Dublin will be a "city region" with population of two million, 2050 conference told

Dr Conor Skehan says we need to plan bigger for the future

Dublin 2050, Dublin city, conference, Dr Conor Skehan, planning, future, Chamber of Commerce

Image: dublin2050.ie

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

Planning lecturer in DIT, Dr Conor Skehan, is calling on future projects for the capital city to be done with a 'think big' attitude.

The ideas are being discussed at an event where the future of Dublin up until the year 2050 is being debated.

Dr Skehan says the Chambers of Commerce cannot stand idly by while negotiations for government consider a minister and a multi-billion euro spending for peripheral rural areas.

He foresees 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", he says.

East Leinster already holds over 53% of Ireland's population - by 2050 it may hold over 70%.

"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.

He says this will only happen if the business community of all of Leinster act together "to provide leadership and vision".

Dr Skehan told Newstalk Breakfast current plans for the city and its surrounds are not ambitious enough.

He says we must be prepared for a population of two million people.