The national spatial strategy is a planning policy framework within which cities and towns together with rural communities throughout the country will be strengthened, allowing their resources to be mobilised to create more balanced development across the country. The strategy provides for an integrated network of gateways, hubs, other towns, villages and rural areas that will complement and draw strength from each other in the drive towards balanced development on the basis of each of these elements growing to their potential.
The national spatial strategy emphasises the need to renew, consolidate and develop Ireland's cities and towns, keeping them as physically compact and public-transport-friendly as possible, while seeking to achieve the highest quality of design in new development and refurbishment. In seeking to secure the future of larger urban areas the strategy endorses the need to continue with targeted area-based measures to tackle areas of disadvantage, particularly in inner city areas and in major concentrations of social housing development on the periphery of cities and towns. In a spatial sense, the aims of such measures must include the achievement of more cohesive and integrated local urban communities.
On the issue of drug misuse, specific policy measures on this are set out in the national drugs strategy, the implementation of which is the responsibility of a number of Departments, including the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Health and Children.