05 April 2017

Labour Councillor and Chair of Dublin City Council Planning Committee, Andrew Montague, has said we should be using the planning system in Ireland to try and reduce our carbon emissions.

Cllr Montague said:

“As we put together the National Planning Framework for the next 20 years, we must be ambitious for the development of the country and we must be prepared to be radical.

“Choices will have to be made to build on the strengths of each region; to balance the growth of the greater Dublin area with significant growth in the other cities and to prioritise city and town centres for investment.

“We have to invest in alternatives to fossil fuels and take serious action on carbon emissions. This means a courageous and bold approach that is firmly focused on an ambitious and realistic vision of the development of our society and the environment into the medium and long term.

“Providing for a population of an additional million people, the plan must ensure that growth is balanced and sustainable and provides economic opportunity, a healthy and clean environment across the island, and fairness for all.┬áThat means higher density, and better land use, coordinated with public transport corridors, and services. There is no shortage of zoned and serviced land in our cities and towns. We have to make sure it is properly used and it’s why a functioning vacant site levy is critical to driving the development of new homes and spaces.

“We won’t meet our 2020 targets of reducing emissions 20% below 2005 values, but we now have a window of opportunity to put in place plans to meet our future goals.┬áTo start achieving that we need to start investing in alternatives to fossil fuels especially in our transport system. Electrification of our buses and trains, greater emphasis on cycling and real incentives to support electric cars.

“Good planning has a central role because we want people to be able to live near where they work which cuts down on the energy needed to commute.

“The traffic chaos we are beginning to see on our streets is retelling the tale of boom Ireland. It is clear we need to move towards sustainable transport alternatives. This can only happen if we match future development patterns that allow future families to live close to where they work, go to school or socialise.

“Land use policy is a key determinant of transport investment decisions, so it is vital that land use and transport planning are fully aligned. We need to think long-term – investing in a Metro for Dublin, in cycle lanes, in services – to connect the homes of tomorrow to economic activity.”

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