Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Spatial Planning Challenges in a Dispersed City-Region, the Greater Dublin Area

Academic journal article The Town Planning Review

Spatial Planning Challenges in a Dispersed City-Region, the Greater Dublin Area

Article excerpt

This paper focuses on counter-urbanisation flows and explores their implications for spatial planning, through case study research in the Republic of Ireland. Based on a household survey, the paper focuses on a sample of counter-urban in-migrants identified in a high growth rural area within the Greater Dublin region. The paper seeks to address the principal motives behind such relocations. It is suggested that, while the counter-urbanisation concept has been frequently used to describe rural in-migration movements, relatively little attention has been paid either to the significance of such movements for the settlement pattern (physical change, rural housing growth), or to the implications for planning policy (control of urban-generated rural housing developments). The paper concludes that an understanding of counter-urbanisation trends is crucial in addressing the missing link between urban and rural issues in planning policy. This is particularly important in the context of the revival of strategic planning and policies put in place to address phenomena based on the urban-rural relationship.

Research on rural population change and, particularly, counter-urbanisation has enjoyed a high profile in recent academic literature (i.e. Champion, 1998; Halfacree, 1994; Milbourne, 2007; Smith, 2007; Stockdale et al., 2000). However, this research has often neglected the implications of these movements for planning and housing policies. This is particularly important in the context of strategic spatial planning, which has embraced a regional dimension to overcome the duality of urban and rural space based on a new urban-rural partnership (Davoudi and Stead, 2002). In this paper we investigate two primary themes: first, we examine planning interventions surrounding counter-urbanisation, and, secondly, we discuss the importance of the drivers of counter-urbanisation for shaping urban and regional planning strategies. Our examination of these issues is based on a peri-urban/rural case study in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA, Figure 1), which has experienced considerable population growth and house-building increases in recent years. Accordingly, this paper is structured as follows. First, we provide the wider research context of our study. Secondly, we locate the discussion within the literature on counter-urbanisation. This is followed by an assessment of the relationship between counter-urbanisation and spatial planning and a review of the planning framework in the Republic of Ireland. We then outline the methodology used and examine the extent and drivers of counter-urban trends, before developing conclusions which can contribute to the debate on spatial planning in urban/rural fringe localities.

Research context

Much attention has been paid recently to sustainable urban form and the role of spatial planning in sustainable development debates. Policy priority has been increasingly given to brownfield development, promoting more compact urban forms and higher densities around transport hubs and along transport corridors, mixeduse development, and improving the quality of the public realm and the quality of urban life (Unsworth, 2007). The rationale for this new emphasis in urban policy and management revolves around the conservation of the countryside (EEA, 2006), reducing car dependency and the separation of home and workplace (Banister, 1999), more efficient infrastructure provision (Burton, 2003) and revitalisation of central city areas (Heath, 2001). At the same time, planning policy in rural areas and urban fringe localities has been increasingly concerned with growth management (Diaz and Green, 2001) and restricting housing supply in rural areas on environmental and landscape grounds (Gallent and Tewdwr-Jones, 2007). However, as Murdoch and Lowe (2003) have highlighted, in parallel to these policy concerns for managing rural housing supply and promoting brownfield development, there has often somewhat paradoxically been an increased demand for housing in rural areas from in-migration trends from counter-urbanisation, and from an increase in the numbers of people retiring to the countryside and in second home ownership. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.