Cathaoirleach’s Message ‘Noman is an island’ rings true down the centuries and is a lyrical expression of the acknowledged interdependency of society. Our community bonds remind us of our human, geographic, and cultural connectedness. It prefigures our want and desire to plan for our future. A future that strives for the betterment of the quality of life for all of our citizens. It is through this constant quest to improve and address disparities, that we as a Region can realise our individual and collective potential. Our ambition is for a humane, fulfilling society, one in which “scientific advance is used to enhance quality of life, rather than to increase production * ”. Irish people traditionally identified with parish and county, characterised by a strong sense of belonging. This consciousness and sense of belonging has informed and shaped the RSES. Connectedness is immeasurably important to any community. It plays a part in safeguarding the health and well-being of citizens. Placemaking is about improving the economic competitiveness, physical infrastructure and social fabric of the Region. We want to tackle the challenges we face, play our part in addressing climate change, strengthen and safeguard our rich rural and urban fabric, to increase the Region’s appeal as a place to live, work, study, invest in, trade with and visit. Ireland is no longer a homogenous society, isolated off the coast of continental Europe, we are globally connected, enriched with a diverse, young and educated population. We live in exciting and fast-moving times. Our unique proposition as a nation, as a Region, is firmly vested in our people and in our collective vision and values.
The National Planning Framework and its regional translation in the RSES is poised to benefit the State and its Regions. It seeks to unlock the latent potential of less developed areas while increasing the competitiveness of the more developed areas. Quality of life for all and safeguarding our environment for future generations is at the heart of its ambition. The Members and Executive of the Southern Assembly are primed and anticipating the opportunity presented to implement the RSES. We have a strong vision for our Region. To realise that vision, we aim to create and nurture the conditions that support our people and our places. We view the strategy as a means to harness the Region’s full potential, for achieving economic prosperity, for improving the quality of life for all our citizens, and as a vehicle to promote the Region as a sustainable, innovative, healthy and green region and ultimately help us to realise our ambition to be the world’s most liveable Region. It also provides a means to address the challenges we face including climate change. The RSES is an ambitious project. It needs to be to keep pace with the accelerated rate of technological, social and economic change. TheAssembly recognises the significant challenges facing our Region and the need for decisive leadership and an effective regional strategy underpinned by strong National policy interventions to address those challenges. We want to secure a sustainable future; therefore, it is imperative we avoid a piecemeal approach to strategy formulation. Critically, spatial planning must be informed by environmental, economic and social needs. The overarching principle of the protection of the environment combined with an impetus to improve social equality, will serve to guide us in our endeavour to copper-fasten and safeguard our future. Mr. David Kelly Director
Níneart go cur le chéile.
Councillor Joe Carroll Cathaoirleach
* Gray, J. (2016) Gray’s Anatomy: Selected Writings, Penguin.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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