Urban Initiatives outlines plan to develop sustainable towns

Urban Initiatives is focusing on projects to revive existing cities rather than looking for work in the creation of a wave of new towns.

Associate director Diarmaid Lawlor stressed the importance of developing sustainable communities in existing areas. "There is potential to make our towns work better. We cannot run away from settlements that are already there," he said.

The firm is involved in redesigning the Aylesbury estate in Southwark and Scotswood in Newcastle. It has also expanded into Ireland with the preparation of proposals for an eco-district to the south-west of Dublin, on behalf of South Dublin County Council.

The 265ha Clonburris site could be redeveloped with eight neighbourhoods offering up to 16,000 homes, shops, offices, schools and parks. It will also include two rail stations and the Metro West orbital line, linking it to Dublin Airport.

The draft plan, which is out for public consultation, sets out a carbon reduction policy and renewable energy and fuel efficiency measures. Urban Initiatives managing director Kelvin Campbell said: "It sets a benchmark for sustainable urban quality."

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