THE new president of Cork Chamber has called for a measured approach to high-rise developments in the city.
The city currently has a number of skyscrapers in the design and planning stages including a 40-storey development at Custom House Quay and the 15-storey Prism on Clontarf Street — which is the subject of an appeal by An Taisce.
A 25-storey tower block is also planned for Mahon at Jacob’s Island.
Planning permission has already been granted for the €140m development which will provide 413 homes.
Newly appointed Chamber head Paula Cogan — sales director at luxury hotel group the Doyle Collection which has sites in Dublin, London and the US — believes the city will need a certain amount of high-rises to sustain population growth but has warned that mistakes by other cities must be learned from.
Ms Cogan said: “We can have an element of high rise, absolutely, in the city and have apartment living, but not to the levels of New York or other cities like that.
“We certainly need to go up.
“We are fortunate that we attract a very young, educated population to Cork and we have major employers who have European and international employees and they are used to living in city centres in apartment living. Cork needs to reflect that too.
“As part of our Chamber 200 celebrations, we commissioned an art project with the Glucksman Gallery and we’ve had 1,000 children from primary, secondary schools give their vision of Cork in 200 years.
“One of the things that struck me is the images of our city were very much high-rise. Our next generation hasn’t an issue with going up, as a city, but they want green areas as part of that city and a connection to the use of the river.
“We have to remember that we are planning for the next 40 years but we need to be planning for the next 80 to 100 years and what the next generation of city dwellers want to live in.
“Is the city going to end up with 20 to 30 storey buildings? I don’t think anybody from a local authority perspective wants that.
“I think we can learn from the mistakes that have been made and Cork Chamber championed the 2018 Congress of the Academy of Urbanism coming to Cork so that we could learn from other European cities,” she added.