Should Ireland become a city state? - Page 5 - boards.ie
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27-02-2012, 14:33   #61
lucernarian
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Basically yes, except it's worse than that. The NSS was published in 2002, with pretty much a 'one for everyone in the audience' type approach, with a rake of 'gateways' and 'hubs' scattered around the country. The aim seems to have been to ensure that everyone in the State would live relatively close to some designated place or other (and to ensure that nearly every village and hamlet gets a mention). That was bad enough, but it was never implemented in any realistic way either.

The 2003 'Decentralisation' plan, for example, parcelled out jobs to 53 locations with a couple of hubs actually losing jobs. And thats just one example. It's a point that has been made before ad nauseum - our PR-STV electoral system leads to the primacy of the local, and politicians are well aware of the need to be seen to be bringing home the pork barrel. Simple as that.

Thing is though, the NSS is quite a good document, and undoubtedly the best piece on spatial planning ever published by 'official Ireland' - the problem is that the political process finds 'picking' winners impossible to do, and so the recommendations are fudged. Its quite balanced and sensible, right up to the point that the decisions have to be made. And then the shotgun and map comes out, and the pellets start flying in all directions. If you were to draw up such a document in an ideal world, it'd closely resemble the NSS, except that the recommendations would single out the 4 cities outside of Dublin as key growth targets (with tailored regional spatial plans), and then list the remaining hubs/gateways as lower priorities for investment, but priorities nonetheless. A cynic may suggest that this was the actual intention of the authors of the report, given the way it was drafted, and the suble hints that might lie scattered throughout the text. But that's a different story.
I think the final recommendations were deplorable in that there should not have been selective targeting of some towns over other equally relevant towns. And it's small fry stuff in comparison to ensuring balanced national development - something that will only happen with the targeting of resources at Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Cork. I don't see a justification for prioritising resources for say Nenagh instead of Thurles. All those towns should be treated in an even-handed manner and one that is secondary to the needs of the nearest city, i.e. Limerick. I would also aim for a separate strategy targeting areas outside the M50 within commuting distance of Dublin, given their particular socioeconomic and historical circumstances. But the idea of hubs and gateways beyond the 4 runners-up to Dublin strikes me as flawed and an unnecessary micromanagement of a secondary issue.
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27-02-2012, 15:54   #62
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I'd disagree with contributors suggesting that 'only' 4 urban area's should be prioritised in a NSS 2.0. It still seems like too much for what is still a quite sparsely populated island outside of the GDA - East Ulster corridor.

The kind of incentives in terms of infrastructure, tax measures and the like would be spread too thinly imo - especially given the perilous public finances - for there to be much progress in the form of tangible population and economic growth if the 4 'cities' were prioritised.
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27-02-2012, 16:13   #63
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I'd disagree with contributors suggesting that 'only' 4 urban area's should be prioritised in a NSS 2.0. It still seems like too much for what is still a quite sparsely populated island outside of the GDA - East Ulster corridor.
Valid point - I suppose we're all self censoring to a degree, in the knowledge that any attempt to focus attention on just one city (outside of Dublin which plainly needs infrastructural investment) would be shot down in flames. Rationally, you would have to conclude that Cork should be the focus of investment, given that it stands the best chance as acting as a counterweight of its own right - in some ways and in some sectors it already fills that role, so the amount of additional scale required would be much less.

My county jersey is red though, so I have additional reasons to self censor.
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27-02-2012, 17:05   #64
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I'd disagree with contributors suggesting that 'only' 4 urban area's should be prioritised in a NSS 2.0. It still seems like too much for what is still a quite sparsely populated island outside of the GDA - East Ulster corridor.
Valid point - I suppose we're all self censoring to a degree, in the knowledge that any attempt to focus attention on just one city (outside of Dublin which plainly needs infrastructural investment) would be shot down in flames. Rationally, you would have to conclude that Cork should be the focus of investment, given that it stands the best chance as acting as a counterweight of its own right - in some ways and in some sectors it already fills that role, so the amount of additional scale required would be much less.

My county jersey is red though, so I have additional reasons to self censor.
And therein lies the problem that was first encountered 4 decades ago. How you can develop a coherent and workable plan to foster development of the main urban area's when fierce opposition from the 'have-nots' will stymie any such plan?

Trying to develop 4 small cities/towns which are spread out over several hundred KM's as a viable alternative to the GDA will be forever doomed to failure imo.
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27-02-2012, 21:39   #65
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the Dubs, their arguments would always be logical and clear and never bash anyone.
Not sure about the bashing bit, but you got "logical and clear" right on.
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27-02-2012, 21:46   #66
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Tax take in Sligo was 309 million while government spending was 297 million.
Is that true? Why is Sligo so tax-positive?
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27-02-2012, 21:51   #67
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Oh of course .. Let's make. Ireland one large urban hell hole and we all can head to the old city and dream of going to tallifornia ... How many culchis only work In Dublin only because of the jobs been there ... Let's sell out the nice part of Ireland to the Germans and the like ...yes that sounds like a great plan ... When are u running for government that calibre ... Ah u were joking ....
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27-02-2012, 22:12   #68
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And therein lies the problem that was first encountered 4 decades ago. How you can develop a coherent and workable plan to foster development of the main urban area's when fierce opposition from the 'have-nots' will stymie any such plan?
I don't know, why did decentralisation not work? Were people not willing to move out of the cities? I guess people have to learn what's good for the cities is good for the rest of the country, just like successful agriculture is good for the whole country.
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28-02-2012, 01:26   #69
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Oh of course .. Let's make. Ireland one large urban hell hole and we all can head to the old city and dream of going to tallifornia ... How many culchis only work In Dublin only because of the jobs been there ... Let's sell out the nice part of Ireland to the Germans and the like ...yes that sounds like a great plan ... When are u running for government that calibre ... Ah u were joking ....
Perhaps you could give your opinion on the topic a little more constructively.

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BluntGuy, I agree with the jist of your posts but I feel some of your points here are verging on nitpicking. E.g. a poster using one example to justify Dublin's overexpansion (Shannon water need) does not mean that it's the only reason s/he has for thinking Dublin has grown too big.
It doesn't, but if you recall, I asked the poster in question what criteria would need to be met for a city to be "too big for its own good", i.e. invited a fuller explanation, and received no clarification on that point. I can only respond to what's put in front of me.
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28-02-2012, 08:59   #70
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Is that true? Why is Sligo so tax-positive?
Were there any sitting ministers from Sligo during this time? I guess whether a county is tax positive or not is down to how much the Government decides to invest in that county.
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28-02-2012, 13:48   #71
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It doesn't, but if you recall, I asked the poster in question what criteria would need to be met for a city to be "too big for its own good", i.e. invited a fuller explanation, and received no clarification on that point. I can only respond to what's put in front of me.
In fairness part of you rationalization for the shannon scheme was that they do it in other places. Sense isn't going to come out of that kind of argument, especially when the next poster to comment use the word deserve in relation to the scheme.

I'll note that DCC went from saying they had 20% water loss to it's all the customers fault. This based on a pilot scheme of one line, which said that there was 20% loss after the main was fixed.

Now bringing up figures like that is a bit absurd considering they won't tell us what the total loss was before fixing the mains.

But lets take the best case scenario that DCC are right and they're losing next to nothing off the mains (which we know is not true): bringing in water metering, which has to be done regardless under the troika deal, will result in an extra 110 million liters of water being saved every day. The estimated cost of nationwide water metering is somewhere between €250 & €500m (i can't remember exactly). The estimated cost of this project is €500m (with no figure I can remember seeing about how much water they'll need).

No the real reason for this project is that the system has become so dilapidated that it's easier to pump extra water into the system than upgrade the existing system - not to mention it'll annoy the locals, costing some city councilors & tds their seats.

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28-02-2012, 15:14   #72
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Valid point - I suppose we're all self censoring to a degree, in the knowledge that any attempt to focus attention on just one city (outside of Dublin which plainly needs infrastructural investment) would be shot down in flames. Rationally, you would have to conclude that Cork should be the focus of investment, given that it stands the best chance as acting as a counterweight of its own right - in some ways and in some sectors it already fills that role, so the amount of additional scale required would be much less.

My county jersey is red though, so I have additional reasons to self censor.
My county jersey is likely a different shade of red but otherwise I also have to agree for the same reasons. I feel the development of Cork in particular would best distribute economic clout and make development more sustainable across the country. Though I don't feel very comfortable with stoking rivalries between the two large cities, something that wouldn't happen if Limerick or Galway was also developed further.

I do think it would be more acceptable to develop two or three alternative centres for economic development rather than one. Limerick, Galway and Cork are all in their own league of size, neither comparable to Waterford maybe and Dundalk/Drogheda nor comparable to Dublin. The moment one of those 3 were left out, there would be cries of unfairness etc. I don't think using all three as centres of development (aka gateways) would lead to the same clamours of ministerial favouritism or local bias etc and it would have a better chance of being politically palatable. In my experience, the "have-nots" were only vocal when similar places were "chosen" for gateway and hub status while others were left out. E.g. Drogheda and Dundalk. A strategy would work better nationally in taclking the real infrastructure difficulties of three cities than developing only one to a higher standard.

There has to be realistic expectations as to what sort of investment priorities a city can achieve. One can't neglect cities the size of Limerick and Galway with their own particular infrastructure problems so that Cork can enjoy even more expansive development. And three more prosperous cities benefiting the whole of the mid-west would be more socially beneficial than concentrating it in the very south of Ireland, along with the greater dublin area.

Edit: I don't think cities necessarily need to have the scale of Dublin in being more effective as a place to live and work. Further development of a city needs to include the character of e.g. Cork, Limerick or Galway (3 distinct cities) in deciding how to progress its development or what infrastructure needs it has for the jobs it wants to attract. Cork and Galway has some clear infrastructural deficits (N28, GCOB, Cork North ring road) while the social infrastructure of Limerick in particular and to a lesser extent Cork need investment. Once that kind of investment is prioritised, these three cities all become much more desirable places to invest in.

Last edited by lucernarian; 28-02-2012 at 15:18.
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28-02-2012, 18:33   #73
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Is that true? Why is Sligo so tax-positive?
It is indeed the figures came to light in the local paper that is why people were so mad when the cancer services were taking away from the local hospital.
Number of reasons really
Poor government representation
Large regional workforce that comes into the area
Large concentrations of people in certain areas(south and west Sligo have the lowest population density in the country at just 6 people per square km)North Sligo is densely populated by Irish standards.Coillte also own a large amount of Land in Sligo.
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28-02-2012, 20:37   #74
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Were there any sitting ministers from Sligo during this time? I guess whether a county is tax positive or not is down to how much the Government decides to invest in that county.
Being tax-positive would suggest Sligo did not benefit from Government pork.

Coillte may well spend a lot of money in Sligo but by that measure Wicklow should be likewise; of course Wicklow gets lots of political pork which means the tax money flows in from Dublin (and Sligo!).

And they don't even appreciate it - I should know, I'm from there and a more ungrateful bunch of hillbillies you couldn't find east of the Shannon
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