Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Dublin Will Save Us

According to the CSO, Dublin accounts for 3 out of 10 jobs in the country, down only a little over the past decade. Indeed, a fifth of jobs created since 1997 were created in Dublin.

Dublin is the wealth and job-creating engine of the national economy. The pace of job creation in the capital over these past few decades has been phenomenal: amongst the highest of any European city as the chart shows (from a fascinating analysis of Europe's resurgent cities).

The important thing in the current uncertain economic climate will be to ensure that Dublin is allowed to continue playing its job-creating role. That cannot be taken for granted unfortunately. As I've noted before, our national spatial strategy does seem tailor-made to leave us with the worst of all worlds: a dysfunctional capital and mis-developed regions.

But the future is urban - for most of humanity, not just the Irish. Here's one glimpse of a technology-led urban future: precisely the kind of thing we need to imagine for Dublin. Let the East awake.


  1. Interesting view: "Let the East awake".......but what about everywhere else?

    Reservations for the natives?
    Preserved areas for week-end visitors from Dublin?

    Come off it - surely we need a balanced approach. Dublin is absorbing a totally disproportionate amount of our national resources already, and is choking in the process. Concentrating more resources there is not the answer.

  2. Dublin accounts for 3 out of 10 jobs in the country,

    As it has about 3 out of every 10 person in its environs is it really that amazing a stat?.

  3. It depends what you mean by 'balanced' Frank. I don't think the current decentralisation/government department in every county kind of insanity is especially balanced. More an act of vandalism on the infrastructure of national governance in order to pander to parochial politics.

    The search for balance seems to have led us down a road where the IDA is briefed to persuade foreign direct investment to locate anywhere but Dublin. Regardless of the availability of labour, access or any of the other things that make sense in locating a business. Read the DIT report - balance is going to be a harder sell when the 'balance' of TDs are elected by voters in the Greater Dublin Area - which they will be in the next 10-12 years.

    Simon is right of course: I've completely overlooked the hundreds of thousands commuting into Dublin from Meath, Kildare, Wicklow and further afield every day. They don't show up in the CSO stats I quoted. But they do depend on Dublin's job creating engine to keep them employed.


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