The Value of Greenways

Introduction

Greenways can be described as green corridors or green links used as environmental buffer zones in urban areas. They can be utilised in a practical way to enhance usage by pedestrians and cyclists or other recreational users of an area. Sustainability has emerged as a major theme in planning. Urban environmental planners frequently recommend Greenways as one approach to making places greener, healthier and more liveable.

 

The term Greenway comes from the “green” in green belt and the “way” in parkway, implying a recreational or pedestrian use rather than a typical street corridor, as well as an emphasis on introducing or maintaining vegetation, in a location where such vegetation is otherwise lacking. Some greenways include community gardens as well as typical park-style landscaping of trees and shrubs. They also tend to have a mostly contiguous pathway, allowing urban commuting via bicycle or foot. Read more

How Proper Planning Improves Water Quality

Introduction

Ireland has witnessed unusual climatic conditions in recent years that have had a major impact on environmental infrastructure in terms of water quality, and waste water management. Without doubt, the most important environmental and economic indicator is the availability of fresh water supply and the capacity to deal with our surface waste water. Both issues have negative health and welfare ramifications should any hurdles arise in the delivery of either. Read more

Sustainability Indicators as a Planning Paradigm

Like the dials of an aircraft’s instrument panel, indicators can be useful tools. By designing them carefully, watching them closely, and interpreting them wisely, we know the status of our flight and can make good decisions about where to go. Without indicators, we’re just “flying by the seat of our pants” (Sustainable Seattle, 1998).

 

A planning paradigm based on sustainability indicators could be described as one that delivers objectives or goals by ensuring it is well thought out, carried out with efficiency by looking at the Economic, Environmental and Social impact on the community at large. Sustainable Indicators could be used to gauge which direction we need to take in terms of planning. They are what give us the important information to assess how future proof our planning is and are vital components of any modern paradigm. It is appropriate to use the analogy of the aircraft dials in describing the sustainable indicators. Like all indicators, even those in an aircraft cockpit, they can change and influence the direction we must take to deliver our objectives.

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Irish Planning – The Ancient Influence

The Ireland of the 21st Century is a fascinating place at the best of times. We have capitalised on the Knowledge Based Economy and witnessed unprecedented Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from multinational giants such as Fujitsu, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and other multinational companies. We then entered the greatest economic boom in the history of the State, which was aptly named “The Celtic Tiger.” Like all Tigers…very difficult to keep control of. Our entry into the Celtic Tiger economy is less memorable than our abrupt exit from it. The reason for our rapid economic decline is blamed on a number of factors such as cheap finance for developers for the purchase of land, which fed into a growing construction boom. This in turn created a Property Bubble that was considered unsustainable by many economic experts. Bubble was the appropriate description given by economists such as David McWilliams and George Lee as they predicted it bursting at any time, sooner or later.

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