Spatial Planning & Infastructure - IAE Submission to NPF 16/03/2017 - April 13, 2017

The Irish Academy of Engineering strongly supports long-term planning as the most rational way of ensuring that the range of developments required by demographic, economic and social growth over the next 20 years will be provided, in the right places and at the right time. The Academy endorses the basic argument put forward in the Issues Paper that as a society, we cannot continue with the ‘business as usual’ scenario, and that some hard choices will be required. Current regional growth patterns are sub-optimal, with increasing development pressures in Dublin and below-average population growth in most of our Atlantic cities. Our existing settlement and travel-to-work patterns have caused significant social, economic and environmental problems, which demand effective policy responses. Moreover, the reality of climate change is increasingly evident, and we need to factor this in moving towards a low- carbon society and in designing critical infrastructure.