Document Type

Theses, Ph.D

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy to the Dublin Institute of Technology, April, 2010.

Abstract

This research examines ‘Smart Growth’, a planning and governance concept with an alternative philosophical and methodological approach towards urban planning. The concept calls for greater integration between the economic, environmental and social aspects of planning and development. The principles of smart growth must be viewed as long-term objectives that take into account the well being of both present and future generations. Current planning policy and strategy in Ireland implicitly if not explicitly supports the concept of smart growth. The principal research question asks: Within the context of Irish planning policy and strategy: how can Ireland move from rhetoric to reality in the delivery of more smart growth development? Allied to this is how the long-term goals of smart growth can be reconciled with the short-term political goals of present-day systems of governance. The main aims of the research were to gain a clear understanding of the forces of influence in planning and development processes, how those processes have evolved over time, the important role of theory and how globalisation has shaped an increasingly complex and uncertain society. A multi-method approach was adopted to include quantitative and qualitative data. Key outcomes from the research include: (i) urban development scenarios for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) in 2025, (ii) an Irish smart growth toolkit to facilitate the implementation of policy and strategy and (iii) a candidate list of indicators to monitor, track and evaluate progress towards more sustainable urban development. Evidence indicates that policy and strategy supports the principles of smart growth as a means to more even and environmentally responsible development, more so in theory than in practice. The need for a GDA regional authority which emerged as a theme throughout the study has been mooted at government level but not realised. This thesis demonstrates that sustainable solutions are possible. In addition, evidence presented suggests that there now exists sophisticated planning legislation that can be used as the This research examines ‘Smart Growth’, a planning and governance concept with an alternative philosophical and methodological approach towards urban planning. The concept calls for greater integration between the economic, environmental and social aspects of planning and development. The principles of smart growth must be viewed as long-term objectives that take into account the well being of both present and future generations. Current planning policy and strategy in Ireland implicitly if not explicitly supports the concept of smart growth. The principal research question asks: Within the context of Irish planning policy and strategy: how can Ireland move from rhetoric to reality in the delivery of more smart growth development? Allied to this is how the long-term goals of smart growth can be reconciled with the short-term political goals of present-day systems of governance. The main aims of the research were to gain a clear understanding of the forces of influence in planning and development processes, how those processes have evolved over time, the important role of theory and how globalisation has shaped an increasingly complex and uncertain society. A multi-method approach was adopted to include quantitative and qualitative data. Key outcomes from the research include: (i) urban development scenarios for the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) in 2025, (ii) an Irish smart growth toolkit to facilitate the implementation of policy and strategy and (iii) a candidate list of indicators to monitor, track and evaluate progress towards more sustainable urban development. Evidence indicates that policy and strategy supports the principles of smart growth as a means to more even and environmentally responsible development, more so in theory than in practice. The need for a GDA regional authority which emerged as a theme throughout the study has been mooted at government level but not realised. This thesis demonstrates that sustainable solutions are possible. In addition, evidence presented suggests that there now exists sophisticated planning legislation that can be used as the vehicle to effect implementation of policy and strategy in Ireland now and in the future alongside governance structures that are more conducive to participatory democracy.

DOI

10.21427/D75G6V

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