James Leahy

A new non-growth dependent development model for suburbs is required:

Development has stopped but the actions required to retrofit existing suburbs for accessibility and to provide social housing all assumed that the previous level of development would continue. A new model for the redevelopment of our existing suburbs over the next ten years is needed.

Smarter Travel Policy:

The new Smarter Travel sustainable transport policy and the National Cycle Policy Framework (Department of Transport 2008, 2009) have many actions calling for suburbs to be retrofitted to make them permeable for walkers and cyclists and accessible by public transport. How will they be retrofitted to do this?


There is still a need to build social housing, create new models of housing tenure and to increase the mix of housing in existing suburbs. There is a further need to introduce employment and services into suburbs.


Can the example of how the Dublin Crisis Conference, Making the Modern Street and Group 91 Architects in the 1980-90’s led to a revolution in the planning our our city centres and a new model of development be used as an inspiration?

Retrofitting suburbs:

What will retrofitting projects look like?

How will they be planned or regulated?

Who will deliver them?

Who will pay?

How will they gain community acceptance?

Who is doing what now, in Ireland and abroad?


The Workshops will initially limit themselves to exploring the possibilities for retro-fitting suburbs over the next 10 years.


A series of workshops with interested architects, planners and people from the environmental and community housing sector. Research for these will cover case studies of current and potential best practice in Ireland and abroad, plus research on particular actions from Smarter travel and the National Cycle Policy Framework


-Proposal for a model of redevelopment of our suburbs based on retrofitting and small local interventions.

-Opportunities to partner with providers of social and community housing

-An application to the Smarter Travel project fund before 9 September 2009.


see also the Remaking the Modern Suburb blog here

About the Organisers:
James Leahy is an engineer, one of the founders of Bike to Work, and member of An Taisce and Dublin Cycling campaign