A new report released by the Irish Institutional Property details the potential for development of 15-minute cities in Ireland.
The idea of a 15-minute city is that all city residents are able to meet most of their needs within walking distance from where they live or a short bicycle journey.
According to the report, Irish cities were initially developed as dense, walkable, and amenity-rich until the mid-19th century. However, this changed after the mid-2oth century due to urban sprawl.
Most Irish cities are strategically located close to key natural amenities such as coasts and rivers, which is seen as a positive for 15-minute city development.
The report also highlights how Irish cities struggle with high levels of car-dependency, low levels of density, and large areas of amenity-poor neighbourhoods.
Essential amenity access
Research has shown that 33 per cent of Irish people would like to be able to access all essential amenities within 15 minutes, however, currently only 10 per cent can.
Of those surveyed, 59 per cent said walkability makes a neighbourhood desirable as a place to live and work.
When considering essential amenities, grocery shops, public transport connections, and destinations for leisure activities were cited as being most important to people.
Speaking about the report, IIP Chief Executive Pat Farrell explained how compact living has many benefits.
“The national compact growth agenda has been adopted in the local development plans, and there is substantial land to develop.
“But with much higher construction costs for higher density developments relative to lower density developments and a negative public view on compactness, the reality has yet to catch up with the vision.
“By publishing this report today, we hope to point out that not only is higher-density, compact living a necessity in the age of climate change and urban sprawl, it also comes with highly desirable outcomes such as walkability and amenity access and can deliver real improvements in people’s lives”.