Territorial development at the regional level is becoming increasingly important for effectively addressing local and regional transformations as well as challenges at the European level. However, knowledge on the specific regional consequences of macro-challenges is limited and appropriate regional planning tools are rare. The Territorial Performance Monitoring (TPM) project focuses on European and global challenges with specific regional consequences:
- climate change,
- energy supply,
- demographic development
- and globalisation.
The aim is to establish knowledge on how territorial impacts of these macro challenges translate at the regional level and how to deal with these challenges effectively. It is considered important to share experiences and to exchange best practices that could be used to improve the effectiveness of how territorial strategies are implemented.
The Dublin Regional Authority (DRA) is one of the five stakeholders involved in the project. The other stakeholders are as follows;
- Department for Town and Country Planning, Housing Policy and Heritage,Flemish Government, Belgium (Lead Stakeholder)
- Government of Catalonia, Ministry of Town and Country Planning and Public Works, Spain
- Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
- Government of Navarra, Department of Housing and Spatial Planning, Spain
Planning System in the GDA
It is important to note at this point that there is a distinct difference between the planning system that operates within the GDA and the other 4 participating regions in this project. These regions all have a large range of legislative competencies for territorial policies in areas such as housing, demographics, economic development, transport, environment quality and planning, climate change, energy, water and waste management etc. Compared to other European states, the regional and local government system in Ireland are relatively weak with a much more limited range of functions and powers. Local Authorities do not have a role in policing, public transport or personal social services and powers in respect of education, health and agriculture are also very limited. The main social function relates to housing. The lack of financial autonomy within Local Authorities, with all funding coming from central government, also severely curtails their scope for independent action. In general, core competencies on most policies are managed by various Government Departments at the national level. The Regional Authorities (including the GDA) have an even more limited range of functions and powers with core responsibility being the development of the Regional Planning Guidelines (RPGs) and review of CDPs to ensure successful alignment with national policies such as the NSS and associated guidance documents.
Indicators and Monitoring Tool
Unlike other regions in this project, the GDA, therefore does not have specific policies and strategies for the macro-challenges of this project (demographics, globalisation, climate change and energy) but instead develops a series of guidance and recommendations that aim to align local implementation within the region in a coherent manner with national policies. At the moment there are no specific monitoring tools available for the regional authorities in the GDA. A large inventory of performance indicators have been highlighted as being useful in measuring the implementation of the plan, but it has been clearly stated within the documentation that all reporting will be dependent on the resources available to the DRA during the life time of the plan.
As part of this project the research partner in Ireland, the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA) has developed a monitoring tool for the challenges outlined within this project. Both quantitative and qualitative indicators have been developed and are linked to specific policies within the RPGs. For further information see the sections below.