Nearly every municipal authority in Europe is trying to find ways to sustain town or city centres feeling the chill winds brought by a relentless move towards online retailing.
There are usually issues around access, public transport and parking — the cost of it and its availability. Mass, choking tourism is making life in some continental cities intolerable though that imposition may not yet be as pressing in Ireland as elsewhere. Some cities, Cork included, have flirted with the attractive idea of extending pedestrianisation.
Others have created exclusion zones for the most polluting vehicles. Taxi costs are also an issue, especially where public transport is unreliable or limited.
Each of these measures can help revitalise streets less busy than they once were but unless the people living in a town or city support the shops and restaurants in their orbit then they will not succeed or even survive.
Today, we report on new businesses, shops and restaurants breathing new life into Cork city centre with a simple reminder, one that is ever-more relevant: Use it or lose it.