Cork pedestrianization, Source: Cork City Council

“Re-imagining Cork City” kicks off

“Re-imagining Cork City” kicks off

The programme responds to the new social distancing reality in Ireland while advancing the City Council’s vision for a city that grows sustainably

Cork City Council unveiled yesterday its “Re-imagining Cork City” programme which comprises a series of transformative initiatives to mitigate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among the programme highlights is significant pedestrianization in the city centre through the creation of 14 new ‘people friendly’ streets and investment of up to EUR 2 million in the cycling infrastructure of Ireland’s second largest city.

Response to social distancing or vision for the future?

“Re-imagining Cork City” may be viewed as a last minute reaction to the social distancing requirements brought about by the novel coronavirus. The City Council insists, however, that the programme is more far-reaching and represents an advancement of its vision for a city of sustainable urban growth.

The part of the programme targeting the cycling infrastructure is supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and envisages the following: repair of 6 kilometres of existing bike paths for EUR 1,5 million, insertion of bollards on 4 kilometres of key cycling routes, construction of 4,1 kilometres of new cycle lanes at Centre Park and Monahan Roads, Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Victoria Road and South Mall along with the installation of 43 bike racks with a capacity of about 500 bikes.

The current two-hour free parking promotion at Paul Street and North Main Street car parks will be extended until the end of August to stimulate people to use the local business services and to visit the newly reopened tourist and cultural attractions. For a more attractive environment, contractors, using high-powered washing systems, are deep cleaning the streets of the city and its suburbs over the summer including street furniture and rubbish bins.

Supporting local business

As part of the measures to support businesses reopening, Cork City’s Local Enterprise Office, in partnership with the Cork Business Association, created the website to beef up the online presence of local business. Nearly 2,000 applications have been approved for restart grants and over 650 businesses have taken advantage of the now closed Business Continuity Voucher Scheme. Cork City LEO, in conjunction with stakeholders, held a series of Covid-19 specific webinars, online training sessions and meet ups.

“The programme... is the first step towards a more comprehensive re-drawing of the city as we know it with intensified focus on more sustainable transport and a reduction in through–traffic,” said Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty, quoted by the city website.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh said on his part: “An immediate sense of the re-imagined city can be seen in the expanded city centre pedestrianisation achieved by Cork City Council and local businesses. The changes mean that up to 1,000 residents and visitors to the city can eat and drink alfresco - thereby supporting social distancing and local business”.



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