The integration of land use and transport is the key to the sustainable development of urban centres. Proper integration ensures that travel demands within and between development centres can be catered for in a sustainable way. This requires that planning for future provision of homes, jobs, education and social activities takes place hand in hand with planning for transport infrastructure and services. Integrated planning of this nature ensures that people are offered the opportunity to travel to and from these land uses by the most appropriate and sustainable mode of transport, whether by foot, bicycle, bus, car or train. Such planning fundamentally addresses the future quality of life and social inclusion of the people living in these areas as it looks to build upon the opportunities in the area to make it an attractive place to live, work, play and socialise.
The Dublin Transportation Office (DTO), in promoting more sustainable transport solutions for the travel needs of the future development of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), recognised the difficulty of realising the regional transport strategy through the existing statutory planning instruments. To address this, a programme of Integrated Framework Plans for Land Use and Transport (IFPLUTs) was proposed as a joint venture with the Local Authorities in the Greater Dublin Area. The purpose of the IFPLUTs was to provide a bridge between strategic transport planning and local area planning, and to inform the development of the statutory Development Plan. There were three levels to the approach, firstly to ensure consistency with existing plans at National, Regional and local level, secondly to examine the key aspects of land use and transportation integration at the local level, and thirdly to look at the integration of transport and contribution of each transport mode in achieving the overall aims and objectives of the plans. The IFPLUTs are non-statutory, but promote a challenge to the existing or traditional ways in which development plans are developed within the region.
An interesting approach to gaining commitment to the IFPLUT was to identify a champion in the Local Authority who would not only be able to influence change but would be able to determine the best way of achieving this. Another aspect was the introduction of a Steering Group consisting of local authority representatives from different departments, representatives of transport agencies and community representatives. Consultation was a key aspect of each study - however, the m
- Inform professional staff in Local Authorities and in transport service providers/planners with a view to reviewing the traditional ways of approaching land use and transportation planning within the development plan statutory process.
- Show the importance of linking regional planning and local area planning.
- Demonstrate the links between trip generation, trip distribution and land use and how each mode can contribute to the achievement of agreed objectives.
- Increase the understanding of how to develop integrated transport solutions to the demand for travel at the local level that is consistent with the strategic policies and programmes.
- Show that transport is only one element of the wider land use plans which need to look across the spectrum of policies, so that transport can be developed in context.
- Develop methodologies, including local area models which would assist decision making.
- Encourage and recommend the inclusion of the findings of the studies being incorporated into the statutory local development plans.
- Carry out studies for all higher order Development Centres identified in the Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area.
- Agreement and funding from DTO Steering Group obtained to undertake the studies.
- Included the objective to prepare the plans consistent with the Regional Planning guidelines and the transport strategy, A Platform for Change.
- Development centres to be studies were selected.
- Targeted individuals in local authorities as champions within their agencies.
- Organised a trip to the Netherlands to meet with authorities who have worked on similar plans for advice and experiences.
- Agreement with DTO Steering Group to co-fund the studies through a Government funding programme (Traffic Management Grants) on a 50:50 basis.
- Local Authorities requested to carry out the studies and joint brief was prepared. Consultants submitted tenders and were selected based on their submissions and interviews. A degree of flexibility was allowed for in the brief to encourage a range of approaches.
- The General approach followed in each study is summarised below:
- Study Area Review: The Regional Planning Guidelines designated a hierarchy of development centres. Catchment areas were designated for the services within these centres. A 'Hub and Spoke' system was adopted whereby the development centres were considered to be the main hub in the strategic network and the local network would be focused on this hub.
- Strategic Policy Review: A number of key documents provided the strategic context in which the local plans would be developed. These were: the regional planning guidelines (which set out the broad land use objectives), the strategic transport plans, the retail planning guidelines, the National Spatial Plan, the county housing strategies, the demographic and economic forecasts from the Central Statistics Office and Economic & Social Research Institute.
Initially a broad steering group was set up which was made up of Local Authority departments, transport agencies and community representatives. This group influenced the approach to be taken in each study. The ideas emanating from this group were taken forward to a wider stakeholder group and then to a public audience. The process was non-statutory and varied depending on the study requirements. There were regular meetings of project team and steering group meetings. The wider consultation generally took place at the start of the plan and when considering the findings.
- Set out specific Principles and Objectives: It was essential that the key objectives of the
At present there are 11 completed IFPLUTs over the Greater Dublin Area. Two of these IFPLUTS are for Wicklow and Environs and for Arklow and Environs.
The main project output from the IFPLUTs for Wicklow and Arklow has been the generation of a plan for the future development of the two areas until 2016. The IFPLUT outlines the basis, general principles, phasing and implementation of the plan and the spatial and transport strategies which will contribute to its success. The plan sets out the development guidelines for the region until 2016 and therefore it is difficult to summarise key findings or results in this section. For additional information or a copy of the IFPLUT please use the contact for further information.
As an example of the output from an IFPLUT, the plan for Wicklow and Environs outlines the key development opportunities for the area which are:
- High population growth (past and expected) in the area mainly due to net migration;
- Extensive residential zoning included in the Wicklow Environs Local Area Plan;
- Significant construction of new road infrastructure (N11, Town and Port Relief Roads);
Additionally, the Wicklow IFPLUT outlines the main risks for the development of the area as a Primary Development Centre. These can be summarised as follows:
- Low employment generation in the area in relation to the population growth;
- Limited range of commercial facilities within the area;
- Deficient public transport provision; and
- Topographical constraints for non-motorised modes.
The main achievable target is also set out by the Wicklow IFPLUT. This is a target population for Wicklow Town and its environs, when the IFPLUT reaches its expiry in 2016, of around 25 000. Considering that the 2003 population for the same area was around 11 000, this represents more than a doubling of population.
The IFPs do not exist as stand-alone documents. Rather, they are strategic documents that provide a practical long-term context and vision for statutory documents of a shorter life span. They are literally the framework for land use and transportation for the short and long term, whether it is statutory development plans, retail strategies, or the implementation of bus, rail or road proposals.
The IFPs provide a strategy for ‘intervention’ which is broken down into two groups of policy; the first group of policies require immediate intervention and should form the subject of a variation of the constituent statutory development plans, while the second group of recommendations form the strategy which can be considered within the appropriate review period of the plans