National Planning Framework, The Future of Urban Planning, Activating Spaces & Developing places

A one-day conference

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire,
Co. Dublin

Date: 14th June 2017

Sponsored by:

This conference will dig deep into the current planning issues to shed light on some possible solutions, discuss the National Planning Framework, what the future planning landscape looks like for the next 12 to 24 months, take example from what others are doing in other jurisdictions and what policies can be expected in the near future.

This and much more will be explored at the ‘Irish Planning Conference’, while delegates will get to meet with industry experts and ask important questions relevant to the progress of your projects.

Book your place now!

6 Structured CPD Points




Registration with tea, coffee and pastries


Opening Remarks from Conference Chairperson:
Terry Prone, Chairperson, The Communications Clinic


Overview – National Planning Framework

  • How do we manage uneven economic growth and recovery?
  • Dealing with the legacies of the property crash

The relationship between the NPF, infrastructure and capital spending

  • The role of the NPF in enterprise and employment strategies;
  • Development of services and improvement of quality of life
  • Complexities & challenges of the NPF’s implementation

Speaker: Niall Cussen, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government


The National Planning Framework and Regional Inequalities – Can these be addressed?

  • Regional and rural development and implications of the NPF
  • Relationship between the NPF and infrastructure and capital spending; the role of the NPF in enterprise and employment strategies
  • Can we manage inconsistencies across counties and regions nationwide?

Speaker: Deirdre Frost, Policy Analyst, Western Development Commission


Applying emerging techniques to Ireland’s 2016 Census outcome as evidence base for selecting City and other Growth Centres in the National Planning Framework (NPF).

  • Statutory foundation and evidence-base to achieve cross-party buy-in.
  • The urban economic need for population densities in Ireland
  • Alternatives to Balanced Regional Development
  • Application of the OECD-EU Harmonised density measures
  • 2016 census: population and densities for Regional Assembly areas.
  • How many growth centres for the NPF and their locations?

Speaker: Dr Brian Hughes, Consulting in Urban Economics and Demography, DIT


Coffee break and chance to network


The Digital Future of Urban Planning

  • Smart Cities revolution
  • Strategic use of big data for planners 
  • Digital tools to make community engagement and feedback process more transparent and interactive
  • Citizen- driven solutions to prevailing urban issues (from public art to homelessness)
  • Look at overseas examples like Manchester’s interactive map of potential development sites and discuss how this could apply to Irish cities 

Speaker: Carol Tallon, Property Author & Strategist


Moving from balanced to effective regional development 

  • Exploring innovative interventions for peripheral economies
  • Capturing latent potential of economic catchments
  • Regional governance and competitiveness 
  • Rural Ireland as canvass for 4th industrial revolution 
  • How can we plan for true technological transformation 

Speaker: David Minton, Director, Northern & Western Regional Assembly


The Role of CPTED (Crime prevention through environmental design) in designing out crime

  • Why Prevent Crime?
  • What is CPTED?
  • Examples of CPTED in use
  • Next Steps going forward

Speaker: Inspector Niall Featherstone, Chief Crime Prevention Officer, An Garda Síochána


Lunch and chance to network


Diverse Public Spaces as an essential ingredient of the contemporary cityscape

  • Creative cityscapes
  • Creative, interactive public spaces
  • Alternative public space and pop-up spaces

Activating Spaces, Developing places

  • How can planning measures help to reuse vacant spaces?
  • How can we promote reuse in an inclusive way?

Speaker: Dr Mary Benson, Lecturer, NUIM


The future of Towns and Retail

  • What is in store for retail over the next decade
  • How retailers can remain relevant and in business
  • How towns and places can survive and thrive

Speaker: David Fitzsimons, Chief Executive Retail Excellence Ireland


Cities, Regions and Mobility – Transport and the National Planning Framework

  • Transport, the NPF and the Sustainability Challenge
  • Placing Smarter Travel at the centre of the National Planning Framework
  • From Urban to Rural Networks: a viable transport framework for the future of Ireland

Speaker: David O’Connor, Lecturer, DIT


Housing & Planning: The Pressure to Deliver

  • How many units do we need per year and is our planning system equipped to meet this demand
  • What challenges do we need to prepare for?
  • How can we plan for affordable housing?
  • What role should local authorities play in the planning and delivery of social housing?

Speaker: Mary Hughes MIPI, Director, HRA | PLANNING, Chartered Town Planning & Environmental Consultants


Conference close

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).

Terry Prone

Terry Prone

Chairperson, The Communications Clinic

Terry Prone has delivered communications training and consultancy in sixteen countries.

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She has published twenty-eight books, including critically-acclaimed novels and an award-winning short story collection.

Terry appeared on TV first at thirteen, becoming a regular in her teens and presenting her own radio show at sixteen – the same year she joined the Abbey Theatre Company (while still at school.)

Having made her previous company into a communications household name, she sold it ten years ago “for a pleasing sum” and then went on to set up The Communications Clinic with her husband Tom Savage, her son, Anton Savage and three close friends. She’s the Chairman of The Communications Clinic, a columnist for the Irish Examiner and Herald and a radio/TV analyst.

Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes

MIPI, Managing Director of HRA | Planning

With in excess of 20 years post qualification experience Mary’s initial years were spent working as a planner with local government in Ireland.

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This was before moving to the private sector and working for a multi-disciplinary consultancy specialising in transport and planning for three years.  Mary then established HRA | PLANNING a town planning & environmental consultancy in 2005 with offices in Dublin and Limerick city. She has been involved and continues to be involved in many national and regional projects including the preparation of development plans on behalf of local government; provision of advice on planning and environmental matters to national government departments and semi state bodies; and provision of planning advice to large development companies, regeneration companies and community groups. Mary was elected to the national Council of the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) in 2010 and served as President of the Institute from 2014 to January 2016. She was appointed by the Minister for the Environment to the Independent Review Group of An Bord Pleanála in 2015.  She was also nominated by the Irish Planning Institute as a candidate to the 25th Seanad Eireann election.

David O’Connor

David O’Connor

Lecturer, DIT

David O’Connor is Senior Lecturer at DIT Environment and Planning, where he specialises in the areas of Transport Planning and Place-making.

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David is involved in developing new methodologies and partnerships for better sustainable transport and community development in Ireland. David is also currently on part-time secondment to the Technological University for Dublin as part of the TU4D Leadership Team, focusing on the theme of Civic Engagement. He is Programme Coordinator for the M.Sc. Spatial Planning, a part-time postgraduate planning degree which targets experienced professionals in the built environment sector. David writes a regular column on transport topics with the Dublin Inquirer and has over 25 years professional, academic and international experience across the transport operations and planning sectors.

David Minton

David Minton

Director, Northern & Western Regional Assembly

David commenced as Director with the Northern and Western Regional Assembly in September 2016.

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His vision for the region is simply to connect the existing latent strengths in our economic catchments, sectors, clusters and communities. He has over 15 years experience working in various sectors from Microfinance in South Sudan with Concern Worldwide to Economic Development in Longford, Offaly and Mayo. Some of his achievements relevant to this project include:

  • Publishing the first Rural Digital Strategy in Ireland and founding member of Digital Mayo.
  • Piloted the first internal Incubation Hub within Offaly County Council hosting 4 companies and is now home to 29 companies under a brand new €500,000 Junction innovation centre in Tullamore, Offaly
  • Project team member for the delivery of AquaComms fibre optic cable from Shirley New York to Killala, Co Mayo
  • Economic Development officer and project manager for €35m Tullamore Dew Distillery project in Tullamore, Offaly.
  • Last year launched the Ireland West Trade Centre in Rhode Island, US for small to medium size enterprises exporting product and services.

Deirdre Frost

Deirdre Frost

Policy Analyst, Western Development Commission

Deirdre is a Policy Analyst with the Western Development Commission.

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She has analysed and published on a range of policy issues related to regional development and rural development such as infrastructure constraints and labour market issues. Deirdre worked on the Commission for Economic Development on Rural Areas (CEDRA) and has sat on various advisory groups. Publications include WDC Policy Briefing No.6, Commuting to Work: Rural Dwellers, Urban Jobs, Connecting the West, Next Generation Broadband in the Western Region and Travel to Work and Labour Catchments in the Western Region.

David Fitzsimons

David Fitzsimons

Chief Executive Retail Excellence Ireland

David Fitzsimons is Chief Executive Officer of Retail Excellence.

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David was involved with the establishment of Retail Excellence in 1995, when he worked with South Dublin Chamber of Commerce. David oversees the strategic direction and operations of this not for profits organisation.

Retail Excellence is Ireland’s largest retail industry body representing the interests of 1,600 leading companies who employ 110,000 people in the Irish market.

David sits on a number of global retail committees including the NRF Global Retail Council.

Brian Hughes

Dr. Brian Hughes

Consulting in Urban Economics and Demography, DIT

Brian is an Urban Economics and Demographic Consultant in both the Private and Public Sectors.

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He researches in the areas of Urban Economics, Demography and Growth Centre Agglomeration. A Graduate in Environmental Economics, Brian qualified as a Planning and Development Chartered Surveyor, working in Property Investment and Development with Irish Life PLC, before moving full time into academia. He was the first Membership Secretary of the new Regional Studies Association, Irish Branch in 1975.

Brian lectured in Urban Economics and Demography, Dublin Institute of Technology and likewise to Masters of Urban and Regional Planning in University College Dublin. He holds an Honours Masters in Spatial Planning and his Dissertation uses population and daytime working population measures for growth-centre selection. Brian’s PhD Thesis focused on areas of urban economics and demography: It posits that the GDA will become Ireland’s City State of the late 21st Century. He is a member of the Government’s CSO Expert Group on National and Regional Population, Migration and Labour Force Projections and he is also a member of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society

Carol Tallon

Carol Tallon

Property Author & Strategist

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.

Mary Benson

Dr. Mary Benson

Lecturer, NUIM

Dr Mary Benson is an Urban Sociologist and lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University.

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Her PhD Thesis explored the transformation of Ringsend within the context of post-industrial growth in Dublin and specifically explored the gentrification of the contemporary landscape. She is a core member and working group leader of COST Action TU1201 ‘Urban Allotment Gardens in European Cities’ which explores the landscape of urban allotment gardens across the EU with a view to highlight their relevance and potential to the urban landscape. Her research interests include changing cityscapes; gentrification; urban allotment gardens and public space.

Inspector Niall Featherstone

Inspector Niall Featherstone

Chief Crime Prevention Officer, An Garda Síochána

Niall has 25 years service in An Garda Síochána and has a wealth of experience in operational Policing, Police Training, HR and Crime Prevention.

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Niall is the current Chief Crime Prevention Officer for An Garda Síochána and contributes regularly to Irish Television and Radio broadcasts.
Niall is the current lead of the new Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence and responsible for driving organisational Policy and Strategy in Crime Prevention practice across Ireland.

Niall holds a number of 3rd Level qualifications including a Postgraduate Diploma in Management & Industrial Relations and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice Studies.

In today’s Event, Niall will present on the importance of Designing out Crime using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).

Niall Cussen

Niall Cussen

Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

Niall is the Chief Planning Adviser at the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and is responsible for advancing all strategic planning and development policy at national and regional levels in Ireland.

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Niall is Head of Business Unit of the Forward Planning Section and leads the Departments professional Planning Advisers in the Department’s Planning, Housing Market Policy and Land Management Division.

Prior to joining the Department in 2000, Niall worked in a number of planning posts in both local authorities such as Clare, Meath and Dublin City and An Bord Pleanála where he was a Senior Inspector dealing with a wide range of cases.

Niall holds qualifications in economics and geography, regional and urban planning and environmental engineering from Maynooth University, University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin respectively and is both a member, and a past President, of the Irish Planning Institute.

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.

There will be 6 structured CPD points awarded to all attendees at this conference from the CPD certification service

Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin

Directions – royal-marine-hotel-map

Booking Rate @ €395 + VAT.

CMG Events Conference Discount

  • 15% 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 buffet lunch. You will receive the speakers PowerPoint presentations within 24 hours after the event. 

Tel: 01 293 4764


   Telephone:+353 1 2933650