Re: Re: The Opera Centre

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I think you’re getting at something when you talk about “buzz”. [Personally, I’d run a mile from it, but chacun a son gout.] In what does “buzzing” consist, why do people want to do it, what conditions make it possible and do the economic benefits outweigh the costs?

I don’t know, but allow me to speculate. If, for instance, it involves a lot of young folk sitting around drinking expensive coffee, and then going to hops [or whatever they’re called nowadays] at night, you can begin to define a target market and to cost a plan. But you might decide that those activities are already catered for in Limerick, some of them at Plassey. Maybe it should be developed as the young folks’ ghetto: older adults will not necessarily be attracted by the idea of having lots more students around the place and the proposal might accelerate their own flight.

Your proposal to get more people living in the city centre just pushes the question out a notch. Why would anyone want to live there, when there are no parking spaces and no gardens? Perhaps they would like to live close to where they work, but are the jobs in the city? And if they’re not, how will the folk get to their jobs without parking spaces for their cars?

It seems to me that proposals to decorate or clean or otherwise prettify the city (including the boardwalks, pedestrianisation and other planners’ ideas) will all fail unless there is an economic justification for the city’s continued existence. Warehosues, meat factories, mills and so on were what built [modern] Limerick, not coffee shops and boardwalks. I don’t want to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if I’m wrong, but the “buzzing city” concept seems to be one based on the leisure and entertainment industries. That’s fine, provided that the plan is clear and the costs and benefits are assessed. But to me, with no knowledge of architecture or city planning, much of the discussion of Limerick regeneration seems to be based on unrealistic ideas of what can (or should) be achieved, on a particular and fairly narrow set of activities and actors (young folk drinking coffee) and on a neglect of the economic underpinnings.


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