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Galway City is expanding rapidly albeit in a fragmented manner. The City has grown well-beyond the walls of the old defended settlement at the mouth of the Corrib River. Population is currently around 100,00. Growth acceleration in future years will relate more to international rather than local factors. For this to take place, fundamental political and planning reforms are necessary, in order to encourage substantial further investment.

It is as well to remember that, only in recent years, has Ireland begun to emerge from the self-imposed and quite unnecessary blight of emigration, created by decades of poor governance! Yet Ireland is a country with so much potential. It remains largely undeveloped and people cry out for change!


Cities only become attractive to major outside investors if the political and planning environment  is conducive to such development. In Ireland, political ineptitude however unintended, has led to divergence from internationally accepted planning practices and time scales. This discourages major players from even entering the Irish Infrastructural Market.


Well-designed, well-serviced, attractive, high-density, economically affordable and sustainable, integrated City Development is possible! But it does require the involvement of International Consultants of the highest calibre, in order to define and control Plan and Process without political misdirection and interference. Ultimately Politicians are the Client, and misdirection of Consultants, by the Client, inevitably leads to poor outcome. The many examples are there for all to see!

Galway City was never comprehensively designed to embrace ongoing change. Traffic chaos is but one manifestation of low density housing and ad-hoc infrastructural planning. Repeat flooding around the Galway Port area causing serious financial loss, is another.

This preliminary Development Design Concept provides for new:

1.    Railway Station - New Station,is located within walking distance of the City Centre and newly Serviced Lands.

2.  Twin Track Railway - Allows local commuter services to operate on a separate line to Oranmore and Athenry.

3.   Multi-function Railway Station - Could include small Commercial Outlets.

4.  City Tram Network Terminal.

5.   Dual carriageway road/cycle/footpath network - Gives convenient public access to newly Zoned Lands. 

6.   Re-Zoned Lands - Convert prime lands fronting Galway Bay from marginal, to valuable high density use.

7.   City Centre Development - focus moves towards the visually attractive Corrib River and Galway Bay.

8.   Tidal foreshore Reclamation - to be used for high density Development and Leisure use.

9.   Flood Protection - Provides a storm surge tide Flood Barrier at the mouth of the River Corrib.

10. Wastewater Treatment - Proposals for a future wastewater treatment works well-away from habitations.

11.  New Port & Harbour - Added Nov 2019. Protects against fast-rising sea levels and encourages Maritime Trade.

Galway Port City
Title Page
Galway Walled City 1651.JPG
Galway Port City
Port City in 1651

Galway Port has a long history and there is evidence of a strong sea trade developing by the middle of the 13th Century. By the 14th Century, Galway's status as a commercial port was confirmed when King Richard the Second gave permission for Galway and Iberian Merchants to inter-trade. By the 15th Century, Galway was trading with Ports as far away as the West Indies and Newfoundland.

The Port continues to expand to this day and there are proposals for an expansion into deeper water to allow larger vessels, such as cruise liners to berth see: https://the

Any comprehensive plan for Galway, must consider all relevant factors that make up an expanding city. These include public services, public space, transportation, utilities, and environmental aspects. Proposals for Port expansion should not be considered in isolation, neither should they take up prime lands with potential for higher value use, excepting as a short-term strategy.

Galway Port City
Marine Contours Plan
Galway Port City1.JPG
Galway Port City
Concept Development Zoning Plan
Galway Port City - Development Concept
Galway Port City - Commuter Rail.JPG
Galway Port City
Commuter Rail Stations 
Galway Port City3.JPG
Galway Port City
Wastewater Treatment Proposal 
Zone 1b.JPG
Galway Port City
Revitalizing Prime Development Land
Zone 1c.JPG
Galway Port City
Riverside Development Sketch
Galway Zone 1 revised 5.12.19.JPG
Galway Port City
Zone 1 Waterfront District Layout Plan
Galway Port City4.JPG
Galway Port City
Future Wastewater Treatment Site
Galway Port City
Flood Barrier Concept

New Harbour Concept

Added Nov 2019

Latest Global Co2 Emissions Data (Sept 2019), adds new urgency to coastal cities flood protection.

Unprotected Cities are fast becoming uninsurable. Galway is such an unprotected City and is now at critical risk.

This New Harbour Concept adds Sea Locks and a new Breakwater. The Harbour is designed to protect Galway City from floodwater and rising sea levels for 100 years or more. Land reclamation for housing and port developments within walking and cycling distance of the City Centre can now take place in safety.

The Development of a New Harbour and Docks Area is designed to take advantage of Galway's strategic location. Galway is located directly West of Dublin with connecting motorway and mainline rail services. The City is located on International sea-trading routes. It already has a long history of maritime trade with France, the Iberian Peninsula, the West Indies and North America. The potential for expansion of this sea trade is enormous given a protected Harbour, an expanded Docks, with provision for Container Facilities etc. Access for Cruise Ships is also provided. However mass tourism will likely be limited by capacity restraints in future years. 

Galway NEW HARBOUR 26.11.19.JPG
Galway Port City
New Harbour Concept Layout - Nov 2019
Revised Harbour Concept  
July 2020

Time changes everything!


And so much is changing in our World, in the 7 months since my previous Graphic Layout.

The effect of the New Pandemic, is leading to a fundamental economic rethink.

The Capitalist Economic Model, dependent on big-company lobbying and political influence to retain the status-quo, is collapsing.

As the European Union turns on the quantitative-easing taps and directs money into a self-sustaining Green Economy, a significant change to Green Energy is now on the horizon.

Galway City can play a significant role in this Ocean Energy Revolution, as it is ideally situated to take advantage of the enormous potential of Atlantic Ocean Energy and Biotechnology Research.

The following Graphic presumes that Galway  has the potential to grow into a Major City and the Concept is based on this premise. It includes:

1.   A new Harbour Breakwater linking Mutton Island with Hare Island and on the the mainland.

2.  A pair of Harbour Locks with sliding gates, giving access to a Container Dock for Post Panamax Ships.

3.  A Corrib Spillway and Sluice with operable Flood Gate & Fish/Eel Pass.

4.  A Pumping Station and pipeline to an enlarged Sewage Treatment Works on Tawin Island.

5.  Two high-density residential area served primarily by canal and modeled on the Named Cities. 

6.  A Cruise Ship Dock

7.  Conference Centre and Hotels Zone

8.  An international standard Opera House Concept. Design based on Galway Hooker Boats form.

9.  A parallel railway and dual carriageway with a New Railway Station Complex & surrounding Commercial Zone.

10.  Old Railway Track to be converted into a Green Corridor giving access directly to Eyre Square.

11. Greenways, public transportation, cycling/walking ways to take priority over electric/hydrogen vehicles.

12. Swing-bridge to dual carriageway over River Corrib.

13. An Ocean Energy & Biotechnology Research Institute of International Standard.

14. An Industrial Park concentrating on Offshore Wind and Wave & associated Energy fabrications.

15. A Liquid hydrogen production facility & shipping dock.

16. Facilities for habitable barges and floating homes (not illustrated).

17. Breakwater green route for walkers & cyclists.

Galway Harbour & Ocean-Powered City.JPG
Galway Ocean-Powered Port City
Concept Graphic - July 2020
A9-13 Recess, Connemara 24x18in.JPG
Recess, Connemara - A painting by Ross
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