Tuesday 28 June 2011

Development policies challenged at summer school

THE NEED to challenge “silo thinking” among architects, planners, engineers and sociologists was highlighted yesterday at the opening of a summer school, “Making the Built Environment Work”, at NUI Maynooth.

Prof Mary Corcoran, of the college’s department of sociology, said the fast pace of development during the Celtic Tiger years had produced built landscapes across Ireland that were at odds with people’s desires and expectations.

Concerns included the “scarring” of rural areas by excessive holiday home building, the inappropriate scale of downtown developments and the prospects of a poorer quality of life for those living in unfinished housing estates.

“The abrupt halt to development with the onset of the recession,” she said, “has created a set of very problematic conditions in urgent need of solutions.”

Prof Corcoran said the summer school would provide a unique opportunity to “integrate the insights, processes and practices” of professionals involved in design as well as research. Experts from Europe, Australia and the US will be working with their Irish counterparts to generate solutions to specific problems associated with the property collapse, including ghost estates.

Frank McDonald

Irish Times


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