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‘2040 – Delivering the Vision for Housing’ The RIAI and DHPLG hold Joint National Housing Conference

Published: Friday, June 07, 2019

‘2040 – Delivering the Vision for Housing’
The RIAI and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government Hold Joint National Housing Conference

The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG), held a two-day Joint National Housing Conference on 20 and 21 May. Taking place in Dublin Castle, the biennial conferencebrought together a wide range of policymakers, practitioners, architects, planners and other stakeholders over two days. The theme of this year’s event is ‘2040 – Delivering the Vision for Housing’, exploring the positive influence of the National Planning Framework (NPF) on the future of sustainable housing in Ireland.

To mark fifty years since the first biennial National Housing Conference was held in 1969, the organisers announced a wide-ranging programme addressing a range of topics which will impact on the future form, design, location and delivery of private, affordable and social housing in Ireland. A line-up of Irish and international speakers discussed topics such as ‘Building Height & Increasing Density’, ‘Small Town Revitalisation’ and ‘New Typologies Changing Demographics’.

Speaking in advance of the conference, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, T.D., said: “This week’s conference provides a great opportunity for architects, planners, developers and housing providers from both the public and private sectors, international experts and professional advisers and officials from my own Department, to discuss ideas, solutions and emerging trends in the provision of housing. I’m pleased that the conference will explore the role of the Government’s National Planning Framework, launched as part of Project Ireland 2040 last year, on the future of sustainable housing. I hope the conference will enhance national thinking on how we can meet the main challenges the National Planning Framework seeks to address: rebalancing development away from Dublin, creating a critical mass in the other major urban areas, and encouraging compact growth.”

“Architects design houses and apartments for people which are key to supporting their lives and sustaining communities. As our demographics change so do our housing needs. This conference is an opportunity to consider how we want to live as a society, how we can adapt our existing housing stock and how we can ensure quality design is at the heart of our built environment and our public spaces.” said David Browne, RIAI President. “The Government and public bodies are the largest procurers of architecture and design services in the State. It is our goal that every local authority in Ireland should have a well-resourced architects’ department to support the development of communities from the ground up.”

On the 50-year anniversary of the first Joint National Housing Conference, Minister Murphy said: “I want to pay tribute today to both my Department and the RIAI, who, together, have provided a platform for this biennial gathering of experts and sectors to discuss ideas, trends and solutions to housing. It’s a tribute to both organisations that this conference continues, fifty years on, to provide such high-quality speakers and content, exploring national and international thinking. The conference makes an important contribution to national thinking on an extremely important issue.”

The Conference also marked the presentation of the RIAI Silver Medal for Housing – the country’s premier award for residential architecture. This award recognises housing projects designed during a two-year period, this year the award focuses on the period 2014-2016. This will be the first time the medal was awarded since 2015.

“We are delighted to be able to award the Housing Medal to two projects which represent quality design in the built environment. The fall in housing completions over the early part of this decade was unprecedented and resulted in a decision by the judges not to award the medal at the last conference in 2017,” said RIAI President David Browne. “However, a renewed and sustained focus on delivery of residential schemes across Ireland has meant that there was strong contention for the medal on this occasion and we are delighted that the jury has selected very worthy recipients who we will reveal at the conference.”

The Conference Programme can be downloaded here.

Running alongside the conference was an exhibition of residential housing schemes, both in planning and completed, designed by RIAI members and Local Authorities. This exhibition demonstrated the range of potential projects coming on-stream in the near-term across Ireland.

The presentation of Certificates for the RIAI Silver Medal of Housing was sponsored by Weinerberger.


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