On May 31, Cork City will almost double in area and in population, with the aim of having 350,000 people in the city by 2040 so it can fulfil its potential as a counterweight to Dublin.

Cork city has been identified in the Government’s Ireland 2040 plan as one of the most important growth areas in the country. The city currently has a population of around 120,000. In 2018, Cabinet approval was given for Cork City Council to assume control over a massive tract of land that is currently under the administration of Cork County Council. Major satellite towns Glanmire, Blarney and Ballincollig, along with Cork Airport and other areas, will now be part of Cork city. Immediately, the city’s population will increase to 210,000, with the aim of growing this to 350,000 by 2040.

The Surveyors Journal spoke to Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council. It is the first boundary extension to the city since 1965 and Ann says that the city needs space. Although the boundary extension will see the footprint of the city expand greatly, 50% of the population growth up to 2040 must take place within the existing city and its suburbs. Ann highlighted the role of Cork city and region in Ireland 2040: “Internationally, cities are really important to drive economies”.
She spoke about the Taoiseach’s comments last year that Cork must succeed if Ireland is to succeed: “We have a capital city – that’s really important in any country – but what is equally important is to have a second city of scale”.

One of the major regeneration projects taking place in the city is in the docklands. This features significant office and apartment building near the city centre, and when the Port of Cork is moved from
its current location at the Tivoli Docks down river to Ringaskiddy, development will begin there. The €60m One Albert Quay office block has been completed and can accommodate 500 workers. Work is also underway at Navigation Square, Penrose Dock and Horgan’s Quay. Ann says there is huge confidence in Cork but that one thing the city needs is more apartments: “Bearing in mind the international nature of the people working here and wanting to live in the city centre, the offering they want is apartments”.

Colm QuinnColm Quinn

Journalist and Sub-editor, Think Media