Head of housing organisation says Dublin needs massive investment to meet future demands

Dr Conor Skehan

The chairman of the Housing Agency has said €34bn needs to be spent over the next 35 years on developing the region surrounding Dublin.

Speaking at the Dublin 2050 conference, an event organised by Dublin Chamber to direct and focus plans for a Greater Dublin area by 2050, Dr Conor Skehan said future projects in Dublin must be undertaken with a “think big” attitude.

The chairman said current plans for Dublin city and its surrounding areas were not ambitious enough.

“We’re going to continue to grow and deal with problems as they arise, and that means we’ll just do things like add another lane or a few more junctions to the M50 and probably in 10 years time, build another M50 10 kms outside of that,”

“That’s not going to be the way we make this place work. We’ve got to have big, bold visions. We’ve to spend a lot of money every year for the next 35 years getting ready for that much bigger city.”

He is also worried that Dublin runs the risk of falling short of its true potential as a great European city.

“This will happen if businesses and government fail to quickly understand, accept and act on the reality of Dublin as a city region of over two million people that stretches from Wicklow and Dundalk in the east to Athy, Edenderry and Kells in the west.”

“Ireland must stop playing catch-up, it must aspire for greatness. Our plans are always too small, too timid, too concerned with the needs of the next ten years. We need to plan for the next generation”, he adds.