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Cork city is changing

Wednesday, 29th July, 2020 5:48pm

Roofing some streets could be in the pipeline this winter as a way of weather-proofing the city streets that have recently been pedestrianised as Cork aims to become more people friendly.

It’s part of City Hall’s Re-imagining Cork City Programme, which was unveiled yesterday and is an immediate response to social distancing requirements resulting from Covid-19, but also an acceleration of Cork City Council’s vision for a city of sustainable urban growth.

The detailed and ambitious programme was revealed during a press conference with Chief Executive Ann Doherty telling the Cork Independent that an internal team is looking at the types of issues that need to be considered - like planning and fire regulations - when it comes to covering a street and making it attractive to sit out in during cold and wet weather.

“I don’t mean to be negative but there are considerations that need to be looked at and there is an internal team who are thrashing out what things need to be thought about and looked at. After that, we will be able to engage with traders on each street to ask ‘What are you thinking?’ and ‘How can we work together to make that happen?’.

“There are barriers but we have been able to overcome a lot of barriers in a very short period of time so I think the need for creative thinking in a collaborative way is the way to go. It will need to be looked at on a street by street basis and the solution to weather issues will be different for each street.”

Street by street approach

Director of Operations David Joyce, agreed: “It’ll have to be a street by street approach. In some streets you may have a completely different approach that delivers the same result, so some might have a complete covering and some might have a partial covering. We will be engaging with each street to see what their needs are and what can be delivered to provide them with a level of protection and covering that they may need.”

Hotels, restaurants, bars, wine bars, cafés and take-away restaurants were recently granted free street furniture licences so that businesses, hard pressed for space, could expand out on to the 1.3km of temporarily pedestrianised streets, creating a more pleasant, safer and greener city.

Officials also discussed the changing face of St Patrick's Street and what could be done to help traders especially since many big retail stores have closed. Rezoning St Patrick’s Street to pave the way for cafés and restaurants can be considered, but City Hall officials said they didn’t want to take from eateries along Pana’s side streets.

 

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