CONNECTED public transport, cycleways and green spaces are the top three priorities for Cork’s future, according to an open survey carried out by Cork Chamber.
The report on the Sustainable Cork Programme which was launched on Monday also showed that sentiment remains high and businesses remain resolutely focused on a positive future for Cork.
That’s despite confidence in the Irish economy resting at 48% among members of the business community, as well as the ongoing pandemic, climate change, and Brexit looming.
The Sustainable Cork Programme was launched at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which incorporated think tanks across a range of sectors including health, education, and culture, as well as a public survey on the future vision for a more resilient Cork.
The ‘Imagineer Your City, Your County’ received over 800 responses. 43% of respondents highlighted remote working as the norm in 2050, while 42% chose public transport as the number one choice for commuting.
Similar responses cropped up from the business community through the sectoral think tanks.
Paula Cogan, Chamber President said: “Despite the intense and acute need to keep books balanced and people in work, in the creation of this report discussion passionately and relentlessly turned to the future vision of Cork.
“Across each of our ten sectoral think tanks, the same themes emerged time and time again. Better public and sustainable transport infrastructure. A quickened rollout of the National Broadband Plan. More people living in the heart of our city and towns. Flexible working. Enhancement and protection of ecology, from the planting of trees to wildflower verges. Renewable energy. Real equality for people of any gender, race or background. Childcare. Competitiveness and talent attraction. Focus on our international reputation and our approach to international markets.”
Conor Healy, Chamber CEO said: “Connected public transport, cycleways and green spaces are the top three priorities of over 800 people who set forth their views in our open survey. 57% cited quality of life as the main differentiator for Cork and 86% said Cork should strive to be European Green Capital in five years’ time.
“It is entirely possible and within our gift to make this a reality. There is a role for communities, businesses, and government to relentlessly pursue this vision. There is no shortage of vision or formal plans for Cork. Now our focus must now be on delivery or we will fade to irrelevance,” he added.
“Beyond the July stimulus, and into the October Budget and National Economic Plan these differentiators must be the absolute focus. Government, local and national must create a real visible legacy, a real change in how Cork operates. There is one question that this report cannot satisfactorily answer: What are we waiting for?”