6th November 2019, The Great Hall, Ulster University – Mageee Campus, Derry/Londonderry 

Focusing on the theme of “Planning for Change: Planning in Times of Change”, the 12th Annual Conference of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) took place on the 6th November 2019 in Ulster University – Magee Campus, Derry/Londonderry.

We live in changing and challenging times. Settlements across the island of Ireland, irrespective of scale, are facing challenges of an unprecedented magnitude. Such challenges are vast and complex, and include global warming and climate change, increasingly dispersed and fragmented settlement patterns, greater distances between where people live and where people work, housing affordability and an associated housing crisis, demographic changes, shifting retail patterns and a correlated stagnation and hollowing out of our city and town cores, a contraction of services locally, and diversifying energy supplies.

In this context, spatial planning policy and practice is increasingly operating in times of change – but, equally, must also plan for change. Planning must play a key role in preparing a more sustainable – and stable – future for our settlements, urban and rural. The conference comprised a mix of plenary sessions and parallel thematic sessions, topics covered including:

  • Planning for Sustainable Change
  • Planning for an Ageing Society
  • Climate Change Adaptation – What this Means for Spatial Planning
  • A Place with (No) Purpose? The Future of the High Street
  • Principles, Policy and Practice – Looking to the 22nd Century


This conference considered the challenges and opportunities facing spatial planning policy and practice now – and over the coming decades. It provided a forum to both discuss and consider the future direction of planning, and the extent to which the achievement of transformative planning processes is possible.


Download conference programme here.


Opening Session

1.     Keynote Address: Planning for Change: Reflecting on 20 Years of Smart Growth Policy and Practice…Where to Next? Prof. Gerrit Knaap, Director, National Center for Smart Growth, University of Maryland

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


2.     Places of Tomorrow: A People-Centric Approach to Sustainable Development Dr. Louise Kempton, Project Manager, Newcastle City Futures & Associate Dean, Research and Innovation, Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty, Newcastle University

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


3.     Uncertain Times but Strong Ties: Planning for a Cross-Border City Region Mr. John Kelpie, Chief Executive, Derry City & Strabane District Council and Mr. Seamus Neely, Chief Executive, Donegal County Council

Audio File

Parallel Session 1: Planning for an Ageing Society

4.    Re-imagining Age and Place: Planning for ‘Caring Places’ Mr. Diarmaid Lawlor, Director of Place, Architecture and Design Scotland

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


5.     Smart and Healthy Ageing: Adaptive Environments for an Ageing Population Dr. Michael Cooke, Co-PI, ALL Institute: Assisted Living and Learning, Maynooth University

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


6.     Planning for Positive Ageing – Age Friendly Planning in Local Government p Ms. Allison Forbes, Project Manager, South West Age Partnership & Ms. Leza Cleary, Project & Partnership Development Co-ordinator, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


Parallel Session 2: Climate Change Adaptation – What this Means for Spatial Planning


7.   Building Resilient and Agile Places: Placing an Emphasis on Climate Informed Planning and Design  Mr. Niall Cussen, Planning Regulator, Office of the Planning Regulator

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


8.     Approaches to Adaptation Planning in Local Government Mr. Stephen Jones, Climate NI Officer, Climate Northern Ireland

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


9.     Environmental Sensitivity Mapping: A Tool for Evidence-based Planning  Dr. Ainhoa Gonzalez Del Campo, Assistant Professor, School of Geography, University College Dublin & Developer, ESM Tool

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


Parallel Session 3: A Place with (No) Purpose? The Future of the High Street

10.   The High Street is Changing….The Future of the High Street Mr. Conor Skehan, School of Spatial Planning, TU Dublin

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


11.  Re-Purposing Place: Boyle 2040 and the Role of the Main Street Mr. Brian Farragher, Acting Senior Executive Planner – Regeneration Team, Roscommon County Council

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


12.  “It doesn’t happen overnight”…The Story of Lisburn’s High Street Renaissance Ms. Suzanne Lutton, Regeneration and Infrastructure Manager, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council

Presentation Here              I          Audio File


Concluding Session 

13.  Panel Discussion on Principles, Policy and Practice – Looking to the 22nd Century

Audio Files:

Part 1

Part 2