Irish Urban Planning Under a Neoliberal Agenda


  • Niall A. McCrory Centre for Urban and Regional Studies, Trinity College Dublin



neoliberalism, irish urban planning, planning and development act, special purpose development agency


Much academic attention and debate has been given to the use of and imposition of a Special Purpose Development Authority (SPDA) to Irish urban planning in the 1980s and 1990s to redevelop the Custom House Docks (later enlarged to encompass Dublin docklands). This newly-created agency marked a radical shift in the philosophy guiding urban planning in Ireland towards more overtly facilitative entrepreneurial systems of engagement with the property-development sector. Vested with planning powers to ´fast-track´ planning and development, the Irish SPDA expropriated planning powers entirely from the local authority marginalising planners´ functions in certain locations. Few studies have, however, attempted to document turn-of-the-century shifts in Irish planning by examining more recent changes in the planning code. This paper will attempt to demonstrate how recent changes in the Planning and Development Acts since 2000 only serve to illustrate the inherent bias of Irish urban planning towards favouring private capital over the interests of the ´common good´ by providing an exploration Irish urban planning under a neoliberal agenda.


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