12 May 2021
By Tom Collins
Cork North West Green Representative Louise Jordan is hosting an event this week that asks this question and hopes to share with a wide audience some answers.
“Denise Cahill, Co-coordinator of Healthy Cities, (HSE) is joining us this Thursday, May 13th, at 7pm to talk about what they are doing in Cork.” Louise says “The event will be available via zoom or facebook live on the Cork Greens facebook page.”
“We should all be aware of what we want for a healthy city and aim high! To me a healthy city is a safe place where we can walk about – to shops, markets, parks and riverbanks. All that is here in Cork. Wander along our rivers and you can see beautiful herons, dippers and if lucky you will see an otter or a kingfisher.”
“Cork City has the potential to offer us so much more in how we live, how we breathe, and how we interact with the natural world around us. We all know how good we feel in a place like Fota Island – now is the time to bring that feeling into our city.”
“First of all we need to protect what we have. There have been too many episodes of people cutting trees down. The planning laws have to change to prevent wholesale slaughter of our mature trees. Developers are cutting trees down before they apply for planning so people can’t object while citing tree removal as a reason.”
“Responsible river management is also required to allow for future generations to enjoy playing in a river. Water quality is improving so the idea of splashing round in the Bride near The Commons just like in days gone by is still possible. Remedies for flooding are to be found in the upstream storage and management of riverbanks. Too many estates have been built on floodplains and continue to get planning permission without any holistic thinking about where the river is going to go now.”
“Pictures in the paper recently of people flocking to the docks in the fine weather, shows the attraction of water. All other European cities have amenities along their rivers and allow people to enjoy the water and the heritage of their cities. We have the rivers and the heritage – now we just need seating and music in the background – this is a Cork we could live better in.”
Louise and her colleagues in the Cork Greens will keep pushing for better pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in Cork and for more outdoor amenities that do not cost money to enjoy. The event this Thursday is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend and ask questions and seek answers. Cork City has so much to offer, but we need policy to change on how we bring the best out of where we are.