An integrated and innovative land use transportation plan has been prepared for Douglas which is a large and popular residential suburb of approximately 30,000 persons on the periphery of Cork City in Ireland. Recently, the town centre is showing signs of increased vacancy levels and there is a major problem of traffic congestion in peak periods. The Douglas Land Use and Transportation Strategy (DLUTS) was first identified in the Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan in 2011, where it was recognised that in order to en-sure balanced land use growth in the future, it was necessary to retrofit a modern transportation network, in particu-lar focusing on a major shift towards other transport modes in line with the national priority of Smarter Travel.
The overall aim of the DLUTS is to ensure that there is an integrated approach to land use planning, urban design and transportation engineering for the future development of the town. Specifically, the goals of this strategy were:
- to provide a framework for future planning decisions
- optimise the traffic and transport network
- provide a guide to the investment in transport infrastructure
- identify the capacity of the town centre for additional retail and other development
The key vision for Douglas is to secure a successful vibrant urban centre with a more efficient transport network for Douglas that provides an improved public realm, reduces congestion, encourages greater levels of walking & cycling, and improves the quality of life for the community, thereby enabling sustainable future growth. A high level of consultation took place with residents and the Public Agencies Consultative Group (PACG) which included the NRA, NTA, Cork City Council, Bus Éireann, Health Services Executive, Department of Education, and An Garda Síochana.
In order to prepare a set of land use, transportation and public realm proposals, it was necessary to look at the development of alternative scenarios based on two 10 year time horizons; namely, the short to medium term (2012-2022) and the medium to long term (2022-2032). The preferred scenario, after evaluation, looked at an option to develop the transport proposals in their entirety during the first tranche so that it may create conditions for longer term growth in land use development. Obviously, the problem of vacancy is a short term issue and needs to be filled before any new development should take place. The public realm proposals should also take place at the same time as both the transport and land use proposals are implemented in order to provide a better quality townscape.
The DLUTS strategy plots out the road map that shows how all of this can be achieved without major investment and in a relatively short timeframe. The challenge to resi-dents of Douglas is to embrace the strategy and change the way they make their day to day decisions on travel options to work, school, leisure and shopping. After final approval, this strategy’s recommendations will be incorporated into the statutory plan (Carrigaline Electoral Area Local Area Plan) by way of an amendment and the project will continue to be implemented by the local authority. Full report available online at www.corkcoco.ie.
Source: Further Information On The Integrated approach to land use, urban design and transport can be found on the Batterie European Project website which is financed by the Atlantic Area Transnational Programme
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