By Rachel Maloney
At the National Planning Awards 2015-2016, which took place in Dublin Castle on Friday February 19th, South Dublin County Council took the top prize in both the Smart Travel and the Planning for Climate Change categories. The Draft County Development Plan 2016-2022 was also commended in both the Plan Making and Planning Media and Communications categories.
With regard to the Council’s winning projects, Irish Planning Institute (IPI) President Deirdre Fallon said too often there can be more emphasis in smarter travel initiatives on simply providing infrastructure rather than working to find out how local communities view the alternatives of walking, cycling and public transport.
“In the project planners moved out of their offices to work proactively with school management and local communities in Ballyboden, listening to their ideas and then putting these into the design. Other planning authorities would benefit from studying the ways that South Dublin County Council went about its work.”
Fallon added that the Council’s Spatial Energy Demand Analysis project provided an understanding of energy needs, energy efficiency and renewable energy responses across the commercial, residential and municipal sectors in the county that provided a template for local authorities to plan to strategically reduce carbon usage.
In accepting the awards, Councillor Deirdre O’Donovan stated:
“I am delighted that the work of South Dublin County Council has been recognised with these prestigious awards. South Dublin County Council strives to support the development of integrated, sustainable communities whilst advancing skill sets and capacity building in evidence based planning tools. ”.
Chief Executive, Daniel Mc Loughlin added that the National Planning Awards were a great opportunity to recognise local authority innovation at national level, stating that he is delighted and proud of all the staff who won and whose projects were shortlisted in the event.
The National Planning Awards hosted by the IPI in partnership with Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government showcases the best in practice in the planning profession throughout Ireland.