Statutory planning guidelines on development in urban areas were launched today by Minister for the Environment John Gormley.
The guidelines, which will act as a blueprint for the future development of Irish cities, towns and villages, were previously issued as a consultation draft for public consultation.
Following record torrential rain in August, which caused flooding problems in many parts of the country, the guidelines were amended to include a provision for the management of flood risk.
A code of practice on the provision of schools in urban areas has also been included.
Publishing the guidelines, Minister Gormley said "The Guidelines and associated Design Manual provide a basis on which planners and designers can reach a shared vision for new housing schemes in cities, towns and villages throughout the country, and have the potential to raise the quality of our built environment".
The guidelines are focused on creating sustainable communities by incorporating the highest design standards and providing a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of essential infrastructure and services.
They replace the 1999 Residential Density Guidelines for Planning Authorities.