Tax to improve plans
A new land-value tax is the best system to support good planning, according to Bord Pleanala chairman John O'Connor. In an interview with 'Architecture Ireland', Mr O'Connor says he would like to see a "different future for planning and architecture in Ireland" where development is more sustainable in terms of infrastructure and proximity to transport.
The Bord Pleanala chief criticises the "excessive and unsustainable zoning of land, which has been a contributor to the property bubble and its aftermath, with the unsustainable and disorderly development of many small towns and villages".
Meantime, in his last column as RIAI president, architect Sean O'Laoire says that the registration of architects "will not immediately transform lives or enhance prospects of a decent living".
Neither will the new government policy on architecture, now with statutory effect yield dividends.
However, taken together, Mr O'Laoire believes that "a new epoch-defining convergence" offers hope to members whose livelihoods have been blighted by the current recession.
First vice-president Paul Keogh has now assumed the RIAI presidency. In a further major design move, the Architects' Council of Europe has elected Dublin-based architect Selma Harrington as president for a two-year term.