Located on the south coast of Ireland, Cork City is the second largest city in Ireland and second largest English-speaking city in the European Union. Cork City is the key economic driver of the southern region of Ireland and has a population of over 210,000 people.
Cork City’s most defining characteristic is as a port city with a major river, the River Lee, running through it. ‘Statio Bene Fida Carinis’, is the motto on the coat of arms and means ‘A safe harbour for ships’. Cork City has a strong maritime history and long-standing tradition of international trade. Cork City’s international connectivity has gone from strength to strength and Cork is home to Ireland’s second largest port and second busiest international airport.
Creativity is part of Cork’s DNA. It has always been a place of explorers and thinkers, writers and poets, musicians and artists. Cork’s vibrant artistic community is evident on the streets, in galleries and on stages throughout the year as part of ongoing cultural programmes or festivals. Throughout Cork, old and new landmark buildings are the focus of our cultural heritage, which is alive in our libraries, museums, theatres, art centres, music and dance academies and through a range of activities from opera to street art.
In 2015 UNESCO presented Cork with one of the first 12 Global Learning City Awards, the first city in Ireland to achieve this recognition. Cork’s Annual Lifelong Learning Festival includes over 500 free events that promote learning of all kinds, for people of all ages, interests and abilities.
Cork has an excellent track record for business. Cork has been named the best small city in Europe for its Foreign Direct Investment strategy by the Financial Times fDi magazine. Cork was also included in the top ten small European cities for economic potential and for business friendliness. It plays host to key economic sectors such as ICT, pharma and bio pharma, cyber security, financial and support services, food and nano technology. With over 170 overseas companies employing over 39,000 people, many leading brands such as Apple, DellEMC, Johnson Controls, Pepsico, BNY Mellon, Eli Lily and Pfizer are building global success in Cork. Fast growing indigenous companies as well as multinationals choose Cork to take advantage of our ecosystem’s vast strengths, combined with the quality of life offering.
Cork is a university city and home to over 40,000 full and part time students studying across multi-disciplinary sectors including business, science, technology and research. Cork is home to University College Cork and Cork Institute of Technology (soon to become the Munster Technological University). The Tyndall National Institute is one of Europe’s leading nanotechnology research centres and the Nimbus Research Centre is Ireland’s leading research centre in Cyber-Physical Systems and IOT. The International Energy Research Centre (IERC) and MaREI, the world-leading Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine are also located in Cork.
Cork City Council is currently preparing its new development plan which will provide the framework for how the city will meet its growth targets of 50% increase in populations over the next 20 years. This development plan will be based on a number of strategic principles that will position Cork City as a resilient, connected, sustainable and inclusive City. Cork has also made strides toward becoming a Smart City. The development of the collaborative Cork Smart Gateway initiative helps to enhance Cork’s reputation as an attractive place to live work visit and invest.
Cork City Council’s Smart Agenda focuses on social inclusion, sustainability and innovation. Projects that encourage citizen engagement such as the citizen engagement survey, unheard voices participatory grant making scheme and online consultation portal help to empower citizens to shape their city. Cork City Council’s participation in the H2020 Growsmarter and Smart Resilience projects helped Cork City Council to research, explore and implement collaborative projects in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport. Cork City Council is continuing to trial and test new solutions in these areas and in the areas of smart homes, digital services and public wifi and climate action. Recently Cork City Council made a significant investment in alternative fuel driven vehicles and now have a fleet of 76 Electric Vehicles which is the largest local authority EV fleet in the country.