Re: Re: The Opera Centre

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Well Cork and Galway also seem to have suburban shopping centres and yet their city centres are buzzing. The fact is that people will go where the buzz is, and there’s now a cycle of decline in Limerick city where fewer and fewer people are going because the lack of people is making it a less pleasant place to be. There’s a few things which need to be done:

1. Get more people living in the city centre. Maybe the Opera centre could have a significant residential portion involved. If people live there, people will shop there.
2. Clean up the city centre. I think this is really one of the main reasons for Limerick’s decline. It’s just not a nice place to be – at least in terms of its shopping areas. There are certain stretches of William St. which demonstrate what rejuvenation plans might achieve, but the pedestrianization has frankly completely failed to rescue the place. Somebody really needs to start knocking down or beautifying the 70s and 80s buildings, which are reminiscent of the worst English suburbs. Number one priority should be Brown Thomas, which should actually look like what it is – the flagship store of the entire city. Maybe BT will at least revamp the facade when the pedestrianization of O’Connell St. is being carried out.
3. Start moving parts of UL into the city centre. In retrospect, the decision not to build UL closer to Limerick City might have been a bit of a disaster. Not only would it have brought interesting new architectural developments, but it would have transplanted thousands of young people currently living in Castletroy into the city centre.

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