Housing Minister to address urban regeneration conference in city next week

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy will be among the speakers at a major conference on urban development organised by Galway Chamber in the inaugural City Regions Ireland event, scheduled to take place at NUI Galway on Thursday next, March 28.

The half-day conference, entitled ‘Ireland’s Cities – Powerhouses of Regional Growth’, will explore how Ireland’s five cities can fulfil the goals of economic development for their regions set out in the National Planning Framework (NPF ) and Project Ireland 2040.

The conference is being organised under the umbrella of City Regions Ireland, an association of the Chambers of Commerce in Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford, which was launched last November in Custom House.

Other speakers include Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority, John Moran, Chair of the Land Development Agency, Mayor Niall McNelis and John O’Regan, Director, AECOM

Dave Hickey, President of Galway Chamber said the conference aims to tease out the implications of the NPF for all of our cities and understand what it means in terms of housing, transport, commercial development and leisure for each urban area.

“The Regional Assemblies have drafted Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans for each of the expanded ‘City Regions’ for the 12 years to 2031.

“One of our objectives for the conference is to better inform the debate around these MASPs so that the City Regions can deliver on the NPF objectives individually and collectively. In his keynote address Minister Murphy will outline the role of the five Metropolitan Areas in driving regional growth,” said Mr Hickey.

Anne Graham of the NTA will look at some of the issues and opportunities presented by transport within and between the urban areas as well as international access which will be critical to the sustainability and growth of the economy over the next 12 years, while John Moran, Chair of the newly-established Land Development Agency will address how we use our existing urban footprints better.

Aebhric McGibney, City Regions Ireland spokesperson and Dublin Chamber Director of Public and International Affairs said each of the City Regions face common challenges such as increasing housing supply, improving transport and city-centre regeneration. However, the specific obstacles for each city are different, so the conference will not only look at the national issues facing our cities, but also how solutions can then be applied on an individual basis for an urban region.”

Dr Patrick Collins of the Department of Geography at NUI Galway, also speaking at the conference, will examine some of the implications of the NPF and MASP for Galway.

Ireland’s Cities – Powerhouses of Regional Growth takes place on Thursday 28th March 2019 at the ILAS Building, NUI Galway, with registration from 8.30am.

Bookings can be made at www.galwaychamber.com where you can also find out further details.

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