The IPI Autumn Conference and the Research Deficit in Planning in Ireland

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The IPI Autumn Conference and the Research Deficit in Planning in Ireland

On October 18, 2010, Posted by , in Events, News, With 2 Comments

In his address to the Irish Planning Insitute Autumn Conference, last Thursday (14th October), Gordon Daly, President of the institute stressed the ‘need for a coherent and coordinated research effort at national level’ to suuport evidence-based planning in Ireland. It was argued that there has been a sginficant deficit in this area since the dissolution of An Foras Forbatha in the early 1990s.

At the same time, there is considerable expertise in planning and related matters in academic schools and research institutes in DIT, UCC, UCD, NUI Maynooth and elsewhere. The ESPON programme can potentially make a signficant contribution to bridging this deficit, placing developments in Ireland in the context of wider experience in Europe and providing a link between research and practice. Perhaps it is time to bring all stakeholders together (incl. professional bodies, research institutes, DoEHLG) to create a dialogue on applied planning research in Ireland and to ensure that research efforts are coordinated and effective?

All comments and suggestions are welcome.

2 Comments so far:

  1. I completely agree that there is a need for more evidence based planning within Ireland because the planning system, to date, has not managed and delivered development in a sustainable manner. I would however argue that there may not be a research deficit as there is, and has always been, a huge amount of research work carried out within academic institutions and bodies like NIRSA and ICLRD. The problem however is twofold, in that there is no co-ordination of this research work on an all island basis, and when much of the work is utilised and discussed within the public arena, it is either heavily criticised and/or completely ignored. I think that the latter has been prevalent in the last number of years. Indeed, it could be argued that this lack of co-ordination has led to duplication of work within the research field. I think there is a key role for a body (such as the IPI and/or the RTPI?) to co-ordinate this research work emerging from academic institutions and others, and more importantly, to communicate this work with planning practitioners throughout Ireland. I would pose the question, how much research work carried out by academic institutions or others, has been utilised by practitioners within local authorities or in private planning practice in their everyday work? The evidence is there, we just need to use it!

  2. Padraig makes a good point here. There is a good research resource in Ireland, however, planning practionners are not aware of it. The main problem is that there is not (as far as I am aware) any professional publication of planning practice in Ireland. The RTPI have recently brought Insite magasine back to life for members, and I don’t think the IPI have published any papers recently. There are good links between the Institutes and the Universities, so addressing the issue is resolvable!

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