Exploring the Irish planning data ecosystem for the 74th World Town Planning Day

World Town Planning Day Logo

On November 8, 2023, to mark the occasion of the 74th World Town Planning Day, the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) hosted the themed webinar ‘Learn Globally, Apply Locally’. The theme focused on the value of learning about planning systems and cultures around the world, fostering innovative, sustainable and equitable solutions to global challenges.

The Data Stories team used this opportunity to present work carried out during the summer of 2023 on the Irish planning data ecosystem. We were joined by Claragh Mulhern, from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with a presentation titled ‘Planning Action for a Just Transition to a Net Zero Climate Resilient World’ and Sinéad O’Donoghue, from the Land Development Agency, with a presentation titled ‘From Depots to Duplexes – Reimagining Public Land’. Over 100 people registered for the event and many represented international backgrounds. 

The work presented by the Data Stories team identified and mapped the numerous data systems and flows across different planning stages and clients. These mappings were derived from analysis of documentation and system demos received from, and interviews conducted with, a sample of Local Authority planners and other stakeholders involved in producing and managing planning data in Ireland.  

The presentation sought to communicate something of the complexity of the data ecosystem, as well as the extent of variation and drift between different systems, properties which make it difficult to produce reliable and comparable official statistics. The presentation concluded with a set of high-level observations and recommendations, with a hope that the improved understanding of the ecosystem provided by this project can help in working towards a greater degree of standardisation across systems, and in turn to more accurate, detailed information for informing transparent and coherent planning decisions.

You can find further information, including a recording of the webinar as well as our presentation slides, on the Irish Planning Institute website. 

We would like to thank and acknowledge the various consultees who took the time to meet with us and supply data as requested.