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International conference on building great cities to take place in Cork next month

Hundreds of international delegates interested in the opportunities and challenges facing ‘cities on the rise’ will travel  to Cork next month, June 27-30 for the  annual congress of the international Academy of Urbanism.

The controversial US ‘ godfather of gentrification’ , Richard Florida, who has been derided by some for  espousing a development philosophy that forced working classes out of city centres, is to travel to Cork to speak at the Congress.

This conference will ask how mid-sized cities can provide a strong economy for growing populations while ensuring a quality of life for residents and retaining the place’s distinct sense of identity.

The congress, which is being held in collaboration with Cork City Council,  comes at a time when Cork is projected to become the fastest growing city in the country over the next 20 years with the population of the city set to almost treble under the National Planning Framework and planned boundary extension. Up to €375 million worth of development is also underway or recently completed in the city with a significant amount more development in the pipeline.

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Nearly three quarters of Ireland's bathing waters are "Excellent" but some urban beaches are under pressure

    •    Nearly three quarters of Ireland’s bathing waters are of ‘Excellent’ quality.  Seven beaches failed to make the grade.
    ◦    93 per cent of identified bathing waters (132 of 142) met minimum EU standards.
    ◦    Almost three quarters of bathing waters (102 of 142) were classified as ‘Excellent’.  A further 18 were classified as ‘Good’.
    ◦    Seven coastal bathing waters failed to meet the minimum mandatory standard and were classified as ‘Poor’. Five of these are in the Dublin area (Sandymount and Merrion Strands, Loughshinny, Portrane and Rush South).  The other two are Ballyloughane in Galway City and Clifden Co. Galway.

    •    Trá na BhForbacha improved and moved from ‘Poor’ to ‘Sufficient’ quality in 2017.  Three other beaches also showed improved performance in 2017.

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Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht opens applications for biodiversity funding to local authorities

Minister Josepha Madigan has announced a funding stream for local authority projects that promote actions contained in the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) 2017-2021.

The Plan, Ireland’s third, was launched in October 2017, capturing the objectives, targets and actions for biodiversity that will be undertaken by a wide range of government, civil society and private sectors towards attaining Ireland’s ‘Vision for Biodiversity' - namely that that in the future “biodiversity and ecosystems in Ireland are conserved and restored, delivering benefits essential for all sectors of society and that Ireland contributes to efforts to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystems in the EU and globally”.

Stakeholder participation is crucial to achieving targets set out in the Plan, and local authorities around the country are ideally placed to engage with community groups and volunteers who may not have an opportunity to engage directly with the implementation of the Plan on a national level.

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EPA National Water Event 2018 - Pathways to Progress

The Environmental Protection Agency is organising the National Water Event 2018 titled "Pathways to Progress" on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st June 2018 in the Galway Bay Hotel, Salthill, Galway.

This event is a key forum for Local Authorities, Regulators and Water Professionals to learn about current changes in Ireland's water policy and practices.

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Esri Ireland on track for 2020 vision following €1.6m expansion investment

Esri Ireland has invested €1.6m into the expansion of its operations and development of its service offerings in response to increasing customer demand.

The software firm, who specialise in the application of geographic information systems (GIS), is also seeing a shift in what their clients are looking for.

"The demand is primarily on the services side of things and this has driven the need for more people skilled in the geospatial area," director and country manager, Paul Synott told Independent.ie.

"We are seeing more and more of how the implementation and the integration of our software into their own systems is required as customers undergo their own digital transformation."

Esri Ireland, part of the Esri Global Network, has worked with the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), for example, on bringing their weekly paper-based report for the industry through to a mobile app and web-based online interaction for their users.

Between its offices in Dublin and Holywood in Co. Antrim, Esri Ireland employs 75 people, including software engineers, GIS consultants and developers, and sales and marketing professionals.

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