Session 4: Recovery through Collaborative Spatial Planning

2010 Conference >> Session 1|Session 2|Session 3|Session 4

Friday 22 January 2010

This session will bring the conference to a conclusion by focusing on the types on planning policies and initiatives essential to regional and island level economic recovery.

12.00 Welcome by ChairĀ  audio

Francois Vigier, President, Institute for International Urban Development, Cambridge, Mass.

12.15 Spatial Planning on the Island of Ireland: The Co-operation Priorities (Abstract) (PDF) audio

Professor Greg Lloyd, Head, School of the Built Environment, University of Ulster

12.30 Closing Address: Northern Ireland – Maximising Opportunities in the Transatlantic CorridorĀ  (Abstract)

Declan Kelly, US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland

Online Follow-up Discussion

1 comment to Session 4: Recovery through Collaborative Spatial Planning

  • Nearly every speaker at this conference referred to the pressing financial situation and need to explore avenues leading towards economic regeneration. Savings generated by regional co-operation were illustrated as were the needs to exploit and stimulate growth of indigenous industries. However, in the present competitive and hungry global marketplace which has been brought to Ireland’s shores by advancement of modern communications, it is hard to spot where development and investment should be encouraged.
    The ‘project Kelvin’ promise of high speed broadband being made available to the mid-Ulster region is a dramatic advance and will open up an historically neglected region to new possibilities for advanced service industry re-location where, to date, no such opportunity could, realistically, have existed.
    The development of Ulster’s derelict canals as tourist industry drivers was not mentioned but appeared to answer points being made by the chair speakers–not so much the boating traffic economics as the tertiary impact relating to social cohesion advancement in the border regions through cross-border community co-operation where, to date, no realistic reason for such to take place has existed. If the ‘project Kelvin’ broadband service is attached to the 45-mile Ulster canal towpath during restoration, then a whole new development corridor is opened up, concentrating population workspace location with improved environmental/residential surroundings.
    Future economic recovery is dependent on spatial planning now and having the waterway active to meet the demands expected in a few years time requires immediate commitment to press ahead with restoration. Waiting for the upturn to arrive will be too late as the task will take at least 4 years to complete. Starting now will provide instant economic stimulus to local economies which, as time progresses, will develop sustainable aspects as the emerging tourism and new service industry attracted by ‘Kelvin’ gathers momentum.
    Without the waterway projects being implemented as financial triggers to disperse the fog of gloom and despondancy it is unlikely much is likely to happen in the forseable future and valuable time will have been wasted.