafe afterwards to thaw out after the press conference.

There's lots more info to come on the Government's green record or lack of one. Wait till you see the Minister's carbon footprints, once I get the replies back to the questions I fired in to each Minister last week!

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