Flood protection proposals - A review please

It’s just a few years since humanity took a pretty significant step — more of us chose to live in cities than in rural settings.

The impact of that evolution may not be fully felt in Ireland just yet but there are indications that it is well underway. The housing crisis is the most striking symptom.

A planning application to build a 40-storey building in Cork is another.

Cities will be taller and far busier, living spaces will be smaller and far more cheek-by-jowl than today.

These predictable changes make it more important than ever to plan properly so cities remain habitable, pleasant places to live. In that context, as we design our children’s living and working spaces, it is important the official €140m flood protection scheme proposed for Cork city be reviewed.

An international design competition has offered alternatives for this vital piece of infrastructure and they deserve consideration.

This is far more than a flood-protection scheme; it is a long-term city-defining scheme and must be considered in that light.

Surely we can do better than raise the height of quay walls? If we can’t our children will hardly thank us.

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