Quality of Place

Quality of Place

Quality of Place

“For him this is Cork. But for us it is only ‘the flat of the city.’ What of the hill-sides? Go but three steps up any of those old-time, wide-sweeping, treeless, cloud-shadowed hills and you find yourself even at midday in a silence that grows on you.” Daniel Corkery; The Threshold of Quiet, p3

Quality of Place - Policy

The importance of creating a high quality of place is reflected by the numerous national publications delivering a series of policies and guidance on how best to deliver high quality urban areas, neighbourhoods and sustainable communities. The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government has published a set of guidance documents including; Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities (2007), Quality Housing for Sustainable Communities (2007), Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments (2007), Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (2009), Urban Design Manual A Best Practice Guide (2009), Government Policy on Architecture (2009) and Appropriate Assessment of Plans and Projects – Guidance for Planning Authorities (2009).  The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s (DTTAS) strategy for tourism growth, People, Place and Policy: Growing tourism to 2025, emphasises the central role for Local Authorities in growing the local and tourism economy.

The Cork City Development Plan 2015-2021 is the spatial land use planning strategy that provides a framework for the city’s development. Each of the plans seven strategic goals directly relate to delivering a high quality of place within the city. Specific objectives focus on a city with inclusive neighbourhoods supported by high quality residential, transport, recreational and environmental infrastructure, the protection and enhancement of the city’s built heritage and archaeology and the delivery of arts, culture, heritage and tourism infrastructure. Focus is given to the continued regeneration of the city centre and the strategic expansion of the Docklands and designated District Centres with their surrounding neighbourhoods.

Cork City is undergoing significant transformation with several major capital developments and initiatives worth more than €300 million, currently underway and planned for the city.  A major new retail development, together with the forthcoming events centre and the redeveloped sports stadium and port, will all act as catalysts for the further redevelopment and regeneration of large parts of the city centre.

The Cork City Centre Strategy 2014 identifies three delivery strategies for Improving the Quality of place in the city: Firstly the improvement and development of public realm, services and key development of sites and buildings for new enterprises and activities. Secondly, a fresh approach to the management of the city based on a partnership of the key stakeholders. And thirdly, marketing and branding the city centre. The City Council adopted the first Cork City Centre Action Plan in June 2015 as a key step in implementing the City Centre Strategy

 “CORE” is a new city centre partnership which was officially launched in April 2016 with a focus on creating opportunities, highlighting positive developments and delivering new initiatives that create and promote a vibrant city centre. Spearheaded by Cork City Council and local stakeholders including Cork Chamber, Cork Business Association, An Garda Siochána, Bus Éireann and representatives from hospitality and retail sectors, CORE will take a collaborative approach to the revitalisation of Cork City Centre.

Local community led initiatives are playing an increasing significant role in improving the quality of place in the city. Re-imagine Cork is a community led initiative focused on transforming Cork's laneways, urban green spaces, & derelict buildings through direct creative interventions. “Greening Cork’s Historic Spineis another recent city projects providing an excellent example of a community driven initiative making an immediate impact on the local built environment of the city. is a Cork Food Policy Council initiative focused on edible growing of foods at various locations within the city and is an excellent example of a community driven initiative making an immediate impact on the local built environment of the city. 

Quality of Place – Stats and Facts

Cork attracts nearly one in five of the total number of overseas visitors who travel to Ireland

The significant levels of tourism in Cork City and the wider region reflect the social and economic importance of a high quality of place.  Cork attracts 18% of all overseas visitors who come to Ireland and is second only to Dublin in terms of tourist bed nights, with the average visitor to Cork spending €94.59 a day[1]. In 2013, the Cork area generated a revenue of €433m from 1.23 million international visitors and €148m revenue from 740,000 domestic visitors. This accounted for 12% of the total national revenue generated from international tourists and 10% from the domestic total[2].

Two new projects have recently been approved ERDF funding under the Designated Urban Centres Grants 2014 – 2020: the €3.5 million  Marina Park area, and the environmental enhancement of the Monahan Road link and the €1.5 million Harley Street Pedestrian / Cycle Bridge, dedicated cycle and pedestrian bridge across the North Channel of the River Lee.  A major flood defence scheme is due to commence work in 2017, to offer protection from flooding to around 2,000 residential and commercial properties in the wider city region. Knowledge and awareness of the built and cultural heritage of the city is vital in nourishing a sense of place in the city.  The objectives and actions set out in the Cork City Heritage Plan (2015-2020) are central to achieving this.

 

[1] Source: Cork City Data, 2013 and Cork Visitor Survey

[2] Source: Failte Ireland