A Socio-Economic Study of Cork City Northwest Quarter Regeneration (CNWQR)
The CNWQR is a major programme of public investment by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, administered by Cork City Council in the northwest area of Cork City. It involves the demolition of 450 houses and their replacement by 656 new housing units as well as a range of social, environmental and economic interventions. International evidence shows that effective regeneration requires a holistic approach and must be evidence based to ensure it benefits communities and delivers maximum return for the public investment made.
Since 2014, the School of Applied Social Studies, UCC has been undertaking research to enable the Regeneration Masterplan implementation to be informed by on-going evaluation and review. We work in collaborative partnerships with the local community and aim to ensure that the CNWQR team are working with the most current data regarding the area. The research includes:
- establishing baseline data and examining demographic change through Census analysis,
- conducting a large-scale participatory household survey of 482 households with a team of local women to garner the views of residents,
- consulting with other statutory bodies and community organisations in the area,
- and conducting a review of the Social, Environmental and Economic Plan (SEEP).
The vitality and sustainability of UCC’s strategic goals in external engagement is enhanced through this community-based and policy relevant research. Reports and findings have been disseminated to stakeholders, including residents, community groups, Cork City Council and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to enable decisions to be informed by research evidence.
This research has impacted on the implementation of regeneration. It has contributed to the development of CNWQR strategies and provided support to other groups in the northwest and the city including the Inter-Agency steering group of Cork City Profile and the Young Knocknaheeny Research and Evaluation Group. Following the household survey CNWQR held resident meetings and conducted a specific programme of works, as well as developing their communications with residents and service providers in the area on the progress of regeneration.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government has also responded very positively to the research. The review of the SEEP highlighted the significant impact of small-scale funding on social projects and recommended ‘scaling up’ the funding. Following the report, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government significantly increased the SEEP funding allocation.
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“The on-going research delivered by the School of Applied Social Studies in UCC has been essential to the CNWQR by providing timely data and an evidence base for the evaluation of regeneration as it is implemented."
Mark Birch, Project Coordinator, Cork City Council