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Infrastructure in the News: post your findings here

  • 20-06-2011 8:56pm
    Registered Users Posts: 6,362 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    THE TOP job in Irish planning – the chair of An Bord Pleanála – has been offered to Dr Mary Kelly, who has been director-general of the Environmental Protection Agency since 2002, The Irish Times has learned.

    Attempts to contact Dr Kelly yesterday about her imminent appointment by the Government were unsuccessful.

    She was recommended by a statutory interview board chaired by President of the High Court Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns. It included the chairman of An Taisce, Charles Stanley-Smith, and the president of the Construction Industry Federation, Matt Gallagher.

    Other members of the interview board, as specified by the 1983 Planning Act to ensure an “arm’s length” process, are the chairman of the General Council of County Councils, the president of Ictu and the chief engineering adviser of the Department of the Environment.

    Dr Kelly, who holds a PhD in chemistry, has no formal qualifications in planning, architecture or urban design, unlike other applicants such as Michael Wall, who served on the board for nine years, and Karl Kent, its new deputy chairman and former senior planning inspector.

    It is understood that Dr Kelly had another six months to run of a two-year extension of her initial seven-year term as director-general of the EPA. She received a salary of €215,043 in 2009, the last year for which figures are publicly available, but may have taken a pay cut since.

    The remuneration of the chairman of An Bord Pleanála is linked to that of a High Court judge. However, outgoing chairman John O’Connor – who is due to leave his post today – took a 10 per cent pay cut in 2008, which had the effect of reducing his salary to €206,616.

    The intake of planning appeals has almost halved over the past two years, to about 2,900.
    Interesting that the job went to someone with a background in science, rather than planning or architecture. She was recommended by a board containing representatives from An Taisce and CIF so is not a political appointment and she has worked in both the public and private sectors. I found an interview with her here which suggests she supports incinerators and seems to like public transport. Will be interesting to see how this works out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭Aard

    She's got an MBA, so she understands cost-benefit of planning vs sprawl, one-offs vs clusters.

    Also was director of the Environmental Protection Agency, so I imagine she doesn't like seeing the countryside being eaten up.

    She lived in Switzerland -- they love their rural areas, and natural beauty.

    Her husband is Dutch -- probably the most planned country going.

    This is looking good!

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭Judgement Day

    Good points - except for her EPA credentials! The EPA is a quango set-up to licence polluters - An Taisce they are not.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭paulm17781

    An Taisce they are not.

    Sounds even better. :pac:

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 560 ✭✭✭Jehuty42

    Given her complete lack of appropriate qualifications, she almost certainly got the job because of her gender.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,362 ✭✭✭Pete_Cavan

    Rather than starting a new thread I got Tremelo to change the title of this one so we can post random articles which some posters here may be interested to see if they are not aware of already but which may not be worth starting up a new thread (sort of like the Roadside Rest Area thread on the Roads subforum). Anyway, may be of interest to some
    Capital idea to become city of design

    INCREDIBLE AS it may seem, Dublin is bidding to be designated World Design Capital 2014. Given the unfinished state of the city, and its current penury, the bid is audacious and insouciant.

    Nearly two years ago, after hearing that Helsinki and the relatively small Dutch city of Eindhoven had been shortlisted for the title World Design Capital 2012, City architect Ali Grehan floated the idea in casual conversations with other designers after a Pecha Kucha night in the Sugar Club on Earlsfort Terrace. (Pecha Kucha night is when designers get together to discuss “small ideas with big impact”.)

    “Dublin? A design capital?” was the immediate response. Although it’s a city of many designers and some design achievements, Dublin hasn’t been known as a design city.

    But what about its international profile in animation, computer games and graphic design? Not to mention its renowned architects?

    Not only is Dublin the birthplace of internationally known businesses with strong design identities such as Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Guinness, Jameson, and home to many more, it is also where James Joyce “located his re-design of the modern novel” and is now a hub for “smart city” collaboration, according to Grehan.

    Dublin is emerging as the new-media capital of Europe, according to the bid promoters. Decisions by Google and Facebook to locate their headquarters here were aided by the transformation of Dublin into a multi-national, multi-lingual city.
    Dublin on shortlist to be 'World Design Capital'

    DUBLIN IS one of just three cities worldwide to be shortlisted for the title of World Design Capital in 2014, it was announced yesterday. The others are Bilbao, in Spain, and Cape Town in South Africa.

    Along with Dublin, they were selected for this coveted title by the Montreal-based International Council of Societies of Industrial Design from bids by 56 cities worldwide, including Beijing.

    The council said the three finalists had “distinguished themselves not only by demonstrating their individual approaches towards design in their cities, but also managed to convey the impact of these on the various aspects of social, cultural and economic life”.

    Seems a bit generous to me seeing as a lot of the most significant areas in the city, in terms of historical design and architecture, are neglected. They seem to be focusing on modern design (ie. Google and Facebook). Personally, I'd prefer if we appreciated our historical architecture more instead of focusing on these celeb developers and their vanity projects. Still, very impressive to beat off competition from 56 cities and make the shortlist. If Dublin got anything like the investment Helsinki did, it would be fantastic for the city.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 701 ✭✭✭Cathaoirleach

    Hahaha! Ridiculous!

    When you have sh!t like this happening around the city daily, and a council that has absolutely no interest in enforcing its own rules, Dublin has no hope of being a capital of anything and never will.

    Fair play to them for trying though. Got a laugh out of me. :p

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,905 ✭✭✭Aard

    Read this a few days ago and all I could think was "what design?" I bet this is the source of the latest DCC push for the no Luas overhead wires thing. Honestly though, it might just be the push we need to spruce things up a bit in earnest. DCC, if you're reading this, please focus on simple things that don't reinvent the wheel: a little bit more pedestrian-friendlyism and reduced signage. A lick of paint here and there wouldn't go amiss either.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,779 ✭✭✭Carawaystick

    Plans to build an undersea cable to bring wins power from western Scotland to near Liverpool.
    The English terminal seems to be where the east west interconnector lands
    I wonder if it'll cut the legs from eirgrid

    Read the full article at:

    The ft has somewhat restricted access, cest la vie

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,942 ✭✭✭cgcsb

    She worked for An Taisce? great now nothing more than teepee huts will ever be built.

  • I can see this thread becoming a mess if articles get posted regularly. Going to be hard to keep conversations going as different ones start on top of them

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