What's your name and what position do you hold?
John Downey MIPI MRTPI - chartered Town Planner AND MD of Downey Planning , Downey Architecture and Downey Landscape
A multi disciplinary company advising, procuring and delivering several housing schemes both in planning (SHD’s) and also on the ground mainly in Dublin but also Galway, Mayo, Westmeath, Wicklow and Meath.
What are your day to day responsibilities?
Attending meetings with clients, councils, an Board Pleanála.
What is your professional background?
Professional Chartered Town Planner with 25 years experience both in the Public Sector and now for the last 17 years in Private Practice.
How do you think the industry is coping with the Covid-19 crisis? What lasting impact do you see on the sector?
The industry has adopted well but in terms of planning and online submissions, it has to go digital in a formal way.
Changes to the planning system need to be made also but the SHD system where you lodge directly to An Board Pleanala is working very well.
The lasting impacts for the industry will be a change in planning policy to ensure robust city centres which have being decimated by putting too much transient people (Hotels, short term accommodation, office workers) has ignored creating communities in the CBD and as such they have in effect died.
How do you see tech innovation transforming this industry? What do you think will be the major breakthroughs over the next 5–10 years?
There is a wholesale need for tech intervention to allow for online submission of planning applications. This is done in the UK through an online portal but it is not available here yet and there is a need to role this into place within the next 12 to 18 months.
What will be the leading trends in the construction industry in coming years and how will businesses need to adapt?
A change from offices to apartments in the city centre;
The need to put an emphasis on creating sustainable communities both within the CBD.
Emphasis on adopting or creating living units that allow future lockdowns including places to work, recreate and exercise in.
A large seismic shift to cycling and creation of wider footpaths / boulevards to allow wider areas for cyclists / pedestrian and a new outdoor café culture.
John will be speaking at the 2020 CIF Annual Conference on October 1st, Online.
For more information visit www.cifconference.ie