Wednesday, 27 December 2006

The Irish Planning Institute

I was asked by a farmer in Carlow last week what it was the Irish Planning Institute does. Here's what the website says:

The Irish Planning Institute is the independent professional body representing the majority of professional planners engaged in physical and environmental planning in Ireland.

The Council of the Institute has a membership of 14 persons. Each member serves a term of 2 years and 7 members are up for election in May each year. A new President and Council take up office each June and the programme of events for the year runs from June to May.

The aims of the Planning Institute are:

  • To raise the standards of planning.
  • To articulate professional planning opinion.
  • To improve and promote the status of the planning profession.
  • To contribute to planning education.
  • To encourage environmental awareness in the community.
  • To represent Irish planning interests abroad.

Established in 1975, the Irish Planning Institute has four categories of membership: Corporate, Affiliate, Graduate and Student.

These members are employed in Ireland and abroad in central government, local authorities, state-sponsored bodies, institutes of higher education and as planning consultants.

There are a number of special interest groups within the Institute; the Cork Branch, the Rural Forum and the Private Practice Branch.

The Irish Planning Institute works in close association with University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast and accredits planning courses in both Colleges. It also presents thesis awards to the final year students in both Colleges. It is one of the nominated bodies under the European Commission Directive on Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications and will thus act as a regulatory agency for planning practice in Ireland.

The Institute is a nominating body to Seanad Eireann and to An Bord Pleanála.

The Institute publishes "Pleanáil" annually. This is the only technical publication on planning theory and practice published in Ireland. It also circulates a quarterly "Newsletter" to its members.

The Irish Planning Institute lobbies central Government on new legislation and on planning policy at national, regional and local levels. It also from time to time issues statements on current topics of public interest and debate.

Through its annual National Planning Conference the Institute offers a major forum for the debate of planning and related topics. It also organises a series of public lectures throughout the year to promote awareness of and participation in the planning process.

Two major annual awards are presented by the Institute. One is the "Infill Award" for the quality of design and planning content of new developments in established built up areas. The second is for "Planning Achievement." These awards are aimed at raising the standard of townscape design and planning awareness.

The Irish Planning Institute is an active member of the European Council of Town Planners and has held the Presidency of this organisation. Through this involvement the Institute not only represents Irish planning interests abroad but also forges important links with sister institutions in the E.C. and further afield.

The Irish Planning Institute offers an opportunity for informal contact between its own members and with members of other institutions and professional bodies through social functions, study tours and field trips in Ireland and abroad.

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