New urban housing - building up, not out
The Project Ireland 2040 plan envisages 550,000 new homes in Ireland over the next 20 years.
"Continuing the existing pattern of development accentuates the serious risk of economic, social and environmental unsustainability by placing more distance between where people work and where people live,"it says.
This means building more apartments and houses in existing built-up urban areas - in 'brownfield' locations which are developed but are now vacant or derelict. The future, according to planners, is 'infill' construction, and building up rather than out. But for that to succeed, better quality design and infrastructure is essential.
Original architecture, such as the Georgian streets of Limerick, will be protected, but cities themselves will be enhanced with vibrant new streetscapes in areas within those cities that are ripe for development.
Waterford's North Quay Development Zone has the strategic objective of creating "a lively, exciting, high-density, high-quality urban waterfront scheme containing innovative, pleasing and safe open spaces that work with and complement the architectural solution".
In many ways it is a blueprint for modern cities, with landscaping, creative lighting and locations for public art and water features.
A goal of Project Ireland 2040 is that new developments will focus on pedestrians and cyclists rather than cars, and connections to 'greenways' and the countryside where people can enjoy leisure-time pursuits of walking, jogging and cycling.
The architectural vision of the future is of quality and sustainable modern accommodation connected by public transport and safe cycle and walkways to the city centre.
For more information on Project Ireland 2040 visit the official website