Achieving Regional Equality


Metropolitanisation is neither simple nor straightforward. Restructuring is an incremental, messy process that is neither black nor white. This research acknowledges the power of resistances in how metropolitanisation unfolds.

The project explores the opportunities and tensions of governance at a range of scales and the extent to which Ireland’s regional cities can form a defined counterbalance to the dominance of Dublin and the east. The project asks: 1. What have been the historic barriers to effective implementation of regional and national plans in Ireland? 2. What institutions, experts and perspectives are required to support the realisation of ambitious territorial agendas? 3. How do variations in the discourse and policy intervention around cities and metropolitan areas outside of the capital impact spatial development and policy?

Case studies that interrogate the purpose and effectiveness of meso-scale governance remain of great importance to the academic debate and to the actors and institutions charged with implementation of ambitious territorial agendas. This research project, with its conceptual and applied focus, will contribute to greater theoretical understanding and reformed practice.

Research Team

This project brings together institutional support from UCD’s School of Geography and Ireland’s Southern Regional Assembly.

Researchers at the School of Geography have worked extensively on issues of city-regional development and governance. The SRA is challenged with implementing spatial and economic strategies across the widest variety of settlement types. Their experience working with an extensive network of cross sectoral stakeholders makes them an effective partner and case study to understand roadblocks to implementation.


Partner Institutions

  • University College Dublin
  • The Southern Regional Assembly

This two-year project runs from September 2021 – August 2023. Follow us on Twitter @regequality for project updates.

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