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Ireland in the Metropolitan Century (IRC COALESCE funded, 2019-2021)

Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Ireland in the Metropolitan Century – Irish Research Council COALESCE project

A collaboration between the School of Geography (UCD) and Bartlett School of Planning (UCL). 

  • What is the appropriate structure of city-regional governance for Ireland?
  • How do changes in spatial planning affect issues of governance?
  • Can the rescaling of territorial lines of governance, such as the replacement of Ireland’s Regional Assemblies by the three new Regional Authorities, better address the distribution of existing wealth and increased regional prosperity? 

Internationally, the economic performance of cities is seen as crucial to national prosperity, heightening the attention given to questions of metropolitan governance and planning and leading to attendant reforms of local and regional government, a process defined in the literature as ‘metropolitanisation’. Katz and Bradley (2014) highlight the growing importance of institutions at the metropolitan scale, for organising the effective provision of urban infrastructure, emphasising the pragmatic, technocratic, “what works” approach to policy. Establishing appropriate structures of city-regional governance is seen as an imperative to better address economic, environmental, political, social and cultural concerns 

To date little explicit policy or academic attention has been given to the role of cities and metropolitan areas within the Irish space-economy. While there has been a significant volume of work produced on urban and regional development in Ireland (see for example: Breathnach, 2014; Meredith and van Egeraat, 2013; Morgenroth, 2014; Walsh, 2014), the politics of urban development and metropolitanisation has received relatively scarce attention. 

This 2-year Irish Research Council funded project will situate and deepen understanding of metropolitanisation processes in Ireland and examine the role they might play in achieving national strategic goals. It focuses in particular on the new context for planning and regional development provided by Project Ireland 2040 ((opens in a new window)National Planning Framework and National Development Plan), including the new tools of regional strategies and metropolitan area spatial plans.

The project team are: (opens in a new window)Niamh Moore-Cherry (PI), John Tomaney (Co-I), and (opens in a new window)Carla Kayanan (Post-doctoral researcher).

The team is supported by an Advisory Board comprising the Directors/Assistant Directors of the three regional authorities in Ireland, Rory O’Donnell (former Chairman of NESC), and Abel Schumann (OECD). 

Recent Dissemination

3 Sept 2020: (opens in a new window)The suburbs are now where the action is. Article in Sunday Business Post online. 

7 May 2020: (opens in a new window)What Ireland tells us about the politics of ‘places that don’t matter,

3 March 2020: (opens in a new window)Should Dublin Port be moved to make way for housing? Radio interview with Newstalk FM 

24 Feb 2020: (opens in a new window)The call to relocate Dublin Port is based on faulty thinking, OpEd in the Irish Times (with Philip Lawton)

4 June 2019: Op-ed “(opens in a new window)Mayoral Votes must not kills off reforms” by John Tomaney and Niamh Moore-Cherry in The Times (London), Thunderer Op-Ed

Kayanan, C.M., Moore-Cherry, N., and Clavin, A. (2021) “Cities under lockdown: Public health, urban vulnerabilities and neighbourhood planning” in Doucet, B., van Mellik, R. and Filion, P. (Eds) Global Reflections on COVID-19 Urban Inequalities, Polity Press.  

Kayanan, C.M., Moore-Cherry, N., and Clavin, A. (2021) “Narratives, inequalities and civic participation: A case for 'more-than-technological' approaches to smart city development”.  In Flynn, S. (Ed) Equality in the City: Imaginaries of the Smart Future, Intellect Books.

Smetkowski, M., Moore-Cherry, N. and Celinska-Janowicz, D. (2020) ‘Spatial transformation, public policy and metropolitan governance secondary business districts in Dublin and Warsaw’, European Planning Studies.

Moore-Cherry, N. (2019) ‘The resurgence of spatial planning in Ireland’, Town and Country Planning, 88(11) pp 467-472.

Tomaney, J. et al. (2019) ‘Towards a second generation of spatial planning in the UK?’ Town and Country Planning, 88(11) pp 457-462.

16 August 2021: Conference presentation “Civic engagement, metropolitan governance and political identity: Ireland in the metropolitan century” to the International Geographical Congress, Istanbul, Turkey

20 May 2021: Panel discussion " (opens in a new window)Dialogues in Irish planning policy and practice in a changing Ireland" from the 2021 Conference of Irish Geographers. Niamh Moore-Cherry (PI) and Carla Kayanan (Postdoctoral Researcher) are both featured

20 Oct 2020: Presentation of project to Southern Regional Assembly

01 Oct 2020: Assoc Prof Niamh Moore Cherry was an invited speaker, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) Annual Conference: How the disruption from the Covid-19 crisis will accelerate change in Ireland’s construction industry and our built environment?

08 Sept 2020:  Presentation of project to Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly MASP Implementation Committee 

13 February 2020: From metro-phobia to metro-philia? Regional ‘empowerment’ and the new Irish National Planning Framework. Invited seminar at the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, University of Newcastle

4 February 2020: Beyond metro-phobia? Progressing towards an urban Ireland 2040. Invited seminar at Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin.

04 Dec 2019: First meeting of the project Advisory Board 

21 June 2019: Plenary panel presentation “(opens in a new window)City Leadership & Governance” by Niamh Moore-Cherry at EURA/UAA Conference, University College Dublin.

Ireland in the Metropolitan Century (IRC COALESCE funded, 2019-2021)

Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Follow us on Twitter (opens in a new window)@IrelandMetro. If you have questions and want to learn more about the project, contact us at (opens in a new window)carla.kayanan@ucd.ie