A study by researchers in the Centre for Environmental Research at the University of Limerick (UL) has identified Limerick as one of the more sustainable settlements in the country. The study involved in-depth examination of 79 Irish settlements varying from villages, towns to small cities, looking at water, transport, energy, food and waste management efficiencies.
Professor Richard Moles, Director of the University of Limerick Centre for Environmental Research and co-author of the study said; “The average Irish household’s impact on the environment is greater than in many other countries in the EU. There is an urgent need to plan for a more sustainable future, in order to reduce our dependence on imported fuels and to allow us to reduce green house gas emissions.”
Professor Moles said “Most previous studies on urban sustainability relate to cities alone. This is sometimes justified on the grounds that it is likely that by 2050 half the human population will be living in cities, but this also equally implies that the other half will not. Studies on sustainability of smaller settlements are needed to help the drive towards national and global scale sustainable development.”
Settlements studied were located in three clusters; (midlands) Athlone and Mullingar, (north-west) Sligo and (mid west) Limerick. The goal was to benchmark the current sustainability achieved by Irish villages, towns and cities outside the Greater Dublin Region and to identify options for sustainable development of these settlements to counterbalance the recent rapid growth of the Dublin area.