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 Governmental Situation

4.1. Government Policy

4.2. Economic Performance

4.3. Inward Investment

4.4. Socio-economic Imbalance

4.5. Local Government

5. Key Influencing Factors re Structure of Delivery

5.1. Classic Regeneration Project Characteristics

5.2. The Big Issues – Summary Problem

5.3. The Key Question and The Task

5.4. Success Criteria for Structural Solution

6. Structural Options – From Vision to Reality

7. Conclusion and Recommendation

Appendices

1. Iconic Projects

2. The Wider Vision

3. Executive Summary – Competitive European Cities Report (Parkinson, Hutchins, Simmie, Clark and Verdonk , 2004)

4. Structural Options Analysis

5. Subsequent Developments


1.0 Executive Summary

This report reviews the conclusions of a series of “Iconic Project” meetings of business and local government leaders and the gathered opinions of some 20 leading figures in Limerick. It articulates the emergent view of what was holding back the city, together with a basic or fundamental vision of what the future should look like.

The fundamental vision is not detailed or complex and it is perhaps not even particularly ambitious. The vision is of a modern, progressive, prosperous, socially and economically balanced, thriving European waterfront city serving its region as a business, retail and cultural centre with the western corridor (and thus the national economy) as integrated, added-value economic infrastructure. This is not what Limerick is viewed as today.

The principal barriers to the economic development of the city are identified as being; 1) a poor (brand) image of social disorder and crime – both real and perceived 2) an absence of an overarching vision for the future of Limerick; 3) dysfunctional structure of local government – three councils in one city; and 4) an absence of overall drive and leadership on the issues of physical and economic renewal across the wider area.

The report then reviews the economic and governmental situation and notes that Limerick has the highest unemployment rate in the country, employment from foreign direct investment (FDI) is down 18% over the past 6 years, there has been no major new greenfield FDI in the (Mid-West) region (excepting Northern Trust) since 1996 and there is progressive shrinkage in existing FDI operations. It is clear from the National Development Plan and the government’s Atlantic Gateways Initiative that Ireland’s continued economic success in part depends upon the improved economic effectiveness of Limerick.

The report concludes that Limerick and its region are failing to compete economically with other European city regions of comparable size and that the urban area of Limerick is critically disadvantaged in seeking to meet the expectations of the National Development Plan. With a dissipating regional economic base and progressive migration of residential and commercial activity from the city centre, Limerick is at risk of acute degeneration as a city entity.

The recommended solution aims to address the fundamental structural defect of local government organisation and, at the same time, accelerate a structurally compatible and task-focussed urban renewal process. It is recommended that the following dual approach be taken;

1. The existing Regeneration Agencies should be joined by a third sister “City Centre Agency” created specifically for the physical and economic development of the urban centre of Limerick including King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” Limerick City Council may determine.

And

2. Without inhibiting the current Moyross area boundary review, an independent, comprehensive economic and administrative analysis should be undertaken as a matter of urgency to determine the optimal local authority boundaries of Limerick. Whilst such a review must seek to ensure high quality municipal services and amenities it must as a priority ensure that Limerick functions as a core city to the region and has the full strategic capacity to release the economic development potential of the Gateway and the procurement of this independent analysis should be commenced as a matter of urgency.

2.0 Introduction

A group, involving a cross section of interests, concerned for Limerick’s future wellbeing, participated in a number of brainstorming sessions during 2007. The Atlantic Way, Shannon Development, Limerick City Council, The University of Limerick, The Limerick Co-Ordination Office and Limerick Chamber came together in partnership to coordinate the meetings. The focus of the group discussions was directed towards identifying which iconic project(s) would be most effective in lifting the positive profile of Limerick. The Limerick urban area lacks the structures that support and foster visionary and coherent planning and development: for this reason the group’s primary focus moved from which iconic project to pursue to what organisational and structural arrangements are required to deliver urban revitalisation, including such projects.

Arising from these activities Peter Coyne of Coyne Associates and Edward Walsh of Oakhampton Consultants were commissioned to identify both a shared vision and an associated process designed to deliver a focussed, resourced and accelerated revitalisation of the Limerick urban area and its region. A short time scale of 6 weeks was set for the preparation of the report and of necessity focus has been directed to the key issues: initiatives and processes considered most likely to secure a good future for Limerick and its region. Notes of prior brainstorming sessions and relevant documentation, plans and reports have been reviewed. In addition a series of individual interviews have been conducted with a cross section of Limerick leadership. During the consultations the consultants sought to identify why Limerick and its region is not performing as well as other regions and why major investment has tended to bypass the region during the past decade.


3.0 The Vision of a Revitalised Limerick

3.1 The Fundamental Vision

Arising from the 20 interviews with a selection of leading figures in the wider city area, a uniformity of expression was evident concerning the present state of the city and the fundamental or intuitive vision of its future:


What Urban Limerick Looks Like

“Retail moving out to suburbs – retail values falling;

Nobody manages the entirety of the city: it’s divided up between 3 competing local authorities;

Depopulating and looking a bit derelict;

It’s going nowhere – even though it could be great;

Little development compared to other cities;

No joined up thinking – or doing;

Economy hanging on a shrinking base;

Three huge concentrations of inner city deprivation;

City centre dragged down by social and economic imbalance;

No heart to the city;

Absence of vibrancy and culture;

The river could be so much more;

Hardly any tourism – very little to attract them;

Business areas abandoned after work;

The bigger city has no leadership;

The city is not embraced by the people – they don’t own it;

Not even a cinema;

Terrible reputation for crime that’s probably undeserved but these things are self-fulfilling;

There is no vision”

How Urban Limerick Should Look

A growing city for the region – could be a 250,000 metropolitan population;

A proper city with ambitious and accountable government with a can-do attitude;

A honeypot for inward investment – a counterbalance to the overheated east;

A bustling and exciting waterfront – an iconic heart to the city;

Vibrancy in the city centre – 18-24 hour city;

A critical mass of tourist attractions;

Family-friendly city with the homes and amenities that encourage people with economic choice to live in the city;

The retail centre for the region;

The university an inextricable element of the city brand – connecting socially and culturally with the city as well as economically,

New economic activities – a knowledge industry growth centre – renewed synergies with a growing 3rd and 4th level;

Excellent transportation infrastructure and interconnectivity with other Atlantic cities – people able to commute between them;

Docklands and King’s Island new and wonderful mixed use extensions to the city centre;

Several big civic pride icons – buildings and places to put us on the world stage;

Citizens taking pride and caring for their city;

Leadership;

A city known for arts and culture;

A city with a vision


3.2 Key Elements of Vision

Some of the key elements of re-envisioning the city arising from the consultative interviews and reflected in the un-attributed comments above were:

1. The “city” must be redefined as the urban area of Limerick (City of Limerick Urban Area) (CLUA) to allow it claim its true gravitas and capacity as the city of the Mid-West Region,

2. There needs to be masterplan vision for CLUA which will be an agenda for action particularly concerning physical urban renewal enhancements and landmark place-changing projects,

3. There must be strong and accountable unitary governance and leadership of the re-defined CLUA providing integrated planning and development control and fiscal sustainability,

4. In the absence of, or pending the formation and resourcing of unitary government of CLUA, there needs to be a mechanism put in place to generate the masterplan vision and to drive implementation of the urban renewal projects,

5. The docklands, King’s Island and the Arthur’s Quay/Opera Quarter areas are of critical strategic importance to the city’s economic future – they represent huge opportunities to extent the fabric of the city east and west of the city centre and to reform the city centre in a truly iconic fashion on the waterfront and thus create a true 21st century regional city centre.

6. The social regeneration task of the Northside and Southside Regeneration Agencies is fundamental to the future of CLUA and the realisation of the fundamental vision.

7. Retail strategy must be brought under control and a strong regional retail hub secured in the city centre

8. Residential and civic amenity has to be improved so that people with economic choice will elect for city living. A strong socio-economically balanced residential base is critical to a vibrant city centre.

9. Limerick’s poor brand image is a very significant barrier to inward investment; as is the poor provision of business and social amenity. However, if these were resolved CLUA is extremely well placed to attract inward investment due to the existing industrial base, the airport, the quality of the university and 3rd level sector generally, the availability of skills and the wider environmental and recreational amenity of the region.

10. The riverside is of great importance to the CLUA. Already the Riverside City brand is changing the role of the river and the self image of the city. It will be critical that the strategic development of the riverside is driven forward.

11. The economic potential of the university and the airport can be capitalised upon by the development of technology, enterprise and tourism in the revitalised city.

3.3 The Challenge for Limerick Urban Area

During the consultations the consultants sought to identify the commonly held reasons why Limerick and its region was under-performing relative to other regions, and what were the barriers to resolving its visionary gap. The following were most frequently mentioned barriers to development:

· Brand image of social disorder and crime – real and perceived

· No big picture – no Vision

· Dysfunctional structure of local government (three councils in one city)

· No overall drive or leadership in the area of physical and economic renewal

Unless each of these challenges is addressed Limerick and its region are in serious danger of drifting into decline as investment and jobs are attracted to other more dynamic, visionary and effectively governed regions.

3.4 Iconic Projects

Limerick’s image is not good. But other cities, such as Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Bilbao have demonstrated that image can be changed. Iconic projects have significantly contributed to or, in the case of Bilbao, epitomised the transformation of these cities. But behind these highly visible iconic projects lies much hard work and determined endeavour involving strategically focused organisations, leadership and planning.

The energy, dynamism and creativity of those who formed the group that gathered to brainstorm on a new future for Limerick was most impressive and may, in hindsight, be seen as marking the emergence of a new era of civic awareness and commitment for the radical change that the Limerick urban area requires if it is to compete and prosper. Those interviewed during the consultations impressed the consultants with the rich array of ideas and initiatives that are available and highlighted a widespread frustration when it comes to transforming these into action.

The brainstorming at the outset focussed on iconic projects as a means of transforming Limerick’s image. But as the feasibility of implementing these was examined in more detail the underlying problems that inhibit good development in Limerick became increasingly clear and could not be ignored.

The Limerick urban area lacks the structures that support and foster visionary and coherent planning and development and for this reason the group’s primary focus moved from which iconic project to pursue to what organisational and structural arrangements are required to deliver such projects. This latter issue is the primary focus of this study. However, with appropriate delivery mechanisms in place it will still be important to identify and secure appropriate iconic projects for the city. This issue is further discussed in Appendix 1.

4.0 Economic and Governmental Situation

4.1 Government Policy

Chapter 3 of The National Development Plan refers to the Limerick Shannon Gateway as the economic core of the Mid-West Region and of it states:

“….has considerable potential to generate and drive accelerated rates of economic development and population growth. To achieve this it must put in place and implement an overall strategy for its development focussing on unlocking further potential in the city centre and docks areas”

The Atlantic Gateways Initiative was launched by the Minister in September 2006 and outlines public strategy to release the economic synergies of the cities of the west coast. It is a key requirement of the strategy that the cities themselves each perform to their potential as the following extracts illustrate. It is implicitly necessary therefore; if Limerick is to play its critical role in the Initiative, for CLUA to operate competently as an economic unit and to significantly increase its development effectiveness.

The National Development Plan and Ireland’s continued economic success depend upon the improved economic effectiveness of CLUA.

4.2 Economic Performance

Whilst there has been no in-depth economic analysis undertaken as part of this study a number of published economic indicators underscore the precarious economic situation of the city.

Limerick City has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 14.6% (Central Census Office, 2006) and the population of the city council area has been falling over the past 10 years whilst that of the two counties has been rapidly growing as the table below illustrates.

Population change:

Limerick City 2002 – 2006 = -2.7% (+0.1% 1996-2002): Downward trend

Limerick County 2002 – 2006 = +8.3% (+6.0% 1996-2002): Upward Trend

Clare County 2002 – 2006 = +7.3% (+10.4% 1996-2002)

Ireland 2002 – 2006 = +8.1% (+6.8% 1996-2002)

(Central Census Office, 2006)

4.3 Inward Investment

In the years following its establishment in 1959 Shannon Development pioneered many of the basic concepts that were subsequently adopted nationally in fostering high-tech manufacturing and making Ireland the most successful economy in Europe. However the region has faltered during the past decade and is now being overtaken by other regions in making the transition to the emerging knowledge-driven economy.

Unlike adjacent regions Limerick has not maintained its attractiveness to inward investment. There has, for instance, been no major greenfield foreign direct investment in the region since Vistakon in 1996, with the single exception of Northern Trust. In the past six years (2000-06) employment in IDA-supported companies in the Mid West Region has dropped by 18%, while that in the South West has grown by 6%[1].

Limerick and its region are now dependent on a small number of large manufacturing plants (four) that are becoming more vulnerable as costs in Ireland increase. Other city-regions such as Dublin, Cork and Galway are successfully making the transition and attracting knowledge-intensive high-value-added enterprise. They are developing strong international reputations in areas such as financial services, bio-pharma and bio-medical devices that are less vulnerable to Ireland’s rising cost base.

In the knowledge-driven economy city-regions now compete internationally for investment and talent. As the transition takes place from manufacturing to knowledge-intensive enterprise cities assume increasing importance as regional drivers. Regions with cities that have geared themselves for change, and which provide the infrastructure and environment attractive to knowledge-enterprise, are growing and prospering at the expense of other regions that have not.

Limerick and its region are faced with a gaunt challenge: identify a winning vision for the future and the process to deliver it, or be left behind while other regions forge ahead. The wider issues of the economic region and the Atlantic Gateway are further discussed in Appendix 2.

4.4 Socio-economic Imbalance

Potential investors who review statistics for Limerick city encounter data not for the urban area of some 100,000 people but for the population of some 50,000 who live in the City Council area i.e. the inner city. Of this population 42 percent are in social housing with all the problems and statistics typically associated with social disadvantage. The high concentration of social housing within the City Council area in turn influences the nature of the city core. The Report to the Cabinet Sub-committee on Social Inclusion (John Fitzgerald, April 2007) states:

Of the approximately 18,900 houses in the City Council area, 8,000 were constructed as social housing. Limerick is unique in having such a high concentration of social housing within the city boundary [42%[2]], and this in turn poses certain unique problems and challenges for the city and the region.

The establishment of the Northside and Southside Regeneration Agencies directly addresses the issues of social deprivation and the related tolerance of organised crime and anti-social behaviours in the city.

4.5 Local Government

In October 2005 Limerick City Council prepared the report Amended Proposal For A City Boundary Extension in accordance with Local Government Act 1991. The compelling rationale for the proposal may be summarised thus:

· Inward investment expects integrated management of the economic infrastructure within the boundaries of the effective city area and the regional city to have strong and decisive government, not a loose alliance of 3 local authorities

· Current arrangements are encouraging residential migration out of the city and social imbalance and deprivation in the centre

· Proper planning and development requires unitary government

· It is necessary to have a unitary authority in order to generate and effect a true vision for the future of the urban area

· A unitary authority would be focussed on the city and not on wider governance of the rural county

· Cross border decision making is slow and disadvantages the divided city

· A unitary authority can demonstrate equity in approach to all citizens whereas three separate governments cannot.

· The population living in the county parts of the city are unrepresented in the city hall

Local Governance of Limerick urban population[3]

It was clear to the consultants that there is strong and widely held view that there is a serious deficiency with regard to integrated planning and development control across the three local authorities in the CLUA. Retail is declining in the city and growing in the urban periphery. There is a rates and development levy benefit to a local authority which can act as an incentive to granting such development permissions even where these may be contrary to the intentions of the Development Plan. The Regional Authority is not constituted with the authority to regulate matters.

Arising from the recommendation in paragraph 3.5 of the Report to the Cabinet Sub-committee on Social Inclusion (John Fitzgerald, April 2007) a process has commenced for a limited extension of the City boundary up to the Clare County boundary in the northern part of the city. The proposition being that this change is critical in facilitating the intensive development and regeneration of the North city area.

Appendix 3 is an extract from a study carried out in 2004 for the UK government – Competitive European Cities Report. One of the key findings is that the most competitive European cities have “the strategic capacity to implement long term development strategies” i.e. they have comprehensive, authoritative and sustainable city government.


5.0 Key Influencing Factors re Structure of Delivery

5.1 Classic Urban Renewal Project Characteristics

The following are characteristic of successful large-scale urban renewal and re-development programmes. Whilst some programmes may have operated without a full compliment, all successful programmes would have had the majority of these characteristics.

· A clear vision and articulation of a very significant end result in a project Masterplan– Le Grand Project.

· A clear macro-economic rationale in the city/regional/national development context.

· An unambiguous statutory Development Plan which is aligned with the project master plan.

· A significant public land-bank or powers of compulsory acquisition and development.

· Dedicated, visible, credible, resourced and empowered project leadership.

· The financial resources to carry the risk and cost of the pump-priming infrastructure and environmental improvements.

· General alignment of public policy (local, regional and national) with aims of the project and related public sector support.

· A sound economic basis for master plan assumptions of (sectoral) space occupancy.

There is clear and evident continuity between these classic characteristics and the perceived barriers to city development previously referred to in paragraph 3.3.

5.2 The Big Issues – The Summary Problem

In reviewing the City of Limerick Urban Area (CLUA) in the context of:

· the fundamental vision and the current vision gap,

· the economic indicators and state policy for economic development

· the socio-economic issues and the emergence of the Regeneration Agencies

· the local government structures,

· the perceived barriers and the classic characteristics of urban renewal project success,

the big residual issues appear to be:

a) There is no Masterplan Vision for the City of Limerick urban area

b) There is no singular leadership position from which to derive a Masterplan Vision or to drive its achievement

c) There is a compelling rationale for the focussed development of CLUA in the National Development Plan and the Atlantic Gateways Report

d) There is no accountable body for integrated governance and development planning and control of the CLUA

e) To the limited extent that public policy generally and the Development Plans specifically are integrated strategically across the CLUA compliance cannot be relied upon in critical areas such as retail planning policy and housing policy due to financial considerations (rates and development levies) affecting planning decisions. The present system does not encourage proper planning and development.

f) Development Levies and rates charged on property in the county sections of the CLUA are substantially directed to outside of the CLUA, thus under-resourcing urban infrastructure and services and threatening the sustainability of civic governance

g) CLUA is failing to compete with other European urban areas of comparable size and is consequently underachieving in terms of economic and social performance to the extent that it is at risk of acute degeneration as a city entity

h) CLUA has an unsustainable economic dependence on manufacturing industry

i) CLUA has acute decay in the urban fabric and poor civic amenity

j) CLUA has areas of acute social depravation and an imbalance in economic class in its city centre

k) Retail and other economic activity is migrating from the city centre to the urban periphery

l) Whilst social deprivation, organised crime and social disorder are now being addressed CLUA has a well established negative location brand which has to be overcome by the manifestation of a new urban reality.

5.3 The Key Question and the Task(s)

The question arising from these issues and that posed in the commissioning of this study, is “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?”

In considering how to determine criteria and assess alternative options in answer to the above question it is necessary to re-articulate the problem into a task or set of tasks for the body or structure, thus:

1. Prepare a Masterplan, articulate a vision and provide the leadership to a renewed and revitalised CLUA

2. Influence and integrate (and make strategic with respect to vision) public policy for CLUA in:

a. Planning and development control

b. Economic development

c. Social development and housing

3. Proactively seek to ensure delivery of the Docklands project to optimum strategic result for CLUA

4. Drive St Mary’s/King’s Island to optimum strategic result for CLUA

5. Secure proactive holistic management and development of the urban River Shannon as per the Riverside City Project

6. Proactively support major urban developments and iconic projects in the city centre

7. Influence integration of resources and outcomes of public projects and programmes in CLUA

5.5 Success Criteria for Structure

The success criteria of any proposed structural solution(s) may, by implication, be stated thus:

The structure should:

1. Support, facilitate or achieve an actual and rapid acceleration of implementation of urban renewal initiatives in CLUA to the extent necessary to make a major positive place change to facilitate the attainment of the Fundamental Vision

2. Support, facilitate or achieve the establishment of a developed Vision for CLUA which establishes an integrated physical planning, social and economic strategy and which is supported by all the key public bodies, the economic stakeholders and the citizens

3. Support and facilitate the success of the Limerick Northside and Southside Regeneration Agencies in attaining their functions and statutory objectives

4. Support, facilitate or achieve sustainable local government of the CLUA

5. Otherwise support, facilitate or achieve the Tasks above

6. Secure the resources, skills and authority to implement those elements of the tasks assigned to the structural solution(s)

6.0 Structural Options –From Vision to Reality

In order to identify the optimum vehicle to drive the implementation of the projects and programmes which will realise the vision a number of options have been considered which variously address the vision and the key influencing factors. There are reviewed in Appendix 4 and include:

Option 1 – Status Quo

This model assumes that no changes are made to the status quo and that LCC effects development in King’s Island and regulates the Docklands by Local Area Plan processes.

Option 2 – Merger of Limerick City and County Councils

This model proposes the merger of the Limerick City Council administration and the Limerick County Council administration.

Option 3 – Single Local Government for CLUA

This model envisages a revision to the boundaries of the three local authorities in the CLUA such that a single local authority covers the entire urban area including appropriate hinterland and urban expansion area.

Option 4 – Public Bodies Partnership Organisation

This model envisages all the key agencies acting in cooperation to achieve prior agreed project objectives.

Option 5 – Shannon Development

This model envisages Shannon Development giving CLUA, as the geological and economic core of the Shannon Region, a specific project focus for broad-based physical, infrastructural and economic renewal by either:

a) Refocusing its corporate strategy primarily onto CLUA or

b) Establishing a dedicated and resourced subsidiary company exclusively for the CLUA project

and thus constituting an integrated project delivery vehicle for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as SD may determine in association with LCC, SFPC and other key partners.

Option 6 – Limerick Urban Development (Corporate Body) Authority

This model proposes a new corporate body formed by Ministerial order in terms of the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971. Similar to, but distinct from, the Regeneration Agencies the new Agency is created for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” LCC may determine.

Option 7 – Northside / Southside Regeneration Agencies

The proposition of this model is that the terms of reference of the Agencies be revised by the Minister to extend over an enlarged area. This could be in a range of formats such as:

a) The Northside Agency extends across King’s Island

b) A third (sister), “City Centre Agency” is created for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” LCC may determine

Option 8 – Combination of Diverse Elements

This model envisages a combination of diverse and partial solutions such as:

a) A Docklands Authority

b) The Southside Regeneration Agency in Kings Island

c) Limerick City Council in the city centre

d) The existing Riverside City Project Partnership

The analysis of these options indicates that the options 3 and 7b) are optimal, the former for sustainable effectiveness and the latter for immediate effectiveness.

7.0 Conclusion and Recommendation

The economic development of the Limerick urban area and consequently, its wider region is seriously inhibited by:

1. a poor (brand) image of social disorder and crime – both real and perceived,

2. the absence of an overarching vision for the future,

3. dysfunctional structure of local government – three councils in one city and

4. the absence of overall drive and leadership on the issues of physical and economic renewal across the wider area (being a function of 3 and a cause of 2).

Consequently, Limerick and its region are failing to compete economically with other European city regions of comparable size and the urban area of Limerick is critically disadvantaged in seeking to meet the expectations of the National Development Plan.

With a dissipating regional economic base and progressive migration of residential and commercial activity from the city centre, Limerick is now at risk of acute degeneration as a city entity. Urgent government action is therefore required to correct the structural deficiencies and remove the barriers to progress.

It is recommended that the following dual approach be taken;

1. The existing Regeneration Agencies should be joined by a third “City Centre Agency” created specifically for the physical and economic development of the urban centre of Limerick including King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” Limerick City Council may determine.

And

2. Without inhibiting the current Moyross area boundary review, an independent, comprehensive economic and administrative analysis should be undertaken as a matter of urgency to determine the optimal local authority boundaries of Limerick. Whilst such a review must seek to ensure high quality municipal services and amenities it must as a priority ensure that Limerick functions as a core city to the region and has the full strategic capacity to release the economic development potential of the Gateway and the procurement of this independent analysis should be commenced as a matter of urgency.


Appendix 1 – Iconic Projects

An iconic project has the potential to symbolise the commencement of a new era for Limerick, give focus to the city centre and serve as a source of civic and national pride. However, addressing Limerick’s underlying problems is an essential prerequisite for such a project to succeed.

The outcome of the brainstorming sessions provides an excellent collection of ideas and a range of possibilities. Five possible iconic projects were identified

1. Various centre options: conference, performing arts, culture

2. Global Village for international language and cultural learning

3. River Features

4. Irish Diaspora

5. Discovery Science Centre

We have considered these proposed projects and arising from the range of consultation we have undertaken and our review of the various planning initiatives and proposals for Limerick, we recommend as follows.

The Riverside City concept has much merit, but by its nature is linear and needs a riverside focal point to define the heart of the city: a civic space that evokes pride…a place where people are happy to gravitate, to meet, to relax, to attend cultural events, to shop and dine.

Major redevelopment of the city centre in the Arthur’s Quay and Opera Quarter are being proposed by the private sector. This area is both close to the heritage quarter and the current heart of retail development. The proposed new private investment in retail development, combined with a matching public investment in a significant cultural and civic complex could combine to create the urban focal point of charisma and quality that the Limerick city centre so seriously needs. Such a cultural complex could include

· Theatre

· Public Library

· Public Art Gallery

· Rehearsal space

· Artists Workshops and Centres

· Conference and meeting space

and be integrated with the proposed private-sector retail activity with new riverside landscaped walkways, gardens and recreational areas. In any redevelopment within the area it would be difficult to envisage the retention of the publicly owned Sarsfied’s House. The new complex could accommodate its current activities and redesign of the site could make provision for riverside paths and gardens linking the civic space to the old Customs House, St Mary’s Cathedral and the heritage precinct.

If the city centre is to be a living space then people must be encouraged to live there and the dearth of large or luxury apartments, and spacious penthouse suites that are the norm in city centres, could well be provided within the complex at this prestige riverside location.


The potential of King John’s Castle as a focal point for tourism has yet to be fully developed. The proposed Irish Diaspora Centre, being considered for the Shannon-Limerick area, might possibly be located on King’s Island with King John’s Castle as the focal point, or located on other appropriate lands within the Limerick urban area.


The brainstorming activity gave rise to the proposal for both the creation of a Discovery Science Centre and the construction of a floating and rotating building to house the Global Village for International Language and Cultural Learning. We have not been in a position to examine in any detail the feasibility of creating, financing and operating such centres but provision could be made for one or both centres within the phased development of the complex forming the civic focal point.

Waterfront, Budapest, Hungary

If the planning, architecture and construction of such a civic focal point were to match in quality and scale the best contemporary European urban developments it would provide Limerick with the iconic development that symbolised the emergence of a new vigorous and vibrant city. Half measures would not suffice. What is called for requires the commitment of Limerick, its region and central government to the creation of a civic focal point for the ancient city in which people can take pride. While it would be expected that the buildings in the complex would be of significant architectural merit, and some should be exceptional, the quality of the civic focal point itself could be seen as the iconic development that Limerick most urgently needs.

Waterfront, Kiev, Ukraine

City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain

Other European regional cities, with the support of central government, are creating iconic cultural centres that are a source of pride to the city and the nation. Ireland should do likewise and Limerick is a good place to start.

Ezra Cornell’s dictum is relevant

Undertake no small projects, they are so difficult to accomplish


Appendix 2 – The Wider Vision

While the focus of this report has been directed to addressing the issues related to the image of the city of Limerick , and in particular addressing the needs to counteract potential decline of the city centre, any vision for the future of Limerick and its region must build on the potential of thee key assets

· The Atlantic Way

· The University of Limerick

· Shannon

The Atlantic Way: Counterpole to Dublin

As highlighted by Sean Dorgan, IDA chief executive

For most investments for which IDA competes, the competition is from city regions with a population base of over a million people. In Ireland, only Dublin has a population of this size. For this reason, every location in Ireland has to think and act regionally, rather than locally, if it wishes to succeed.

With this in mind any long-term vision for Limerick must embrace plans for closer collaboration with the neighbouring regional cities.

Much progress has been made in promoting the concept of the Atlantic Way involving the cities of Galway and Limerick and the communities in the interlinking corridor. The Galway-Limerick bipolar urban area offers the prospect of developing a counterpole to Dublin and providing the urban core that could drive the development of the combined West and Mid-West Regions. The concept has the potential to win the kind of international attention secured by Malaysia’s Multi Media Super Corridor and serve as a honey-pot in stimulating a new wave of investment and development on the western side of the island.

Many, whose careers lead them to work in urban centres, may prefer to enjoy rural living if commuting is not onerous. The appropriate development of the corridor along the Atlantic Way, linking Limerick to Shannon, Ennis and Galway, offers this prospect; while reversing the drift to Dublin.

Shannon Development has fostered the development of e-towns based on existing towns and villages. Developing this concept further could result in planned new villages being created in suitably designated areas distanced, but easily accessible, from the Limerick-Galway Motorway. A generic plan for such villages should guide the emergence of balanced communities and new villages in harmony with the countryside and vernacular architecture.

The prospect of rural living combined with easy commuting represents an attraction not available to many who live in Dublin or in many other major European cities. If pioneered in the Atlantic Way corridor it would represent a new departure in rural planning and contribute to the attractiveness of Limerick and its region for national and mobile international investment.

Limerick city is also particularly fortunate in having a network of rail lines whose potential could be developed to provide easy commuting for those who wish to work in the city and live in old or new towns and villages served by the commuting

The University of Limerick

As the knowledge economy intensifies strong research universities of international standing play increasingly important roles in helping a city region compete for mobile national and international investment. Since it admitted its first students in 1972 the University of Limerick has given priority to those areas of teaching and research that are likely to be of particular relevance to national and regional development. Its special commitment in its early days to select niches in the areas of science, engineering, technology, business and the humanities served to attract a succession of multinational investments to Limerick and its region.

As the transition from manufacturing to knowledge-intensive enterprise evolves increased emphasis is placed on research excellence and the supply of graduates with masters, doctorates and post doctorates in key niche areas. The university is developing strong research reputations in areas such as software and electronic engineering, fluids engineering, advanced materials, financial services, and these are obvious areas in which Limerick and its region should seek to establish knowledge-intensive enterprises. In the past the University has adjusted its academic portfolio and emphasis to support major regional investment opportunities and it can be expected to continue to do so in partnership with enterprise and the development agencies.

The University of Limerick, in partnership with Mary Immaculate College,LL Limerick Institute of Technology and Tralee Institute of Technology, is in the process of launching a major programme designed to help address the needs of Limerick’s disadvantaged communities.

Shannon

Shannon Airport and Shannon Development have played a crucial role in the development of the region for half a century and any plans for Limerick and the Atlantic Way must take this into account.

Prospects for creating a strong Atlantic Way and the development of a bipolar urban corridor as a counterpole to Dublin depend much upon Shannon Airport sustaining its North Atlantic and European services. Work underway to streamline its operations, so that it can compete when under ‘open skies’ conditions, is crucial.

While Limerick-Shannon is designated as a Gateway in the NSS the linkages between the two are surprisingly tenuous. It is generally the case that the corridor between an international airport and its adjacent city becomes a zone of significant development. This has not happened.

Questions arise as to whether the Local Authorities involved have adequately explored the potential of integrated planning to facilitate and give effect to the Limerick-Shannon Gateway concept.

Shannon Development itself has played a remarkable development role since its establishment in 1959. Over the years the focus of its mission has changed and now, in the knowledge-driven economy, a strong vibrant regional city is vital for regional success. Arresting the relative decline of Limerick and helping transform it into a key regional driver for economic and social development is a major challenge.

Given Shannon Development’s unique presence in the region consideration might be given to ways in which the organisation’s talent and capital resources might be selectively, or totally, directed towards this vital mission.

Appendix 3 – Competitive European Cities Report

An Analysis of the characteristics of city competitiveness in Europe on behalf of the UK government

Competitive European Cities: Where do the Core Cities Stand?

A report to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister by

Michael Parkinson, Mary Hutchins – EIUA, Liverpool John Moore’s University
James Simmie – Oxford Brookes University
Greg Clark – London Development Agency
Hans Verdonk – Eurocities

January 2004

Executive Summary

What is the challenge for our Core Cities?

The English Core Cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield – have begun an economic renaissance in recent years. Nevertheless, there remain concerns that they: are not punching their weight economically in the national context; are falling behind London; lack the right powers and resources to improve their performance; and do not make as great a contribution to the national economic welfare, as comparable cities in continental Europe. Is it true?

Urban competitiveness – what really matters?

To find out, this study defined and measured urban competitiveness in terms of six critical characteristics: economic diversity; skilled workforce; connectivity; strategic capacity to implement long-term development strategies; innovation in firms and organisation; quality of life. We collected evidence on these characteristics from a wide range of successful European cities and compared it with our Core Cities, the biggest cities outside London.

How do Core Cities match up to their European competitors?

Not all continental or English cities do equally well – or equally badly – in every aspect of competitiveness. And Core Cities have improved their performance in recent years. But the big picture is clear. Many lag behind their competitors in terms of GDP, innovation levels, educational levels, connectivity, social cohesion, quality of life, political capacity and connections with their wider territories. Crucially, they lag in the eyes of international investors. This is made worse by the fact that European cities do not perform well globally.

Lack of competitiveness is a national problem – but a bigger urban problem

The successful European cities in our sample considerably outperform their national GDPs. But with the exception of Bristol, the Core Cities lag significantly behind the national average. If the Core Cities could improve their performance to match that of their continental counterparts, the gains to the national economy would be enormous.

Can we catch up?

Yes we can. There are structural characteristics of competitiveness, which mean that cities which performed well and were well regarded by the private sector a decade ago, still lead. Nevertheless, cities can significantly improve their performance. Helsinki, Barcelona and Madrid have done so.

National government policy matters

Cities have to maximise their opportunities if they are to succeed economically. But the framework set by national government matters a great deal, exemplified by the impact on successful provincial cities of even limited decentralisation in France over 20 years.

Money and powers matter

Continental cities have responsibilities for a wider range of functions which affect their economic competitiveness than do their English counterparts. The mix varies but their combination of powers and resources seems to make continental cities more proactive, more entrepreneurial and probably more competitive.

Cities live in systems

Many European governments recognise that cities are in a relationship with each other in their own domestic system and develop policies which make this explicit. This has shaped their investment policy in transport, higher education and location of Research & Development facilities. In the UK, there has been little sense of the relative roles and contributions of different cities and how they impact upon each other. But this issue will have to be faced if the Core Cities agenda is to be made a reality.

Grown-up government helps

Two of the countries which have placed most attention on cities, and have been two of the most centralised countries, France and The Netherlands, are attempting to specifically build better working relationships between the national state and urban areas. The details vary but the principles remain the same – to operate on a contractual basis with the large cities. There needs to be greater levels of trust between national and city governments. A more contractual, outcome-based approach that minimised micro-control could be a helpful way of encouraging city economic competitiveness.

Size matters

Large urban areas frequently have substantial assets in hard and soft infrastructure, which give them the potential to be successful. Not all large cities are successful. But the successful cities in this study were often the larger cities in Europe and certainly the largest in their national system. On that basis, the Core Cities are an appropriate target for a sustained government strategy.

City and regional competitiveness – a bridge not a barrier

The two do not conflict. We found no successful urban regions that did not have successful cities at their core. The regions which performed well were those where the Core City performed well – and vice versa. Many national and regional governments on the continent have recognised the contribution that cities make to regional economic performance. There is an imperative to develop strategies, policies and instruments that pull Core Cities and their economic hinterlands together rather than apart.

Cities and sub-regions are getting their act together

Many European policy-makers are convinced that to be competitive in the global marketplace they have to organise and act at a wider metropolitan or sub-regional level. However, most have decided it is not worth attempting to create formal institutions to achieve this, since they are unlikely to be implemented. Informal, strategic alliances between willing partners on agreed territories, powers and resources are better than either acting alone or fighting unwinnable battles for institutional change.

Economy, territory and government – the weakest link?

Economic processes are changing, as are economic geographies. Institutions need to catch up with those processes of change. The key issue is to make the territorial impact of national policies and decision-making more transparent and open to debate. But in addition to regional policies there is a need for a national policy for regions, which takes a strategic view of the appropriate relationships between different parts of the English territory and the impact of government machinery, policies and resources upon them. It would form part of a wider debate about the best way of improving the economic competitiveness of the English urban, regional and national systems.

Does economic competitiveness drive out social cohesion?

Not necessarily. First, the successful cities in Europe have the most skilled and better educated workforces. Second, the highest performing economies have had the lowest rates of unemployment. In European cities the social agenda is critically important – not least politically. But pursuing an economic growth strategy is not incompatible with a socially balanced strategy.

Cities can help themselves

Cities operate within a set of powerful structural, economic, social, physical and institutional constraints. But they are not powerless to shape their economic trajectories. Cities can and should do everything within their limits to maximise the critical success factors we identified earlier – innovation, diversity, connectivity, skilled human capital, quality of life and strategic decision-making capacity.

Conclusion

We have identified a set of key policy messages based upon the experience of some of the most successful European cities that might help increase our cities’ – and hence our regional and national – economic competitiveness. They do not constitute a magic bullet. They are more like commonsense. But they are not quick. Some we are already pursuing. However, they are worth pursuing with greater vigour – because the prize is very high. Progress has been made in many of our cities. We need to capitalise upon it more consistently.

Appendix 4 – Structural Options Analysis

Option 1 – Status Quo

This model assumes that no changes are made to the status quo and that LCC effects development in King’s Island and regulates the Docklands by Local Area Plan processes.

Advantages:

· No action is required

Disadvantages:

· No change is effected to the critical governance, fiscal and leadership issues in CLUA

· No Masterplan Vision for CLUA is achieved

· King’s Island is of critical strategic significance to the CLUA. Local priorities and contingencies may compete with strategic and visionary objectives. It is also at risk of being slowed by the systematic processes and wide ranging and competing demands upon the local authority.

· Little impact on wider issues of CLUA

Option 2 – Merger Limerick City and County Councils

This model proposes the merger of the Limerick City Council administration and the Limerick County Council administration.

Advantages:

· Could be statutorily formalised by Ministerial order without complex procedure

· Partly resolves issues of integrated planning and development control, leaching of urban rates and levies and provides a single accountable body for governance of the greater part of CLUA

· Gives added gravitas to the local authority to effect singular identifiable leadership and drive for CLUA including the preparation of a Masterplan Vision

· Local authority area now on an enhanced scale of significance and socio-economic indicators now calculated over a more balanced social profile thus reducing acute profile of disadvantage and crime and so assisting in the reinvention of Limerick as a brand

· Local authority organisation now of a scale such as to be better able to attract additional high calibre personnel and adequately resourcing the development needs of the city centre in particular.

Disadvantages:

· Effective Urban Area still under two local authorities

· Combined administration of a regional city and a rural county brings little synergy and reduces the focus on the needs of both. The lack of focus would be a critical stumbling block to effectiveness urban governance.

Option 3 – Single Local Government for CLUA

This model envisages a revision to the boundaries of the three local authorities in the CLUA such that a single local authority covers the entire urban area including appropriate hinterland and urban expansion area. No other structural element is proposed in the model.

Advantages:

· Could be statutorily formalised by Ministerial order without complex procedure

· Resolves issues of integrated planning and development control, leaching of urban rates and levies and provides a single accountable body for governance of CLUA

· Gives sufficient gravitas to the local authority to effect singular identifiable leadership and drive for CLUA including the preparation of a Masterplan Vision

· Local authority area now on a scale of significance and socio-economic indicators now calculated over a more balanced social profile thus reducing acute profile of disadvantage and crime and so assisting in the reinvention of Limerick as a brand

· Local authority organisation now of a scale such as to be capable of attracting additional high calibre personnel and adequately resourcing the development needs of the city centre in particular.

Disadvantages:

· Process of formalising and effecting the boundary change and then building the structures, resources and skills of the new authority likely to extend over two or three years.

Option 4 – Public Bodies Partnership Organisation

This model envisages all the key agencies acting in cooperation to achieve prior agreed project objectives. One agency or body would typically assume the lead role. If joint resourced programmes and projects prevail then an executive may be formed of secondees. If singular bodies are simply agreeing to direct their programmes and projects towards a common outcome then no structures may be required at all. Examples of this approach would be the Riverside City Project and RAPID.

Advantages:

· Can be established immediately

· Requires no new operational finding

Disadvantages:

· No single formal authority over the project thus making implementation dependent upon maintained cooperation between multiple bodies

· Project is not the main concern of any one of the constituent bodies thus risking loss of alignment and focus as other priorities impact on the constituent bodies and their resources

· Many of the significant actions of the project will require to be negotiated between the acting bodies in principle and too often in detail, thus slowing implementation and compromising the focus of objective

· Low profile leadership a likely consequent of being a subsidiary to multiple bodies with distinct leadership thus risking weak and ineffectual implementation

Option 5 – Shannon Development

This model envisages Shannon Development giving CLUA, as the geological and economic core of the Shannon Region, a specific project focus for broad-based physical, infrastructural and economic renewal by either:

c) Refocusing its corporate strategy primarily onto CLUA or

d) Establishing a dedicated and resourced subsidiary company exclusively for the CLUA project

and thus constituting an integrated project delivery vehicle for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as SD may determine in association with LCC, SFPC and other key partners.

Shannon Development has very broadly written statutory functions and powers sufficient to effect the normal operations of an urban development authority. Shannon Development has a substantial property portfolio much of which could be liquidated over a number of years without detriment to its strategic purpose and the proceeds employed to drive a major programme of development and urban renewal in CLUA. Amongst the strategic objectives of SD are (paraphrased):

· To create a hub of economic development activity in the west

· To ensure that the developed areas are enhanced to meet their full development potential

· To use the property portfolio to generate capital needed to develop leading edge projects and infrastructure for the knowledge economy

· To make the region a must-visit destination for tourism

Thus the focussed drive to restoring the regional centre to economic health through physical and infrastructural (including enterprise and other real estate) development would be in alignment with the current strategy.

Advantages:

· Project driven by board and executive with existing experience and expertise of economic development and property development

· Systematic integration of management of big projects of physical renewal and area economic development with particular emphases in the knowledge industry, tourism and the airport – key elements of the Fundamental Vision of CLUA.

· An integrated approach would be systematic in the development of the city from King’s island along the riverside and through the Docklands and maintain continuity in existing cross-agency relationships regarding Riverside City Project and Limerick Docklands Initiative etc.

· The project would be of a scale to command international recognition and thus assist the reinvention of Limerick as a brand

· Can be formalised quickly without complex procedure

Disadvantages:

· Does not resolve the issues of sustainable local government for CLUA

· Creates a confusion of purpose and identity with the Regeneration Agencies thus diluting impact and credibility of all the Agencies

· Fails to integrate the key issues of social, economic and physical regeneration due to separation from existing Regeneration Agencies

· Risk that if CLUA project is one of several corporate activities across the extensive Shannon Region it will lack the singular drive necessary to succeed

Option 6 – Limerick Urban Development (Corporate Body) Authority

This model proposes a new corporate body formed by Ministerial order in terms of the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971. Similar to, but distinct from, the Regeneration Agencies the new Agency is created for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” LCC may determine.

Advantages:

· The board of the new Agency can be constituted to meet the needs of major projects of urban development

· The Agency can appropriately have a single “specified body” the LCC to which it is providing development and regeneration services without local political constraints

· The Agency would have access to (central government) capital funding to acquire the Docklands site, or alternatively the resources, skills and credibility to successfully partner with SFPC in a joint venture development process.

· An integrated approach would be systematic in the development of the city from King’s island along the riverside and through the Docklands

· The project would be of a scale to command international recognition and thus assist the reinvention of Limerick as a brand

· The Agencies are time limited and thus focussed on results. Furthermore a close operational partnership with LCC staff is inevitable and will allow skill development and transfer.

· The Agency can be constituted quickly by Ministerial order

Disadvantages:

· Does not resolve the issues of sustainable local government for CLUA

· Creates a confusion of purpose and identity with the existing Regeneration Agencies thus diluting impact and credibility of all the Agencies

· Fails to integrate the key issues of social, economic and physical regeneration due to separation from existing Regeneration Agencies

Option 7 – Northside / Southside Regeneration Agency

The two agencies are corporate bodies formed by Ministerial order in terms of the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971. The Agencies are directed to promote the integration of public policy and resources towards the regeneration of the specified areas and environs and have full power to borrow money, acquire, develop and sell land and invest in relevant programmes of infrastructure and environmental enhancement and social and economic development. Their function is to secure the social, economic and physical regeneration of the areas. The statutory function is drafted in identical format to that of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority thus indicating the potential breadth of it statutory undertaking. The two bodies have separate boards but membership is identical except for the local community and business members. The two Agencies have a common chairman and common executive staff and premises.

The proposition of this model is that the terms of reference of the Agencies be revised by the Minister to extend over an enlarged area. This could be in a range of formats such as:

a) The Northside Agency extends across King’s Island

Advantages:

· King’s Island /St Mary’s project is controlled by a relatively apolitical body with potentially high-level development and regeneration executive skills and leadership; thus accelerating decision making and implementation focus

· Interface issues between Moyross and King’s Island managed

· Agency can be constituted quickly by Ministerial order

Disadvantages:

· Little impact on wider issues of CLUA

· Board of the Agency selected for the Moyross socio-economic and housing renewal related task not for a major mixed-use development task.

· Agency still dependent upon existing project managers LCC for compulsory purchase

b) A third (sister), “City Centre Agency” is created for King’s Island, the Docklands, the urban riverside and such other key project areas as the “specified body” LCC may determine

Advantages:

· The combination of the three Agencies under one chairman has the gravitas to effect singular identifiable leadership and drive for CLUA including the preparation of a Masterplan Vision and the unequivocal defence of agreed planning policy between the existing three planning authorities for the CLUA

· The board of the third Agency can (and should) be constituted to meet the specific needs of major projects of urban development

· The Agency can appropriately have a single “specified body” the LCC to which it is providing development and regeneration services of strategic regional importance without locally focussed political constraints

· The Agency would have access to (central government) capital funding to acquire the Docklands site or alternatively the resources, skills and credibility to successfully partner with SFPC in a joint venture development process.

· An integrated approach would be systematic in the development of the city from King’s island along the riverside and through the Docklands

· The project would be of a scale to command international recognition and thus assist the reinvention of Limerick’s brand

· The Agencies are time limited and thus focussed on results. Furthermore a close operational partnership with LCC staff is inevitable and will allow skill development and transfer.

· The boundary variation can be effected quickly by Ministerial order

Disadvantages:

· Does not resolve the issues of sustainable local government for CLUA

Option 8 – Combination of Diverse Elements

This model envisages a combination of diverse and partial solutions such as:

a) Docklands Authority – The inner core of the Docklands as defined in the Masterplan of the Limerick Docklands Initiative is very substantially owned and under the control of a single public body – SFPC, whereas the outer areas are diverse in nature, ownership and strategic relevance. Whilst there is a prospect of a collaborative approach being taken regarding the development of the strategically important inner core site there may not therefore be a compelling case for any type of interventionist statutory body to secure the site and oversee development. Various options may be open to consideration by SFPC including:

· Sale of the site to a City Centre Agency as discussed above

· Transfer of site into a joint venture company of, variously: SFPC/Shannon Development/LCC/City Centre Agency.

· Commercial release of the site for development based on a prior agreed Masterplan of strategic significance and relevance to CLUA Masterplan Vision (if existing) and regulated by development licences and guillotines for programme performance failures

b) Southside Regeneration Agency in Kings Island

c) Limerick City Council in city centre

d) Riverside City Project Partnership

Advantages:

· Requires little change and could be arranged quickly

Disadvantages:

· No change is effected to the critical governance, fiscal and leadership issues in CLUA

· No Masterplan Vision for CLUA is achieved

· King’s Island is of critical strategic significance to the CLUA. Local priorities and contingencies may compete with strategic and visionary objectives. It is also at risk of being slowed by the systematic processes and wide ranging and competing demands upon the local authority

· Little impact on wider issues of CLUA

In summary the consultants would assess the options as per the following table.

Options

1

2

3

4

5

6

7a

7b

8

Capacity to undertake tasks:

SQ

Merger

SLG

PB

SD

LUDA

NRA

CCRA

Comb

Weighting

Masterplan, Vision and leadership to CLUA

1

2

3

2

2

2

0

3

0

2

Influence and integrate policy CLUA

1

2

3

2

2

2

0

2

0

1

Ensure delivery docklands

2

2

3

1

3

3

0

3

3

1

Strategically drive St. Mary’s/King’s Island

2

2

3

1

3

3

3

3

3

1

Manage & develop urban river

2

2

3

1

2

2

0

3

2

1

Proactive in iconic urban development

2

2

3

0

3

3

1

3

1

2

Integration of public resources CLUA

1

2

3

2

1

1

0

2

0

1

Capacity to be effected quickly

3

2

2

3

3

3

3

3

2

1

Capacity to be effective quickly

3

1

1

3

3

3

3

3

2

1

Ability to meet Success criteria:

Facilitates rapid urban renewal

1

1

1

1

3

3

1

3

1

2

Facilitates support for integrated vision

1

2

3

2

1

1

0

2

0

2

Facilitates Regeneration Agencies

3

3

3

3

0

0

3

3

0

1

Facilitates sustainable local government

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

2

0

1

Otherwise facilitates the tasks

1

2

3

1

2

2

1

2

1

1

Access to necessary recourses

2

2

3

1

3

2

1

2

2

1

Weighted Sum

30

35

50

28

40

39

18

50

19

Significance score: 3 = High, 2 = Medium, 1 = Low, 0 = Nil

Appendix 5 – Subsequent Developments

Two significant developments have taken place since the consultants completed the body of this report.

1. Boundary Committee Established

Arising from the recommendation made by John Fitzgerald for an alteration to the City Council boundary, accepted by Government in April 2007, Mr John Gormley, TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government established a Boundary Committee to prepare a report under Part V of the Local Government Act 1991. The area now under consideration for transfer is the part of Limerick County Council north of the Shannon (coloured purple on the map to the west of the Limerick City Council Boundary).

Source: Alternation of the boundary of Limerick City Council. Public consultation document. Boundary Committee. Dept. of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Dublin. November 2007

2. Constituency Commission Report Published

The Constituency Commission published its report on revised constituencies in October 2007 and has decided to recommend the creation of a new Limerick City four-seat constituency. The Limerick City constituency has a population of 100,993[4] and has a boundary defined in the map below.

Source: Report on Dail and European Parliament Constituencies 2007. Constituency Commission. Dublin. October 2007


The Limerick City constituency boundary is compared with the boundary extension proposed in 2004 by Limerick City Council in the map below.

Boundary proposed by Limerick City Council, 2004

Boundary proposed for the new Limerick City Constituency, 2007 Constituency


[1] Limerick Chamber, 2007.

[2] Dublin City has 21% and Galway City 9% social housing.

[3] Based on Limerick City Council proposal for a city boundary extension, Oct 2004.

[4] 2006 population

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *