The Irish government has launched a 20-year spatial strategy aimed at achieving "balanced growth" for all regions. Planning will focus on the development of existing settlements, as the strategy requires no new towns or cities. Intended to be "a key tool in the pursuit of sustainable development", the strategy aims to reduce commuting distances; minimise consumption of non-renewable sources such as agricultural land; and avoid adverse impacts on the natural environment. Consultation on the strategy began in 2000 (EED 02/03/00). See press release and strategy.
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