Reply To: Decentralisation – the end…?
I think the opportunity that decentralisation presents is to give the critical mass required necessary through positive agglomeration economies to a few urban centres other than Dublin.
I agree that the last thing we want to do is damage Dublin but I think that comparisons with 1801 are not really valid when one looks at the types of industry Dublin had then and now.
Dublin declined after 1801 quite coincidentelly and judging from the number of developments carried out in the 1810-30’s it was the early Victorian era before Dublin stopped doing well never mind declined.
The reasons Dublin declined were largely because technology moved on from linen and glass industries to more location specific industries such as engineering and coal became the prime determinate of efficiency.
The early 1800′ also saw the opening of the New York Ship canal to the great lakes with the cost of cargo falling 95% in one project, all of a sudden the profits earned from food exports evaporated as North America kick started open market economics
Today Ireland is ahead of the pack with technology most notably IT and meditech, it is possible to decentralise a certain amount of government from Dublin to make room for new investments.
Although I think the approach thus far has been a farce, instead of moving departments, the criterion questions should be what functions can be ‘back-officed’ effectively from all government departments and semi-state bodies?
What would prove attractive sites for the existing workforce to transfer to?
As Paul has said he likes cities, I think that is a fairly general opinion of most city dwellers