Ireland has announced a massive new initiative called Ireland 2040, which will set the country on an exciting course for the next two decades.
What does the Ireland of the future look like? Today, a meeting of Ireland's government ministers in Sligo launched a National Planning Framework outlining a vision for developing the country from now through 2040 through a €115 billion ($145 billion) development plan.
Project Ireland 2040
Project #Ireland2040 is the Government of Ireland’s plan to make Ireland a better country for all, a country that reflects the best of who we are and what we aspire to be. This ambitious plan will drive Ireland’s long term economic, environmental and social progress across all parts of the country over the next decade. Today we launch Project #Ireland2040. Find out what Project Ireland means for you at gov.ie/2040Posted by merrionstreet.ie on Friday, February 16, 2018
The plan will be built upon a 10-year initial investment strategy, and will focus on eight areas crucial to life in Ireland and strategic growth in the years ahead: education, transport, climate and environment, health and well being, urban planning, rural and regional, connectivity (tech), arts and cultural affairs.
"This marks a significant milestone in our country’s development, the point at which we put a lost decade behind us and move forward into a new decade of expansion," said Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar.
"This is a plan for all our citizens – the old, the young, and the yet to be born, living in towns, in cities, and in the countryside. It follows the spirit of Collins and Lemass, people who always strove to raise the prospects of every Irish citizen.
"It’s about ensuring that all parts of Ireland fulfill their potential. As we approach our 100th anniversary as a sovereign nation, it’s about investing to ensure our country is insulated against any possible challenges like Brexit. It’s a path to a positive, sustainable future."
Great to see so many students here at Sligo IT for the launch of Project Ireland 2040. It is these young people who are the forefront of this plan. This is about preparing for the future and creating opportunities. pic.twitter.com/9VZyfyynK4— Paul Kehoe T.D (@campaign4kehoe) February 16, 2018
The far-seeing plan, which has been in development with citizen input for a year, embraces the work to be done in preparing Ireland for its future.
By 2040, Ireland's population stands to grow by 1 million, meaning 550,000 new homes and 660,000 new jobs will be needed.
The National Planning Framework will seek to create balanced growth throughout Ireland. It will focus on Ireland's towns and cities such as Cork, Galway, Limerick, Sligo, and Waterford, that are primed and ready for their own growth. Dublin will also be undergoing development, but at a slower pace to scale with the rest of the country and prevent further urban sprawl.
The National Planning Development is then the 10-year, €115 billion ($145 billion) infrastructural development project, which will fund a series of major projects across the country, including a new motorway between Cork and Limerick, new Metro and Luas lines in Dublin, a second runway at Dublin Airport, and the completion of the Atlantic Corridor road project linking Letterkenny and Waterford.
Funding is also earmarked for new hospitals, new schools in 23 counties, climate change mitigation measures, and new technologies.
What do you think Ireland will be like in 2040? What progress would you like to see happen before then? Share your thoughts in the comment section.