Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Urban studies (Planning and development)

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) to the Technological University Dublin, 2010


Dublin’s superior population and employment growth, its scale size and unique urban agglomerative momentum will result in it emerging as Ireland’s ‘city state’ by mid-tolate 21st century. The hypothesis states that by then, the GDA is expected to be approaching half of the State’s population. The pivotal research question addressed is: can the GDA long-term differential population growth to that of the RoS area result in a 50% convergence of their respective populations and if so, when might this occur? The thesis develops the Hughes Years Matrix of Convergence ‘HYMOC’1 mathematical model, which represents this author’s spreadsheet matrix time indicator in years, to such convergence. This includes varying population parameters of differential exponential compound annual growth rates, from scenarios of demographic-specific start-points: ones which can accommodate select assumptions as to the GDA and RoS population sizes. From published CSO 2006 census data on town size, specifically it is the evidence of an emerging Dublin’s urban plateau, one that is swelling the growth of Ireland’s largest residentially-dominated towns. In combination with the capital’s emerging polycentric super-suburbs, together, they are creating an urban base that is unmatched in scale anywhere else in the State. Should this long-term demographic trend continue, it is likely that the GDA will consolidate its current signs of developing as Ireland’s citystate. That analogy, together with the range of mainly demographic tables, case studies and supporting data, are drawn together by way of synthesis, conclusions and recommendations for consideration by strategy planners and policy-makers. The thesis concludes that in the absence of a political will to recognise cities or to provide Statewide city-focused governance mechanisms, Dublin will continue to develop as a highly monocentric settlement – particularly for employment, and its imperious, primate growth de facto, will emerge as Ireland’s city-state of the 21st century.