Re: Re: The Skehan/Sirr plan
Our economic one card trick is soft touch regulation for Foreign Direct Investment. FDI has very specific requirements, Taxation is a minor factor, labour is the big cost. In order to get talent, they need access to 1 million people within 30 minutes.
I’ve heard that ”1 million people within 30 minutes” equation before, It seems to be part of the paraphernalia of the Foreign-Direct-Investment circus. Personally I’ve no idea whether it’s a fundamental truth, or a piece of fluff, . . . but I suspect it’s a piece of fluff.
Ok, we know there are location criteria, investment thresholds. Your average, planet-devouring, global corporation probably does indeed have a check list, with tick-boxes on it, when it comes to stick a pin in the map for it’s new squillion dollar techno-facility, but are we sure that this is the same check list we want to use to guide our spatial planning, to guide our urban development?
Do we really want to try and out-do Mombai, by trying to re-inventing the Pale as an east-coast conurbation, a ‘city-region’ planned around a population meter, and a global investment model that will probably have changed long before we’ve concreted over the last acre of Meath.
The vision of the future that the Skehan/Sirr Plan provided, by all accounts, did rock the political boat last year, but ironically not because it proposed a radical alternative vision for the future development of this island, but because it let the cat out of the bag and told people exactly what we’ll end up with if we continue on the path we’re on.
We just can’t afford to fudge this issue, we either drift towards an east-coast conurbation, with or without a veneer of planning, or we put down a serious marker that we’re going to address urban sprawl, once and for all, and pursue a new vision of compact and distinct urban centres served by high speed transportation and information connections.
Quality of life is a big attractor for talent and a good education system for the kids of these high paid professionals is a major attraction. Our cities lack the cultural and lifestyle attractions of our compeditor cities. We have never had the conversation of what type of city we want. A creative dynamic city, because our system of governance inhibits vision.
Good points keating. I sense that DCC are working on the vision thing, but the attempts to home in on a vision are being diluted by this ‘city region’ notion lurking in the background, and an unwillingness to really deal with the discipline that will be necessary if we want to deliver on the ‘compact city’ idea.