Ireland's 2nd National Network Meeting

Attendees challenged to think different about participation

Date released Monday, June 29th, 2015
Relates to Ireland

Ireland Second Networking puts SUMP network on a firm footing
Irelands second National SUMP Network meeting was held at Limerick Institute of Technologies (LIT)’ Moylish Park campus on June 5th. The event attracted a broad spectrum of participants from public and private organisations. Representatives of the National Transport Authority, the National Roads Authority, various County Councils, academics, NGOs and private companies involved in mobility planning were among the attendees.
Entitled “Better Mobility Through Participation” the event was naturally focused on the subject of participation in context of building Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. It examined how participatory processes can lead to mobility plans that address the regions needs in more focused way.
The day began with an introduction to the ENDURANCE project and to the concept of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans by Dermot Carroll, Ireland National Focal Point for ENDURANCE. This presentation gave an overview of the policy concept of SUMPS and outlined some of the measures that have been taken with regard to mobility planning in other European countries.
Liam Conneally from Limerick City and County Council then gave an overview of the Mid West Area Strategic Plan (MWASP). This plan was put together with the agreement of the neighbouring County Council in the mid-west region and sets out a strategic framework for planning in the region – effectively setting the tone for more integrated planning.
Next up was Dr. Chris McInerney of University of Limerick. Chris put together a training session on the “how tos” and the “what tos” of participation. His session included a participation game that looked at different perspectives and approaches to participation. The session really challenged participants to examine their own beliefs, values and approaches to this critical area of SUMPS.
The next session was an interactive training session on community travel planning.  Limerick Smarter Travel’s Lise Ann Sheehan explored how innovative participatory processes can lead to greater provision of public goods and a more focused use of scarce resources. She dressed a room especially so participants could leave the experience of participatory mobility planning.
Finally Ciaran Lynch development manager at LIT presented a draft exercise of mapping the SUMP process onto the existing land use development planning process. This is a key focus of the Irish NFP as feedback from the network suggests that it is important to ensure that SUMP processes are accessible for Ireland local authority’s organisations that are generally hampered by shortages of human and financial capital.
The broad attendance was very happy with the event. Each session generated lots of discussion and networking. There was particular interest in the approaches to participation sessions and the SUMP mapping process.