Who are Save Cork City?
We are a voluntary group calling on people to help to protect the built heritage of Cork City for the development of its full economic potential and to restore and maintain the self esteem and dignity of the citizens of Cork through the restoration of built heritage.
What do we want to achieve?
Specifically we wish to maintain and reinforce the cultural heritage assets that are the quays and waterways of Cork City, their unique setting and material form as demonstrated by historic images, referring to accepted national and international truisms in the conservation and repair of historic places for sustainable development in conjunction with good design intervention appropriate to the setting and with sustainable flood relief proposals that are the best of their kind. We wish to ensure long term economic and social gain for Cork City. We don’t want to build more walls.
Can the repair of the Historic City Centre Benefit Cork Economically?
We believe so. Here is an extract from ‘The Economics of Uniqueness: Investing in Historic City Cores and Cultural Heritage Assets for Sustainable Development’, published by the World Bank in 2012:
“The benefits of investing in heritage for livability, job creation, and local economic development have been increasingly studied and debated over the last few decades, with the economic theory underpinning investment becoming substantially more robust.
A city’s conserved historic core can also differentiate that city from competing locations – branding it nationally and internationally – thus helping the city attract investment and talented people. Cities that
are the most successful at attracting investment and businesses to meet the aspirations of their citizens, while alleviating poverty and promoting inclusion, are those that harness all of their resources, including their heritage. In addition, heritage anchors people to their roots, builds self-esteem, and restores dignity.”
We believe current proposals will stifle economic activity, growth and investment in the city indefinitely.
Could other solutions be considered upstream that may assist in lowering city centre water levels?
Yes. Reducing flood plains and increased containment as is proposed may raise water levels and increase flooding potential in the City. Current proposals seem to create an open drain of the North Channel adding to its water levels in times of flood. Natural flood defences, including the use of flood plains and slowing or re-routing water upstream are a viable means for sustainable flooding control, helping preserve the antique character of the city. Ingenious solutions could include grant-based landowner incentives for water absorption or diversion schemes and planting to allow for greater absorption.
Could we economically create a barrier to the sea to protect the city?
Yes. Many proposals have already investigated different options for barriers that may prevent tidal related flooding and manage the effect of tide in the city. Benefits could mean more regularised water levels, increasing safety and amenity on the City’s quays and channels. Many cities have open quays and it is the specific design of such spaces that can benefit amenity. Costs could be compared to the extensive and long term damage which current proposals would cause to the local economy of Cork.
Can we define good design in the historic setting?
Yes, and there is a worldwide consensus. The International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) produces documents for engineers and architects to promote the maintenance of and use of ingenious and sensitive design within the historic setting. It is these publications and discussions that maintain historic places throughout the world and many places of less historic significance than Cork have greatly benefited economically and socially from careful reference in undertaking works.