Limerick is a model in urban regeneration – largest global experts in property and land use say


Urban Land Institute Ireland admires Limerick collaboration and urges city to stay focused on delivery

Government supports needed to unlock Limerick and Dublin’s Georgian quarter potential


The world’s largest network of real estate and land use experts has declared Limerick’s regeneration over the past decade a model for other urban areas nationally and internationally.

On its first visit to an Irish city outside Dublin, the Irish chapter of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) – the oldest and largest network of cross-disciplinary real estate and land use experts in the world – has said that Limerick’s progress can be likened to that of world-class European cities Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Leading members of the group here in Ireland, including its chair and coordinator, were in Limerick at the invitation of Limerick Twenty Thirty and Limerick City and County Council and during their one-day stay got a tour of key architectural local landmarks, from the Gardens International building on Henry Street, to the city’s Georgian Quarter, King John’s Castle, Limerick Civic Trust and the under-construction Opera Square.

As the visit drew to a close, the delegation left their hosts with clear advice – ‘keep doing what you’re doing’ but said that Limerick, like Dublin, will need government support if it’s to tackle the challenge of disused Georgian properties. 


Said ULI Chair Marie Hunt, “We’re very impressed with the road that Limerick has travelled over the last decade or so. The developments already completed here in the city centre, like Gardens International, and the ones underway like Opera Square reflect just how forward-thinking Limerick is.

“The ambition the city has is very clear. There’s a huge emphasis on placemaking, public realm, sustainability, all of the things that are hugely important both to occupiers and investors in the world we live in today and will live in tomorrow.

“I think urban regeneration is a challenge for many cities and our members right across Europe are hugely focused on this now. I think also that the restoration of Georgian buildings in general is something that Irish cities are challenged with at the moment, particularly in the middle of a housing crisis.

“It’s probably something that we need some government intervention to enable it to happen because it’s not viable in all instances. For historical reasons, we want to restore these buildings and we want to bring them back to their former glory, but without subvention from government, that’s going to be extremely challenging, she said.

Andrew Kinsella, Coordinator for ULI Ireland described the progress in Limerick as one of the great success stories of urban Ireland across the past decade and that it’s very evident that collaboration has been at the heart of it.

“I think it’s extraordinary. It’s a long time since I was in Limerick but what strikes me about it is there is a ‘whole of city’ approach to everything, a level of collaboration between the public sector and private sector that we don’t hear enough about in Ireland. It’s interesting that we often refer to cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen and we look abroad for great examples. And as someone from Dublin, what strikes me is Limerick has an awful lot going on here that I think other cities and towns in Ireland could learn from.

Mr Kinsella added, “The big issue we see with a lot of cities is they’ve got great plans, fantastic strategies, but struggle sometimes with delivery. My advice to Limerick is to keep pushing forward and keep pushing for delivery. Keep doing what you’ve been doing because the progress has been remarkable.”

Said host David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty said, “This was a very important visit for us because it was an opportunity to showcase Limerick, our progress and, indeed, road-test our plans for the future to the Irish representatives of the largest network of property and land use experts in the world. It was a hugely encouraging visit as they were really taken by what we have done and what we intend to do. At the same time, they made it clear to us that this will count for nothing if we don’t deliver. It’s all about delivery and this visit has certainly reaffirmed that to us.”

Vincent Murray, Director of Planning, Environment & Place-Making, Limerick City and County Council said, “We were delighted to have had this networking opportunity. It’s very important for us here in Limerick to learn from best practice in other parts of the world and other cities, and to be able to apply that here so that we can deliver a European city of scale that’s very attractive for investment.”