The second meeting of the National Planning Knowledge Group (NPKG) was held on 4 March 2020. The purpose of the NPKG is to act as an advisory committee for the Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) in meeting the OPR’s statutory mandate in relation to education, research and training functions. The NPKG includes representation from the Higher Education Institutions (HEI), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), planning institutes, government organisations, departments and representatives from planning authorities.
A number of topics were discussed at the meeting including inter alia:
- proposals for the development and advancement of the OPR’s research and training function,
- the OPR’s public engagement and outreach initiatives including the co-sponsorship of the Eco Eye episode on Sustainable Spatial Planning
- the restructuring of the OPR’s Planning Library to improve usability of the facility thereby assisting in the dissemination of vital planning knowledge
- the 2016 RTPI commissioned research report no. 13 “Developing a planning research agenda for Ireland” and its recommendations.
Justin Gleeson, director of the All-Ireland Research Observatory (AIRO) at Maynooth University also delivered a very informative presentation to the NPKG on the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) funded Environmental Sensitivity Mapping webtool.
During the course of an open discussion members of the NPKG provided very insightful and informative suggestions to the OPR in relation to how research and training needs could be met. They identified areas which could be explored by the OPR in the future.
The next meeting of the National Planning Knowledge Group will take place in June