Fingal County Council will encourage the development of ‘car free’ neighbourhoods in the coming years, following agreement at a recent Development Plan meeting.
Inspired by the positive experiences of communities in Utrecht and Houten in the Netherlands, councillors agreed wording that would ‘encourage the development of car free neighbourhoods and streets’ in the new Fingal Development Plan.
Following a motion from the Green Party, the council agreed the following objective:
Support development which enhances the quality of the built environment, promotes public health, and supports the development of sustainable, resilient communities. In particular development which supports the following key principles will be supported:
• Demonstrates compliance with the Guiding Principles for the creation of healthy and attractive places as set out in Healthy Placemaking, Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy 2019-2031
• Promotes the development of healthy and attractive places to live, work, socialise and recreate through the delivery of high-quality public realms and open spaces which encourage physical activity and support wellbeing.
• is inclusive of all members of society, irrespective of age, or levels of mobility
• Advocates a universal design approach and is socially inclusive.
• Encourages sustainable active transport modes.
• Encourages the development of car free neighbourhoods and streets
The meeting also agreed to adjust the same objective to give active travel modes, walking and cycling, priority.
This is a strengthening of wording. The plan will no longer simply encourage sustainable active travel options and has been changed as follows:
EncouragesPrioritises sustainable active transport modes.’
“I’m am incredibly encouraged by these two developments. Car free communities have been shown in other countries to improve the quality of life , health, and the safety of the people who live there. They have also been shown to improve footfall and spending for the businesses who are located there,” said Green Party Councillor for Swords Ian Carey
“Last year we brought our kids to the holiday village Trabolgan. I remember commenting how relaxing it was to let the kids run around the centre of the village safely while cars are kept on the edge. We were happier, the kids were happier, and it was clear that everyone could get around a lot easier. This is the kind of space we can have in our communities and I look forward to seeing these develop.”