Ahead of the official launch, the Academy of Urbanism last night kicked off its ‘Cities on the Rise’ congress in Cork with a key business event attended by 60 leaders from across Cork’s business community.

The leadership dinner organised by Cork Chamber and sponsored by Affidea was held in the Vertigo Suite in Cork County Council from where attendees enjoyed an uninterrupted view of Cork’s skyline and the future opportunity for developing the city’s footprint.

David Rudlin, Chairman of the Academy of Urbanism, attended the event as keynote speaker who offered plenty of thought-provoking and fresh ideas.

Speaking at the event, Mr. David Rudlin highlighted the importance of urbanism, strong leadership and vision, and loose planning for places like Cork to become more attractive saying: “Urbanism is an economic driver that ensures you can attract talent and the right people.”

When asked from the floor about the potential for light rail in Cork, Mr. Rudlin responded: “Go for it!” while referring to similar size cities such as Bilbao and Aarhus which both have invested in light rail.

“Invest in public transport, invest in cycling and get rid of some of the traffic. Public transport is as much about image as it is about efficiency. Having a good public transport system shows you are a European city” he added.

Emphasising the importance of the Academy choosing Cork to host its annual congress, Conor Healy, Cork Chamber CEO, said: “We are delighted that Cork was chosen to be the 2018 host and to be sponsors of the conference, which acknowledges the truly exciting time and pace of change that is happening in our city right now.”

“25% of Cork City’s footprint has yet to be built and is planned for the next 25 years, including over 220 hectares of prime development space in our Docklands, which is unique in a European context.”

“With growth comes change, and change is hard to do. I hope that the next few days will bring insight into the immense opportunities than can be realised here in Cork if we work together and learn from the experiences of previous host cities undergoing rapid growth, such as Copenhagen, Sheffield and Manchester.”

“We are all invested in the future story for Cork and I am excited to learn more about how we ensure the future development of Cork matches the needs of all its proud citizens.”

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