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Prioritising Our Cities is Critical for Sustainable Economic Growth

Date: 21 April 2009 

National Competitiveness Council launches Statement on Cities

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) today called for the prioritisation of investment in Dublin and our other main cities to enhance and ensure Ireland’s long term competitiveness.  Launching the report Our Cities: Drivers of National Competitiveness, the Council highlighted the increasingly crucial role that cities play in enhancing competitiveness in modern knowledge-based economies. It is vital that Irish cities are enabled to achieve their full potential and thereby enhance national competitiveness.

Speaking at the launch of the report, Dr Don Thornhill, Chairman of the National Competitiveness Council said “The harsh new fiscal realities which Ireland now faces necessitate a rigorous process of prioritisation and sequencing of public expenditure to position Ireland to take advantage of the global economic recovery when it occurs.   As a nation, we need to recognise fully the importance of cities as drivers of national competitiveness. The evidence clearly demonstrates that cities improve economic growth and living standards with significant benefits for national living standards. It is critical that both national and regional policies support the development of Dublin and our main cities.”

“The challenge here is not the redistribution of resources between Dublin and the rest of the country, rather of enhancing the competitive advantages of Dublin and other major urban centres as drivers of overall national prosperity and contributors to social cohesion and wellbeing.”

“Coherent planning and strong leadership which learns from the successes and shortcomings of the past can greatly improve the competitiveness of our cities.  Improving the way our cities work requires action across a range of areas including city governance, transport policy and urban branding. Prioritising investment in our cities and developing the links between them is essential. “

“As a society, we have in the past tended to view cities as mere necessities of the modern world. It is time for us to embrace our cities as drivers of positive economic, social and cultural change. ” 

Launching the report, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, TD, said “I welcome this report published by the National Competitiveness Council today. Ireland’s cities are thriving and with targeted investment, there is no doubt but that they will develop as international centres, not just economically, but socially and culturally too.”

“There are a number of factors working in our cities’ favour. They are home to young, educated, multicultural populations; internationally acclaimed educational centres, and financial districts that continue to attract multinational investment.”

“Now more than ever is the time to focus investment on improving the infrastructure, planning and vibrancy of our cities. This will guarantee continued success in the future.”

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