Kevin Smyth, a Cork architect, has designed plans to make Cork’s historic waterways into green canopies. According to a report on, the plans outline tree planting routes along Cork’s quays and waterways, to create a “nature bypass” and to connect Cork’s existing green spaces. The tree planting would be based on existing technology and will use Amsterdam’s engineered root planting as an example.

Kevin says he created the plans as a discussion point, rather than concrete plans for the city’s future. “It’s blue-sky thinking, but I hope it generates discussion. We need to think about how to use space in a different way.”


“We need to make the city centre a better place to live in. There are long-term benefits to tree planting. Trees do a lot of things. They improve air quality and the quality of life in the city.”
He says that we need to start viewing trees as a resource. “We need to stop thinking of trees as a problem and cutting them down. They are often framed as an issue when it comes to parking, and when roots grow up onto the pavement. But they have benefits.”

Air quality in Cork city has made headlines recently and Kevin feels that people are more aware of pollution. “There are still very few air quality monitors here… trees can help combat this pollution.”

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Plan Magazine