In recent days, the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) published a communications toolkit to push public consultation in the development and planning process.
This toolkit offers “tips, advice and practical suggestions” to get people informed and interested about the world around them and help them get their opinions heard when showcasing a development plan. The kit will teach people different methods of where to learn about the process and how to engage with developers throughout this process, whether it be through various forms of media including radio and television, or social media platforms.
Youth participation could be the key to opening up public consultation and widening participation about contemporary urban issues. Teenagers are out all the time walking around the town, their phones in their hands, this means that they have an opportunity while they are out and about to have their opinions heard on what they want in their town. Going on to various county council sites means that we can see what is proposed for a certain area. Teenagers, as the future generation and therefore more likely to be impacted by planning decisions Ade today, ought to have a say in what they want to see in their towns for their own futures. Roscommon County Council have hit an even younger generation, primary school children! They have created an activity pack to encourage the students to think outside the box and say what they want to see in their community in 20 years time.
We need for people to feel like they have ownership over the planning process in ireland. As frequently pointed out by the PlaceEngage team, planning is a public function. Unfortunately, outdated methods of traditional public consultation have not succeeded in making all citizens feel included. Diversity is not a feature of irish town halls… yet. This is something we are passionate about changing to ensure diversity of opinion so that all citizens feel welcome to contribute to the planning process. Technology is a great enabler of this. Good citizenship needs to be learned and bringing school children into placemaking discussions is a great way to start.
Talking about this new toolkit, Planning Regulator Niall Cussen:
“The measures outlined in this document highlight many examples of good practice in public engagement on the forward planning process across the local authority sector. These will be even more important in enabling cities, towns and rural areas planning for the future. By publishing the toolkit, the Office is encouraging more local authorities to follow the examples of good practice that have been emerging to ensure that the public have their say in the future planning and development of their communities”
Visit the Office of the Planning Regulation for more information: