All posts by Will

Hi, I'm a Dubliner, an architect, and an advocate for liveable cities.

Engineers Ireland support the push for sustainable transport

There was a very heartening event last week.

Established professional body Engineers Ireland hosted a progressive, forward-looking conference aimed at informing their members – civil and structural engineers especially – about Ireland’s current surge towards more sustainable, healthy transport.

(Below) Can Ginty compares modal share over distance in Netherlands

While the provision of safe, segregated infrastructure is definitely an engineering problem, Ireland faces several other barriers in reducing car dependence and GHG emissions from transport. It was great to see presentations on policy, on transport funding, and on simply walking.

It was really inspiring and encouraging to see everyone from Finola O’Driscoll of the Department of Transport through experts Professor Brian Caulfield and Dr. Lorraine d’Arcy, and even Iarnród Éireann Irish Rail, to outstanding cycling advocate Cian Ginty all agreeing on how we need to shift modes of transport to healthier, cleaner, cheaper forms.

Denise Keogan gave the Department of Transport’s overview – to halve CO2 emissions by 2030 (compared to 2018 levels) we’ll need to double active travel rates. Progress is good but, according to Prof. Caulfield of TCD, our focus on electric cars is misplaced and we need to ramp up efforts dramatically if we’re to get near our targets.

(Above) Denise Keogan outlines Government policies

A few of the highlights we took away were… 

• 50% GHG reduction by 2030 is a big … big ask. But we’re making real progress: Rural Link is only one of several strong initiatives

• Gender audits should be part of every plan and proposal

• Cycle parking in train stations is way cheaper than giving space for bikes on trains (lesson from the Netherlands)

• 35% of road GHG’s is from National roads

• Cycling will only do the ‘heavy lifting’ of modal shift in denser, urban areas

• Donald Shoup’s seminal resaerch on parking is worth a read.