This edition of the Surveyors Journal will be particularly interesting for readers.

I am sure that many surveyors are asked by those discussing the housing crisis just why can space over shops not be used to provide homes? It’s not that there is a lack of incentives. Noel Larkin’s article considers why there has been no meaningful uptake of the opportunities to assist people to live in the historic inner area of our larger cities. Explanations offered suggest that it is the regulatory minefield that makes it difficult to make projects work. Noel suggests that until there is clear guidance to designers and Assigned Certifiers on the relaxations that can apply, this type of development will remain unattractive. At a time of a housing shortage, and with growing demand for accommodation without the long commutes that are a consequence of being forced to find a newly built home on the outskirts of our cities, this should be a priority for Government.
Getting urban development right is a vital interest for us all and, as Colin Bray says in his article, data lies at the heart of society. Increasingly for a wealthy, developed country, quality data drives public policy and is central to the delivery of the public services that are vital to further growth and prosperity.

Getting urban development right is a vital interest for us all and, as Colin bray says in his article, data lies at the heart of Society.

Colin points to the OSi vision for a geospatially enabled nation as a contribution to this. He offers as an example the Dublin Housing Observatory, which allows users and the public to source up-to-date and verified information on Dublin’s housing market. For surveyors who need to understand changes in markets, this type of geospatial knowledge will be increasingly important. As a contrast, readers may be interested to compare this with the article on surveying in the past by Muiris de Butléir.

Tom Dunne

Tom Dunne

Editor