Category: Regional Development

Transforming Limerick

Two initiatives that would transform Limerick and its region

In the knowledge economy strong vibrant cities of scale with coherent vision and governance are the key economic drivers of whole regions.

Limerick and its region have great potential but in recent years have not been performing as well as Cork or Galway….and failing to compete in attracting new investment

What should be done to release the potential of Limerick and its region and restore its competitiveness?

First: give Limerick coherent governance.

Limerick city is divided between the three local authorities that govern and manage it. As a result it has … Continue reading...

Revitalising Limerick

Revitalisation of Urban Limerick

“What body or structure, new or existing, is best able to drive through the current barriers and to deliver place and brand-changing urban improvements in the city of Limerick urban area such as will strengthen the core of the city-region and release the full economic development potential of the Limerick Shannon Gateway?”

Peter Coyne

Edward Walsh October 2007

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Introduction

3. The Vision of a Revitalised Limerick

3.1. The Fundamental Vision

3.2. Key Elements of the Vision

3.3. Challenge for Limerick and its Region

3.4. Iconic Projects

4. Economic and Continue reading...

Newry-Dundalk: the cross-border bipolar city

The British and Irish Governments have launched an important study designed to stimulate the creation of an ‘all-island economy’. A variety of North/South collaborative initiatives are proposed. The study is important in its own right. But it is also a significant marker: it signals the ending of the long years of tortuous political interaction since the Good Friday Agreement and the strong wish of both communities to collaborate and win the peace dividend.

The study calls for ‘joined-up’ North/South planning in delivering key infrastructure at a cost of over €100billion during the next ten years. The Secretary of State for … Continue reading...

Arresting the Decline of Irish Cities

After returning from my first visit to Finland my wife thought it was most disloyal to declare I wanted to become a Finn. Why?  Because it appeared to me that the Finns I met had come close to finding the ideal formula for contemporary living.  While most are city dwellers they have humble retreats in the countryside also. A compact but excellently-designed apartment is complemented by a rustic cabin hidden in the trees on some small island in the Baltic or by a rural lake.

The simplicity of the cabin contrasted with the sophistication of the apartment.  Finns seem to … Continue reading...


‘Decentralisation’ is a term that voters in most parts of the world find so desirable that it ranks with ‘motherhood and apple pie’: almost everyone is for it.  But here in Ireland, where Dublin has so outpaced the growth of the regional cities, it is a term associated with an intense craving: urgent and radical action is called for before Dublin strangles itself and the regions further decline.

The Government has responded with a bold plan.

The principle that lies behind the plan to ‘decentralise’ and move more than half of the Government Departments and 10,300 public workers out of … Continue reading...

Atlantic Technopolis

Regional development has not worked in Ireland.  A continuous drift of people to Dublin has both weakened the regions and congested the capital. This imbalance has triggered the preparation of The National Spatial Strategy and much effort and consultation has taken place during the past three years in search of a solution.

There are many good elements within the Strategy. However, extensive consultation and the political imperative to please geographically has fostered anodyne proposals with insufficient focus and vision.

The only regional development initiative of consequence in the history of the State emerged from a different process: Lemass, in the … Continue reading...