SOUTHERN REGION CONTINUES TO PROMOTE BALANCED DEVELOPMENT

Nov 17, 2023 | Featured Articles

A key strength of the southern region is that includes the cities of Cork, Limerick and Waterford, which have significant potential both individually and collectively to drive the ambition to achieve better and more sustainable regional development and, to reduce the pressure and reliance on Dublin.

Ireland’s southern region has significant assets to achieve the national ambition set out in ‘Project Ireland 2040’ and the National Planning Framework (NPF) to move away from ‘business as usual’ and to achieve ‘balanced regional development’.

The region covers over 42 % of the state’s territory and is home to one third of the state’s population, with a strong network of towns, innovative rural areas, ports and harbours.

A key strength is that the region includes three of the country’s five cities – Cork, Limerick and Waterford. These cities have significant potential both individually and collectively to drive Ireland’s ambition to achieve better and more sustainable regional development and, to reduce the pressure on Dublin.

As part of a structural re-arrangement of Ireland’s population, homes and jobs away from the Greater Dublin Area, the NPF has set ambitious targets to grow the populations of these three cities by over 50% by 2040. This will be done by balancing 50% of growth in the Eastern and Midland Region with 50% in the Southern Region and the Northern and Western Region (the 50:50 split).

The Southern Regional Assembly has played its part in this through the formulation, adoption and implementation of the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES), which applies the goals of the NPF and the government’s economic policies to the regional level.

The RSES builds on the pillars of the cities and their metropolitan areas to enable them to realise their strengths and potential, to support their development as viable alternatives to Dublin and to ensure wider development across the region.

A core component of the RSES is the statutory Metropolitan Area Strategic Plans (MASPs) for Cork, Limerick-Shannon and Waterford. The MASPs provide a strategic planning and investment framework including co-ordination at local authority level between Cork’s city and county in Cork, Limerick and Clare in the Limerick-Shannon MASP and Waterford and Kilkenny in the Waterford MASP.

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