John Gormley, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government today published the Government Policy on Architecture 2009-2015 Towards a Sustainable Future: Delivering Quality within the Built Environment. At an event to launch the Policy in the Custom House, the Minister outlined his belief that the new Policy on Architecture 2009-2015 “provides a dynamic framework for the implementation of public policy on architecture over the next seven years”.
The implementation of the Policy on Architecture should lead to a greater emphasis on the role of architectural and urban-design quality in the design of the built environment. Minister Gormley emphasised that “the Policy complements and supports the Government’s wider economic strategy in areas such as research, green enterprise and the development of efficient and sustainable technologies for the built environment. Within the Policy there are various actions that support initiatives on job creation, enterprise and the export of Irish skills and products abroad.”
The Minister noted that “the policy is structured around 15 key statements and contains 45 actions to be implemented over its lifetime” and added that “my Department will take the lead role in the implementation of more than half of the actions along with co-ordination of the implementation of all actions. The next stage in this process will be advanced as a matter of priority and will contribute to the overall national agenda towards economic recovery”. He remarked that “the architecture we choose to build now is the heritage of the future and the Policy recognises the cultural and artistic value of architecture.”
The Minister had appointed a Steering Committee, chaired by Professor Loughlin Kealy, School of Architecture, University College Dublin (Retired), with representatives from a broad spectrum of the public and private sectors, to oversee the development of the Policy. The work of the Steering Committee was underpinned by three focus groups, each of which specialised on one of three core themes (a) promoting quality in the built environment, (b) promoting awareness, education and research and (c) promoting sustainability. A series of public meetings took place as part of the development of the Policy and web based submissions were also received.
The Minister thanked Professor Kealy and all who had contributed to the development of the Policy on Architecture. The Policy document, in English and Irish, can be accessed on www.environ.ie or bought from the Government Publications Office for €10.