NUI Galway Host Conference on Regional Development Planning

Sep 08 2016 Posted: 14:35 IST

NUI Galway will host a major conference on ‘Planning For Regional Development: The National Planning Framework as a Roadmap for Ireland's Future’. The conference will take place on Friday, 9 September at 9.30am in Áras na Mac Léinn.

The conference is organised by the Regional Studies Association Irish Branch, in collaboration with NUI Galway and the Western Development Commission. Current trends suggest that the next 30 years could see the Republic’s population reach up to 6.5 million and Ireland will need to plan for such growth. The development pressures arising, along with the need to address development legacies from the past require innovative and long-term thinking to avoid unnecessary congestion, inadequate housing provision as well as meeting the hugely challenging environment of change internationally, including the impending Brexit.

Speakers will include:

  • Paul Hogan, Senior Advisor of Planning at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.
  • Professor Markku Sotarauta, University of Tampere, Finland and an influential expert on leadership and regional development.
  • Peter Mehlbye, former Director of the European Spatial Planning Observatory Network, was involved in the Advisory Committee for the Irish National Spatial Strategy.
  • Professor Leonie Janssen-Jansen, Professor of Land Use Planning at Wageningen University in the Netherlands.
  • Dr Seán O'Riordáin, Chairman of the Public Policy Advisors Network.

Dr Patrick Collins, Lecturer in the School of Geography and Archaeology and Cluster Leader in the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway and local organiser and committee member of the Regional Studies Irish Branch, said: “It is great that we get to bring the conversation on this into the west. NUI Galway has a long history in voicing the need for more balanced approaches to national development. Regional development is not a zero sum game, planning for balance is not ‘taking from one to give to another’. Instead it is ensuring that each place, town, county, city or region can reach its best potential.”

This conference is part of a wider public engagement initiative on behalf of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

For further detail regarding conference program and speaker profiles or visit  


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