The Southern Regional Assembly held its first stakeholder meeting on the 18th of March 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the group had no choice but to do a conference call. Participants included staff from the local authorities of Clare County Council, Limerick City and County Council, Cork City Council and Waterford City and County Council. Representatives from Irish Water also participated.
Bryan Riney from the Southern Regional Assembly set the scene and outlined the purpose of the meeting. The Blue Green City project was presented and the relevant objectives contained in the newly adopted Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy (RSES) for the Southern Region were highlighted.
All participants were provided the opportunity to outline their current challenges, potential measures and policy responses in relation to Blue Green Infrastructure (GBI). Irish Water highlighted existing literature and national/international good practices of relevance. The group moved onto discussing the shared challenges and priorities and what other organizations could assist.
The group agreed that practical incorporation and implementation of GBI and nature-based solutions at project level is the key challenge. To move forward, it was proposed that each local authority represented in the group identifies one or more project/s in their functional area which are either being planned or developed and where there is willingness to incorporate GBI and nature-based solutions. The local authority will have the opportunity to examine this internally but also to come back to this group for wider discussion and input. This process will assist in identifying practical GBI and nature-based solutions which can be incorporated into the Blue Green City project. This will offer at exemplar projects of how to incorporate and implement GBI and nature-based solutions on a practical basis.