How we can bring our towns and cities back to life

A one-day conference

Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin

Date: 21st February 2019

Proudly Sponsored by:

Ireland is set to see a major increase in population growth over the next 10 to 20 years and with that will bring important opportunities as well as significant challenges. Now is the time to prepare and establish how our towns and cities can become more productive and efficient while improving the quality of life. New technologies will play a big role in boosting connectivity, productivity and liveability within our urban spaces.

During the recent economic down turn our towns and cities were dealt a huge blow and some are still struggling to get back on their feet. Many unoccupied buildings and shop fronts are still a major feature in smaller towns due to rising rents and fallen sales due to bigger companies and retail facilities on the outskirts of these towns. Many small towns have also seen bypasses built to accommodate these larger retail parks and the main streets have been forgotten. Local authorities now want to invest in the modernisation and redevelopment of the small town.

This forward-thinking conference will show you where Ireland is going in terms of urban growth and development, and how to plan accordingly. We will show the steps required to integrate current and future technology and A.I with infrastructure and transport, creating smart regions, getting towns buzzing again and improving public transport in the process. We will show how to utilise the information and trends regarding the current direction of urban development, such as: where are the growth areas? What are the areas for improvement, and what are the potential commercial opportunities? These topics and more will be discussed in detail on what promises to be a hugely informative day.

See below event programme for a full list of key topics to be covered on the day

Book your place now!

5 Structured CPD Points




Registration with tea, coffee and pastries


Opening Remarks by conference chairperson

Carol Tallon, Strategic Planning Director (MPRII) with Property District and author of several books on Irish housing


Revitalising Ireland’s Rural Towns and Villages -What’s Next?

  • Trends in Ireland’s Rural Towns and Villages
  • Flipping the response: harnessing opportunities
  • Power to the people
  • Exemplar projects at home and abroad
  • Recommended steps, initiatives and interventions

Speaker: Stephen M. Purcell, Regional and Urban Planner | Director, Future Analytics Consulting Ltd.


Planning to accommodate urban growth at regional, metropolitan and local level

  • What are the fastest growing towns and cities?
  • What happens if we do nothing?
  • What is required?
  • Where are there commercial opportunities?

Speaker: Ed Barrett, Director, Gravis Planning Limited


Planning for Sustainable Development

  • Actively supporting the compact growth objective in National Planning Framework
  • Understanding our demographics and the housing needs of our population
  • The importance of densification in ensuring our cities and towns are good places to live.
  • Why we need to think about population density to make our towns and cities work.

Speaker: John O’Connor, Chief Executive, Housing Agency


Coffee Break and chance to network


Achieving the vision & our plans for 2040 – EU funding & finance options

  • Creating a strategy
  • What EU funding and finance options are available to cities and local authorities
  • Capacity Building 
  • Policy 
  • Networking

Speaker: Eileen Crowley, External Expert & Evaluator European Commission/Head of Research and Innovation NMCI


Placemaking and FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)

  • Overview of FDI in Ireland
  • Key selling points for Ireland including Ireland 2040
  • Characteristics of successful Placemaking in competitor cities
  • Examples of Placemaking Initiatives in competitor cities.

Speakers: James Farrell, Head of Strategic Policy, IDA


Question and answer session


Lunch and chance to network


Smart cities infrastructure & transport – integrating technology & AI

  • Smart Cities Market Europe
  • Business Models and Ecosystems
  • Innovation Campus and Innovation Districts
  • Open Platform + Ecosystem Approach
  • Smart and Safe City Solution
  • Smart Mobility

Speaker: Gerard Corcoran, Smart Cities Europe


Designing & managing streets and neighbourhoods to minimise crime.

  • What makes streets safer? Footfall, eyes on the street, urban connectivity.
  • Example; Reimagining Dublin One Laneways as safer places, for Dublin City Council.
  • What makes homes safer? Hierarchy of thresholds, defensible space, consultation and understanding.
  • Example; York Street social housing for Dublin City Council.
  • Technological solutions (CCTV, Intercom gated communities) and privatisation of public space etc. Good or bad?
  • Civilised behaviour and traditions; The example of Japan.

Speaker: Seán Harrington, Director, Seán Harrington Architects


Case Study:

Limerick – Ireland’s Digital City

  • How the concept was started
  • What were the obstacles in getting it off the ground?
  • How it was implemented through the city?
  • Ireland 2040 vison and how Limerick fits in to the realisation

Speaker: Dr. Mihai Bilauca Head of Digital Strategy & EU Programmes Limerick City & County Council


Conference Close

James Farrell

James Farrell

Head of Strategic Policy, IDA

James leads a team at IDA Ireland that develops and advocates for strategic and public policy initiatives that are designed to ensure Ireland is maximising its attractiveness as a destination for inward investment.

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The Strategic Policy team engage with public and private sector stakeholders including client multinationals, government departments and other state bodies across a broad spectrum of policy areas including taxation, infrastructure, planning/housing/placemaking, education and energy.

James started his career with Deloitte Consulting in London and has also worked for the NTMA and EY in Dublin and the World Bank in Washington D.C. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA from Georgetown University.

Carol Tallon

Carol Tallon

Strategic Planning Director (MPRII) with Property District and author of several books on Irish housing

Carol Tallon is the author of the Irish Property Buyers’ Handbook series from 2011 to 2015 and several business titles to date.

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With a post-graduate background in Law, Business and Strategic Innovation, most recently from University College Dublin, Carol has contributed to Irish and international media on current affairs, industry, property, innovation & technology (PropTech).  She has been involved in the construction and property industries for more than a decade and has worked as a strategic consultant – at operational and project levels – with Government departments, industry representative bodies, private developers, construction companies, auctioneering firms and media outlets.

Gerard Corcoran

Gerard Corcoran

Smart Cities Europe

Gerard Corcoran was Senior Solutions Manager and Account Director for Huawei Enterprise Business Unit in Western Europe with responsibility for Smart and Safe Cities.

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He is on the Smart Cities Task Force for Smart City Dublin, Smart Docklands, Smart Sandyford, TMForum and DigiDL.

He has over 35 years’ experience in the ICT industry with special focus on New and Emerging Technologies applied to the development of Smart and Sustainable Cities including AI, 5G, IoT, AR/VR/MR, Blockchain and Genomics.

He has contributed to the development of industry solutions within Huawei and the broader Smart City Ecosystem including TMForum, GSMA, ITU, GSI and WBA.

He has successfully completed Communications, Networking, Consulting, Systems Integration, Managed Services and Outsourcing engagements in Europe, Asia and the US.

Prior to joining Huawei in 2008 he had a senior solutions position in EDS (HP), A.T.Kearney and Cap Gemini.

Eileen Crowley

Eileen Crowley

Manager of Research and Innovation, National Maritime College of Ireland

Eileen Crowley holds an MA in Town & Country Planning.

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She has spent 16 years working in strategic planning, regional and urban development at both regional authority and local authority level. In 2018 she moved to academia and currently manages research and innovation at the National Maritime College of Ireland. Eileen has channeled over €9 million in direct EU funding for sustainable development projects during her career. She is a validated lead expert for the URBACT programme, senior expert for DG Regio and provides external expertise to the European Commission on H2020 projects.

Seán Harrington

Seán Harrington

Director, Seán Harrington Architects

Seán Harrington is the Principal of Seán Harrington Architects, based in Dublin, and working all over Ireland, and internationally.

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The practice has extensive experience in designing and delivering social housing, both houses and apartments, and has won many awards for their work, including from the Irish Council of Social Housing, the RIAI and OPUS. Currently they are designing approximately 700 social housing homes for a variety of providers, including for housing associations, private developers, the NTMA and directly for local authorities.

The practice is particularly interested in environmentally sustainable design and urban place making, and has extensive experience in community consultation.

Other work includes the Millennium Bridge, The Rosie Hackett Bridge, the giant retractable umbrellas in Meeting House Square and the Malahide Parish Centre which has just won the International Award for the World’s Most Friendly and Inclusive Space, awarded by the International Union of Architects.

John O'Connor

John O’Connor

Chief Executive, Housing Agency

John is the Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Agency, which is a government agency under the aegis of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (the Department).

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The Agency provides the Department, local authorities and approved housing bodies with services and support on the delivery of housing and housing services; in addition to a range of other services. These include housing policy development and implementation; along with research services.

John is a structural engineer by background and has a wide range of experience in both the public and private sectors. He has extensive experience in the delivery of housing projects, particularly in the areas of social housing, affordable housing and regeneration.  He also has extensive knowledge and experience in housing policy development and its implementation.

John was previously the Chief Executive of the Affordable Homes Partnership and prior to that Executive Manager with Dublin City Council’s Housing & Community Department.

Stephen Purcell

Stephen Purcell

Director at Future Analytics Consulting Ltd (FAC) – Town Planning and Data-Led Research Consultants

Co-owner of Future Analytics Consulting Ltd., a leading Planning and Development Consultancy based in Dublin, Stephen is a Chartered Surveyor and Town Planner.

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With experience across a wide range of large scale development projects, together with regional and strategic planning studies throughout Ireland, Stephen benefits from extensive experience in pan-European applied research projects for the European Commission. An evidence-led approach underpins Stephen’s projects, where market intelligence and socio-economic data guide successful outcomes.

Dr. Mihai Bilauca

Dr. Mihai Bilauca

Head of Digital Strategy & EU Programmes, Limerick City & County Council, Ireland

Dr. Mihai Bilauca is leading the development and implementation of Limerick’s Digital Strategy which aims to lay the foundation for a Smart Limerick City Region.

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As a result of this strategic approach Limerick has become the first Lighthouse Smart City in Ireland. Having worked for Limerick for overs 17 years Mihai is now heading the Digital Strategy and EU Programmes departments in Limerick City & County Council. Mihai worked in various roles in the ICT Management for UPC Romania, and for Limerick City Council in senior roles or heading the ICT, Change Management (organisational transformation)or Customer Services departments. Mihai is involved in standardization work for Smart Cities & Communities with international standardization organisations (ISO, CEN/CENELEC, ETSI).

In his spare time Mihai continues his academic research in smart cities, mathematical programming and optimization modelling methods and publishes in ACM and other leading computing science journals and conferences. Mihai received a Master of Science (M.Sc.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from University of Limerick, Ireland and the software engineering degree from “Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Romania.

OSI-Logo-250x85Ordnance Survey Ireland is the national mapping agency in the Republic of Ireland. It is an information organisation whose business is to capture, process and distribute spatial information by means of advanced technology.

Ordnance Survey Ireland’s primary product is mapping services. Ordnance Survey Ireland produces urban, rural and tourist and leisure mapping at a variety of scales. This mapping is produced in digital form as well as on paper. In addition, the base data used to create the map products is also used to produce other products such as aerial photography/ orthophotography and Digital Terrain Models and Environmental Reports. It also has an extensive database of historic mapping data from the 1830’s. Ordnance Survey Ireland licenses the use of its data for a wide range of computer based applications such as Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

This conference content and advice will relate to all involved directly or indirectly in the planning process, environmental consultants, law, property professionals, local authority executives, government departments, semi-state agencies, contractors, developers, architects, and universities to name just a few.

There will be 5 structured CPD points awarded to all attendees at this conference from the CPD certification service

Talbot Hotel (Formerly Stillorgan Park Hotel)

Please note the early bird discount can close sooner than expected once a certain number of seats fill up, therefore your prompt booking is strongly advised

SAVE €100.00 BY BOOKING THE EARLY BIRD RATE OF €395 + VAT per Person – Normal Rate @ €495 + VAT.

CMG Events Conference Discount

  • 10% discount for the third delegate booked or subsequent bookings thereafter from the same company.

The rate to attend includes morning tea/coffee and refreshments on arrival at registration, mid-morning tea/coffee and pastries and full buffet lunch. You will receive the speakers PowerPoint presentations within 24 hours after the event. 

Tel: 01 293 4764


   Telephone:+353 1 2933650

Early Bird Booking rate: €395.00 + VAT Normal Rate: €495 + VAT

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Payment for attendance is due within seven days from the date of invoice. This booking is transferable and a substitute attendee may attend on your behalf at no additional cost if you cannot attend. Cancellation of a booking must be received by CMG in writing by email or by post, no later than 14 days prior to the event or course date. Regrettably no cancelations or refunds can be made after this date. Cancellations will be charged an administration fee of 25% plus VAT.

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