In the context of the current global recession, key concerns include rising unemployment, intensified population flows and increased landscape degradation. The development of solutions to real world environmental and land use management problems is becoming increasingly urgent and requires that scientists and stakeholders exchange more actively knowledge and experience. Within Europe, Ireland is experiencing one of the severest recessions. It has undergone substantial changes over the past three decades: recession in the 1980s, boom in the 1990s and economic collapse at the end of the 2000s (Williams, Hughes, & Redmond, 2010; Kitchen, 2002; Hourihan, 1989). This paper investigates the Greater Dublin Region (GDR) of Ireland where urban development has been poorly controlled, leading to changes in its spatial configuration and particularly the preponderance of a sprawl pattern of development. Scientists and stakeholders analysed four land uses using a scenarios approach supported by the urban and regional MOLAND model. Future simulated land use scenarios were produced, framed by land use and regional planning policies; also relevant indicators were selected to provide immediate support to the stakeholders. In addition, the indicators developed are intended to enhance the existing indicators available within the MOLAND framework and have been applied at regional and sub-regional scales based on both scientific and administrative requirements. These initial results provide a platform for a methodology for practical action to be used by scientists and stakeholders to ensure effective on-going collaborations. They also allow us to grasp crucial ideas about urban development processes, sustainable growth management and their possible consequences in the regional context in Europe and worldwide.
Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 2015
Europe urbanisation; economic recession; land use modelling scenarios; regional strategic planning; regional development indicators; scientists and stakeholders