Climate Action

with Cork City Council

An environmentally sustainable city (image: Cork City Council)
An environmentally sustainable city (image: Cork City Council)

Air Quality Monitoring:

The Air Quality Monitoring Dashboard has been created to display real-time air quality information for Cork City. The map shows the air quality at various locations across the city based on hourly average concentrations of PM₂.₅ (Particulate Matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometres). 

View: Air Quality Monitoring Programme – Cork City Council

View: Cork Air Quality Dashboard

Air Quality Strategy:

The Cork City Council Air Quality Strategy was launched on 12 August 2021. The Air Quality Strategy outlines the actions that the Council will take to reduce the concentrations of air pollutants in the city area; thereby positively impacting on the quality of life of residents and visitors. 

View: Air Quality – Cork City Council

Bicycle and Electric:

Transform your commute and everyday travel by getting an electric bicycle. The electric motor means it’s speedy. Improving cycle infrastructure will get you ahead of traffic.

we-bike – Easy, Economical, Eco-friendly

Bicycle Parking Map:

As part of Cork City Council’s ‘Re-imagining Cork City’ programme, which represents an immediate response to social distancing requirements resulting from Covid-19 and also an acceleration of the City Council’s vision for a city of sustainable urban growth. 43 bike racks which will accommodate approximately 500 bikes throughout Cork City are to be made available to the public. Installation of the bike racks is underway and will be completed in the coming weeks. 

View the Map, Bicycle Parking – Google My Maps

Bike Week:

National Bike Week is annually launched to raise the profile of cycling as a fun and sustainable mode of transport and as a healthy physical activity. It is organised by the National Transport Authority, via the network of local authorities and their partners.

Cork Bike Week is organised by Cork City Council in conjunction with the Cork Sports Partnership, local community groups, youth groups, clubs, schools and other organisations.

Bulky Waste:

Cork City Council’s Environment Division provide a bulky goods collection service
up to 18days per year which is spread around to different areas of the city. In 2021, 63 tonnes of bulky goods materials were collected.

Bring Sites:

Within the Cork City area there are 37 bring bank sites offering people an avenue to
recycle their cans and glass bottles. Glassco Recycling Ltd manage these banks on
behalf of Cork City Council. During 2021 there was 2,837.24 tonnes of recycling done
at these sites with 35.66 tonnes of cans and 2,801.58 tonnes of glass collected

Civic Amenity Site:

 Cork City Council continues to provide a range of recycling services including bottle and can banks, paper, plastic, cardboard, timber, composting etc. at the Kinsale Road Civic Amenity Site. In addition, the council operates a Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) facility for the return of electrical goods from domestic customers. Domestic waste is also accepted at this facility. The Council operates approximately 38 bring sites at various locations throughout the City.

Climate Action Unit:

This Unit provides technical support to Cork City Council’s Climate Action Committee, established in June 2019, and support for the Climate Action Team, established March 2020. The Climate Action Committee and the Climate Action Team provide governance and management for all climate actions for which Cork City Council is responsible, including the 66 implementation actions from the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 and actions contained in the Climate Charter.

The majority of these actions are being implemented or ongoing. The Climate Action Unit worked with the Glucksman and the Planning Department of UCC to deliver a programme that asked school children what they would do if they had ‘Freedom of the City’.

 In addition, the Climate Action Unit is working with the PPN and Cork Environmental Forum to support local community groups to develop their own climate action plans. In 2022 the priority will be to prepare the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2022-2027.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy:

Cork City Council is taking a leading role in ensuring our city is ready for this challenge and has developed a climate change adaptation strategy to help us increase our resilience in accordance with the provisions of The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 and the National Adaptation Framework (NAF), 2018. This climate change adaptation strategy was adopted by Cork City Council on Monday, 30 September 2019. 

View: Cork City Council Climate Change Adaptation Strategy 2019-2024 – Cork City Council

Creative Climate Action:

The KinShip Project is led by artists LennonTaylor (Marilyn Lennon and Seán Taylor), in partnership with Cork City Council, and sited at Tramore Valley Park.

It is a recipient of the inaugural Creative Climate Action fund, an initiative from the Creative Ireland Programme in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication. This initiative supports creative, cultural and artistic projects that build awareness around climate change and empowers citizens to make meaningful behavioural transformations. Local project partners include Cork Healthy Cities, Cork Nature Network, Cork UNESCO Learning Cities, Green Spaces for Health, MTU Clean Technology Centre and UCC Environmental Research Institute.

View: KinShip – Cork City Council

Drainage:

Work started on the city centre section of the £120 million Cork main drainage on 19 April 1999 with the laying of sewerage and drainage pipes along the main streets.

This was part of one of the largest engineering and environmental projects ever undertaken by a local authority in Ireland to comply with new stringent EU regulations.

The scheme included: a new sewer system in the city central island streets that pumped into Horgan’s Quay; this connected to a main trunk sewer on the southern side of the river by a large underwater siphon.

The main trunk sewer was brought from Kennedy Quay to bring wastewater to a new pumping station at a site of Atlantic Pond.

The sewerage was to be pumped from there to a treatment plant site at Carrigrenan at Little Island with an outfall pipeline at Marino Point.

Electric Vehicles:

Cork City Council is taking the lead nationally by putting up to 76 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road and thereby creating the biggest local authority EV fleet in the country. 

Cork City Council will see substantial savings of up to €700,000 over five years following the rollout of the electric fleet which is replacing diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles help improve air quality, produce less than half the carbon emissions of petrol cars and will make the city’s communities healthier and better places to live in.

View: Cork City Council is putting 76 electric vehicles on the road – Cork City Council

Energy Cork:

Energy Cork is an industry-driven cluster pursuing coordinated actions to strengthen enterprise and employment within the energy sector in the Cork region. Supported by Cork City Council and Cork County Council through their respective Economic Development Funds, Energy Cork was conceived by Cork Chamber with a view to building on the unique opportunities for the region to secure competitive advantage in the energy sector.

View: Energy Cork – Making More Using Less

Energy Agency:

Cork City Energy Agency aims to develop, ratify and implement coherent energy policy for Cork City Council. The City Council has spearheaded many energy initiatives and through these actions has contributed in the promotion of renewable energy and sustainable initiatives.

View: Cork-City-Council-Energy-Policy (size 301 KB)

Energy Grants:

SEAI grants are helping homeowners, business owners, communities and large industry reduce their energy costs and greenhouse emissions. There are now more ways than ever to make your home warmer and more energy efficient. Discover the home energy upgrade options as well as individual grants.

Energy Efficient Homes – Home Energy Upgrades And Grants | SEAI

Food Policy:

The Cork Food Policy Council is a partnership between representatives of the community, food retail, farming, fishing, restaurant/catering, education, environmental and health sectors and local authorities.

The Cork Food Policy Council has been formed to work towards the achievement of a fairer, healthier, more secure and sustainable food system within the City and throughout the region.

ABOUT US – Cork Food Policy Council

Flood Management:

Flood Management Support is another role fulfilled by the Environment Management Division of the Operations Directorate. This involves monitoring waterways in the City for potential flood risk and includes maintenance of culverts.

In relation to tidal and fluvial flooding risks from the River Lee, weather and gauge levels are monitored and when appropriate, alerts are issued through the media. Risk management measures such as road closures, traffic management etc are implemented where required. The Infrastructure Development Directorate is progressing a number of Flood Relief capital works projects, on behalf of or with the Office of Public Works.

Greening Our City Webinars:

Cork Healthy Cities host a series of seminars that partner partnering with SHEP Earth Aware, Green Spaces for Health, Cork Chamber, Cork Environmental Forum and the Environmental Research Institute on.

This whole series concentrates on opening up a discussion on how we might green Cork. Looking at what this means from many different perspectives, we will be inviting expert practitioners in this field from both Ireland and abroad to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with us and we will be providing ample opportunity for you to engage and discuss your responses in the sessions.

View: GREENING OUR CITY – Cork Healthy Cities

Green Schools: 

Green Schools is an international education programme and award scheme that promotes long-term, whole-school action for the environment. In Ireland, the programme is run by An Taisce assisted by local authorities. 

Unlike a once-off project, Green Schools is a long-term programme that seeks to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of the life of a school. Schools focus on issues such as waste and litter management, energy, water, sustainable transport, biodiversity and Global Citizenship.

View: Cork City Green Schools – Cork City Council

Healthy Cities:

Cork City Healthy Cities plan sets out a series of health related actions for Cork City in line with the WHO and Healthy Ireland policies.  Cork has been a designated WHO Healthy City since January 2012.  With this designation is a requirement of Cork City Council to commit to health and a process and structure to achieve it.

View: Action Plan 2020-2030 – Cork Healthy Cities

Heritage and Biodiversity Plan:

Cork City Heritage and Biodiversity Plan (2021-2026) has been produced. It is an action plan and sets out a series of realistic and practical actions to protect, conserve and manage our Heritage and Biodiversity over the next five years.  The Cork City Heritage and Biodiversity Plan includes actions on Archaeology, Built, Cultural and Natural Heritage, so is a combination Heritage and Biodiversity Plan.

Local Community Climate Action Plans:

In conjunction with Cork City Public Participation Network, the City Council has engaged Cork Environmental Forum to work with a number of communities across the city to draw up local Community Climate Action Plans. Cork City Council declared a Climate and Biodiversity emergency in 2019, recognising the critical need to address emissions and biodiversity loss.  Acknowledging the key role all sectors need to play to address these challenges, this programme aims to help the city and its citizens deal with the current and future climate change and biodiversity crises.

View: Cork City Council Community Climate Action Programme 2021/2022 – Cork City Council

Learning City:

Learning improves the quality of an individual’s life by equipping citizens to anticipate and tackle new challenges and thus helps build better more sustainable societies. Learning plays a significant role in promoting social inclusion, a healthy society, economic growth, public safety and environmental protection.

Cork City has a vibrant, inclusive, quality infrastructure of education from basic to higher education and is home to enthusiastic, involved and committed learning communities. 

Through Corks Lifelong Learning Festival, our Learning Neighborhoods and other Learning Events we are committed to developing Cork as a Learning City for all its citizens – all ways and for all. Cork’s Annual Lifelong Learning Festival is a celebration of a learning city in action. A week of free events throughout the city and county promoting learning of all kinds across all age groups, abilities and interests, from preschool to post-retirement.

View: About Cork Learning City – Cork Learning City

Mattress Amnesty:

Cork City Council has run a mattress amnesty collection on an annual basis and over
the last 3 years we have collect approximately 1,700 mattresses’ during this time. These
have been recycled locally where possible at the Bed wise site in Ballyvolane.

Mini-Boat Atlantic Adventure:

In 2017 the 1.5m long unmanned miniboat was built and launched into the Atlantic with a GPS tracker as part of the Educational Passages Miniboat Program. After 154 days at sea and traveling over 10,000 km, it landed on a beach in Fahy, Co. Mayo, Ireland and was brought to the Drumgallagh National School in Ballycroy. After connecting classrooms, the boat was brought down to Cork where it was repaired by Walsh Boat Works. It was re-decorated with student artwork submissions during 2021, and relaunched back into the Gulf Stream on 7 November.

View: HVES Cruiser – Educational Passages

My Waste.ie:

MyWaste.ie is Ireland’s official guide to managing your waste. Here you will find everything you need and want to know about managing your waste responsibly, efficiently and in the way that suits you. Browse this site for your local waste services; bring banks, recycling facilities along with ways to help you prevent waste, reuse and upcycle. Yon can find a to z guide. Cork City Council is a member of the Southern Waste Region steering group.

View: www.mywaste.ie

Nature in the City:

This publication (2006) was produced by Cork City Council with the financial support from the Heritage Council. The booklet was researched and written by Mr Rick Mundy, RPS Group, Cork.

View: nature-in-the-city-1.pdf (corkcity.ie)

Office of the Public Regulator Climate Action and the Local Authority Development Plan:

The aim of the Case Study Paper is to demonstrate how local authority development plans such as Cork City Council’s plan have the potential to play a significant role, at local level, in supporting wider efforts to ensure that Ireland meets its ambitious climate mitigation targets. The Case Study Paper highlights how the inclusion of significant climate mitigation measures in local authority development plans can help to reduce carbon emissions at local level.
 
The research was undertaken by the team at MaREI, the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork and was funded by the OPR.

OPR-Case-Study-Paper-CSP05-(WEB-Version).pdf.aspx (caro.ie)

Old Cork Waterworks Experience:

Cork City Council’s Old Cork Waterworks Experience is located at the old Lee Road Waterworks. It is a visitor experience that uses audiovisual and interactive exhibits to tell the story of water supply, steam power and the role that the Waterworks played in the development of Cork City.

The site also has a strong educational role and delivers the Lifetime Lab Education Programme which includes primary school science, energy, maths and marine biology workshops as well as other related events and open days. It attracts approximately 25,000 visitors per year and reaches an additional 12,000 people through outreach activities (e.g. school visits, festivals, etc.). Many of these activities have been delivered online in 2021.

View: Your Visit – Cork City Council

Parks:

Cork City Council is responsible for the management and maintenance of public parks, public open spaces, play areas and amenity walks throughout the city.  Cork City Council maintains 2,500 acres of parks, walkways and open spaces. Major Parks and Amenities include Tramore Valley Park, Ballincollig Regional Park, Fitzgerald’s Park and Glen River Park.

View: Cork City Council Parks – Cork City Council

View: Cork City Parks Sport and Recreation | Facebook

Pollinator Plan:

Cork City Council a partner to the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, which formalises Cork City Council’s long-term commitment to support pollinators in Cork City. In becoming an All-Ireland Pollinator Plan Partner, Cork City Council agrees to support the ethos of the plan; to consider the plan in policies, plans and management decisions where possible, and to carry out pollinator-friendly actions as outlined in the plan.

Cork City Council partners with Pollinator Plan » All-Ireland Pollinator Plan (pollinators.ie)

Public Transport Improvements: 

Over the last number of years with support from the National Transport Authority  a number of projects have been delivered by Cork City Council to enhance and support public transport:

Bus priority corridor on St. Patrick’s Street

66 new buses

Improved routing & frequency of bus services

City Fare extended to covers wider area e.g. Ballincollig, Glanmire, etc

Leap Card

12.6 million passengers traveled on city services in 2017

2,637 bus journeys each day through the city centre

As part of the National Development Plan a fund of €200 million is available to Cork to invest in public transport to:

Improve bus frequency

Improve capacity

Improve journey time

Move towards the introduction of a rapid transit system

Re-imagining Cork City (2021):

The creation of 14 new ‘people friendly’ streets and an investment of up to €2 million in the wider city’s existing cycling infrastructure formed part of a series of transformative initiatives in the “Re-imagining Cork City” programme.

“Re-imagining Cork City” represented an immediate response to social distancing requirements resulting from Covid-19 but also an acceleration of the City Council’s vision for a city of sustainable urban growth.

In addition to significant pedestrianisation in the city centre, the programme included: the €1.5 million repair of 6 kilometres of existing cycle lanes, the installation of bollards on 4 kilometres of key cycling routes,  4.1 kilometres of new cycle lanes at Centre Park and Monahan Roads, Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Victoria Road and South Mall and the construction of 43 bike racks which can accommodate approximately 500 bikes.  The programme is supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA).

View: “Re-imagining Cork City” programme unveiled today – Cork City Council

REACHOUT:

REACHOUT is using City Hubs such as Cork as anchors to advance climate services. REACHOUT is a European Commission funded research and innovation project project to advance user-oriented climate services to support the implementation of the Green Deal.  Therefore, research partners, climate service providers and city stakeholders are co-developing a coherent set of services for seven city hubs across the EU.

Read more: City Hubs – Reachout (reachout-cities.eu)

Retrofitting Works:

During 2021, the City Council continued to deliver on apartment energy efficiency retrofitting works, bringing its total delivery to more than 200 apartments throughout the city. The total cost of the works exceeding €10M, funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. To measure the benefits of the retrofitting works, an environmental monitoring, measuring, and reporting system has been installed in eight apartments.

Read more: Cork City Council to retrofit 2700 homes by 2030 (echolive.ie)

River Basin Management Planning:

River Basin Management Planning (RBMP) takes an integrated approach to the protection, improvement and sustainable management of the water environment.

View: gov.ie – River Basin Management Plan 2018 – 2021 (www.gov.ie)

School Garden Competition:

The annual competition is organised by Cork County Muintir na Tíre and supported by Cork City and County Councils.

The aim of the Competition is to encourage pupils, teachers and schools to bring nature, wildlife, plants and colour into their school garden/grounds (no matter how big or small), to promote horticulture and biodiversity and to give students a chance to interact with the environment and nature in a positive way.  It also gives pupils and teachers an opportunity to learn from other schools.

There is an overall prize for the best school garden in Cork city and the best school garden in Cork county, along with special prizes in a number of categories, including Food Production, Biodiversity, Art and Colour, and many others.

View: Cork School Garden Competition – Cork City Council

Smart Gateway:

A smart agenda is being developed in Cork. One which will build on the existing assets, attributes and experiences in the region and will help position Cork as a ‘World-Class Smart Region’. The Cork Smart Gateway was established by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Nimbus Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute to pursue and facilitate the delivery of this agenda.

View: About – Cork Smart Gateway

Sustainable Development Goals:

Cork City Council recognises the strategic importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the integrated multiagency approach required to achieve this within Cork City and have assigned SDGs to each of our corporate goals.

View: CORPORATE PLAN 2019-2024 (corkcity.ie)

Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan:

Cork City Council’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) was prepared and adopted by the City Council in January 2018.

It provides a baseline assessment of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use in Cork City (based on the year 2011 data and boundary).

The SECAP identifies ways to reduce energy related greenhouse gas emissions by 43.7% by 2030.

The SECAP was prepared as part of the City’s membership, with over 10,000 other cities of the Covenant of Mayors. 

View: https://www.covenantofmayors.eu/

Tidy Towns:

Cork City Council is a proud part funder of city-based TidyTown’s groups.

If you would like to volunteer, first of all you should try to contact your local TidyTowns Group directly. Please see below the links to individual TidyTowns’ websites and Facebook pages.

If you see volunteers working locally, maybe ask them about joining, or ask in your local shop or a business?

or Volunteer via www.volunteer.ie, since the Volunteer Ireland website has many TidyTowns committees registered.

or Furthermore, you can contact the TidyTowns Unit by e-mailing tidytowns@drcd.gov.ie

Discover Cork City’s TidyTowns here: Find Your Local TidyTowns committee – SuperValu TidyTowns Competition

Tramore Valley Park:

 Landfilling of waste ceased at the Kinsale Road facility in mid 2009. In accordance with the EPA licence, a decommissioning programme has resulted in the provision of an engineered cap to 35 hectares of the site, including the Park n’ Ride.

The closed landfill is subject to a very strict EPA licence which requires Cork City Council to deal with the various emissions arising from the 3 million tonnes landfilled over the past 50 years. This includes the ongoing management, environmental monitoring and maintenance of the facility in accordance with additional conditions of the recently granted EPA licence.

Funds have been allocated for maintaining the former Landfill and compliance with the E.P.A. Licence requirements. Tramore Valley Park opened on 20 May 2019.

The Central Laboratory located at Kinsale Road is charged with statutory monitoring of drinking water, surface water, air quality, noise, etc. throughout the city, as well as providing expertise for ensuring the Landfill Site’s EPA licence conditions are complied with.

Transport & Mobility Forum, Cork:

Transport & Mobility Forum, Cork (TMF) is a representative group of organisations, including Cork City Council who have a common interest in sustainable and active travel. TMF fully support sustainable modes of travel measures and policies. Sustainable and Active Travel helps reduce congestion on our roads, supports a low carbon economy, reduces noise and air pollution, improves public health and quality of life.

View: transportandmobilityforum | A topnotch WordPress.com site

Tree Planting:

Cork City Council planted 1,200 trees during 2021 and 120,000 summer bedding plants of which 70% were pollinator friendly. The Council install 100 tiered planters annually with pollinator friendly plants. The Council supports the work of various Tidy Districts Groups/ Residents Associations etc.

The duties of the new Tree Officer include coordinating the management of the city tree resource, assisting in the development of a Tree Strategy and providing arboriculture input on policy and specialist advice to various Council Directorates.

The role also entails promoting tree planting and the care of trees, working with various community groups to assist them in planting and helping to deliver elements of the Climate Action Adaptation Strategy.

Water Network:

Cork City Council’s Water Distribution Division has responsibility for the operation & maintenance of a network of over 650km of public water mains of varying size.

The water is distributed by gravity from four reservoirs on the north western side of the City and two County reservoirs situated to the south and eastern side of the City. This system ensures adequate flow and pressure across the City network.

Water Quality standards are further monitored through an active programme of water sampling and testing across the network. Ongoing water conservation work is delivered through a combination of active leak detection, network rehabilitation, pressure management and demand management work.