The ICLRD’s strategic goals are:

  • To promote research activities jointly with academic partners to document successful programmes and best practices that promote inter-regional co-operation, sustainable spatial planning and economic and social development
  • To develop capacity building programmes for public officials, civic leaders, non-governmental and other practitioners involved in local, regional and national development.
  • To assist local governments and communities in translating policy into ‘on-the-ground’ action.

The ICLRD is focused on building the capacity of regional and local authorities, development agencies, border networks and community and voluntary organizations to manage spatial planning on the island of Ireland as a whole. The Centre plays a proactive role in peace and reconciliation on the island by facilitating analysis and capacity building in the areas of co-ordinated spatial planning and social and economic development at local, regional and national levels. Stimulating economic growth and improving the living conditions of the respective populations in order to alleviate and prevent social conflict is at the heart of the Centre’s mission. Through its research and professional education programs, the ICLRD works with policy makers and local leaders to improve the environments in which people in Ireland, North and South, live and work – with particular emphasis placed on the needs of marginalized and divided communities. It combines the promotion of regional planning and development as a tool for competitiveness and local planning and development as a way to remedy the continuing problems of social disadvantage.

The ICLRD creates something new and unique by bringing together a partnership of planning, housing, health, economics and property experts from NUI Maynooth, the University of Ulster, the Athlone Institute of Technology, the Centre for Cross Border Studies and the Institute for International Urban Development, dedicated to tackling the challenges facing Ireland, North and South. It provides a model for others to follow: a prestigious cross-jurisdictional research and development Centre that draws upon the intellectual capital of third-level institutions and research centres at home and abroad to deal with key social, economic and environmental issues facing Ireland – and countries in Europe and further afield that want to learn from Ireland.