The Greater Dublin Area (GDA region)

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The Greater Dublin Area (GDA region) is an example of a core socio-economic region in Ireland. It is comprised of four counties: Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. This core region is often contrasted with the peripheral socio-economic region - the BMW or Border Midlands and West region. The GDA is studied for both higher and ordinary level Leaving Certificate Geography in Ireland.

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The Greater Dublin Area (GDA region)

  1. 1. The Greater Dublin Area (GDA) A core socio-economic region in Ireland Counties: Dublin Meath Kildare Wicklow
  2. 2. Socio-economic regions • Are regions that have unique social and/or economic characteristics that make them different from other regions. • Economic characteristics include industry, trade and employment levels. • Social factors include education and healthcare. • Socio-economic regions can be defined as either core or peripheral regions.
  3. 3. Higher Level 2013 Q 4 C Concept of a Region Examine how socio-economic factors can be used to define regions, with reference to examples that you have studied. (30 marks)
  4. 4. Core regions (such as GDA): • Accessible wealthy regions. • Experience the majority of the region’s trade, industry and governmental influence. • Have well developed urban-based economies. • Centres of business, services, government administration and decision making. • Have higher incomes than elsewhere. • Attract industry because they have a skilled labour force, an educated population, large markets and access to services. • Have efficient transport networks and are easily accessible by road, rail, sea and rivers. • Are centres of high population density and are often centres for further education, research and development. • Experience low unemployment and in-migration.
  5. 5. Peripheral Regions (such as BMW): • Less economically developed. • Lack industrial development and are located far from the economic core and the centre of influence. • Often remote mountainous areas or coastal areas. • Often inaccessible with a poor transport infrastructure. • Have few services and are not favoured as industrial locations because they have higher transport costs, which reduce their ability to compete successfully in the marketplace. • Experience higher unemployment levels and lower incomes than core areas. • Have fewer third level colleges and poorer health services. As a result, peripheral regions tend to experience low living standards. • Experience high unemployment and out-migration.
  6. 6. Can you think of any reasons why the GDA region is more prosperous and thriving than the BMW region? (What makes it a core region rather than a peripheral region?)
  7. 7. The GDA: Key Points • The GDA is the core socio-economic region in Ireland. • Words such as developed, wealthy, prosperous and advantaged describe this region. • This region contrasts with the BMW region which is a peripheral socio-economic region. • As with the BMW region, it is the interaction of physical, human and economic processes that make the GDA region a core socio-economic region.
  8. 8. GDA Counties: Meath Dublin Kildare Wicklow Map – Label and colour the counties of the GDA region and sick map into copy
  9. 9. The GDA region Exam Style Question (worth 20 marks) Draw an outline map of Ireland showing the following: The GDA region One major routeway o A road Physical Features o One drainage feature  River o One relief feature  Mountain range Two urban areas o A city o A large town
  10. 10. Homework 2009 Q5 A Draw an outline map of Ireland. Show and name the following on it: – Two contrasting regions – Two different physical landscape features – one in each region – Two urban centres – one in each region. (20 marks)
  11. 11. Physical and human characteristics combine to influence the type of economic activities (primary/secondary/tertiary) that occur in the GDA region: Physical Characteristics • Climate • Relief • Soils Human Characteristics • Population • Transport infrastructure • Government/EU policy
  12. 12. The GDA: Why is it a core socio-economic region? 1. It is a route focus/nodal point for Ireland’s road, rail, air and river transport networks.
  13. 13. 2. As the capital city, Dublin is the centre of finance and administration in Ireland. Dublin is also the country’s biggest tourist destination. The GDA: Why is it a core socio-economic region?
  14. 14. 3. The region has natural resources: • Fertile brown earth soils and well-drained lowlands make the region well suited to profitable commercial agriculture • The coastline provides sheltered harbours for the fishing industry. The GDA: Why is it a core socio-economic region?
  15. 15. 4. It has a high population density and is an area of in-migration. It has 36% of the population (1.6 million) in just 12% of Ireland’s land area. The GDA: Why is it a core socio-economic region?
  16. 16. 5. It boasts a modern industrial sector. Industry is attracted to this region because of its wealthy, educated population. The GDA: Why is it a core socio-economic region?
  17. 17. Why the GDA region dominates in the Irish Economy: • 80% of state-sponsored bodies are located in the GDA. • 70% of major public and private companies are located within the GDA. • All financial institutions have their headquarters in the GDA. • Dublin city is the capital city of Ireland.
  18. 18. 1. Climate • The climate is cool temperate oceanic. • Drier than the BMW with average rainfall approx 750mm – less than half the rainfall of the BMW. The Wicklow Mountains receive more rainfall because of their height (relief rain). • Winters are mild averaging 5 °C. • Summers are warm averaging 15 °C. • The coastal location of the region means that frosts are less frequent than further inland. Physical characteristics of the GDA region
  19. 19. 2. Relief and Drainage • The relief is undulating (gently rolling) lowland. This is ideal for commercial agriculture such as market gardening • The region is sheltered to the south by the Dublin-Wicklow Mountains. The steep grounds of these mountains are a barrier to road development. • The region is well drained by the several rivers that cross the area (e.g. Liffey, Boyne, Blackwater). Physical characteristics of the GDA region
  20. 20. 3. Soils • Unlike the BMW region where infertile soils are common, the dominant soil type in the GDA region is fertile brown earth soil. These are humus-rich soils, derived from deciduous forests that once covered the region. • In North County Dublin, marine deposition has added sand to the brown earths making them suitable for intensive horticulture. • Infertile blanket peat is found on the uplands of the Wicklow Mountains. Physical characteristics of the GDA region
  21. 21. The development of the GDA region • The physical characteristics of the GDA region: – climate, relief, drainage and soils interact with certain human characteristics: – population, transport infrastructure and Government/EU policy. These all combine to influence the types of primary, secondary and tertiary activities that occur in the GDA region.
  22. 22. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region 1. Population • The Dublin city area has a much higher than average population density (1,218 people per km² compared to 60 per km² nationally). This is due to the availability of work, greater range of services such as health and education. • World-class 3rd level education facilities (e.g. UCD, Trinity, DCU) attract young people to the region. In turn, this educated population provides a skilled workforce for industry which makes the region attractive for investment.
  23. 23. Population continued… • The average population density of the other GDA counties – Wicklow, Meath, Kildare - is closer to the national average at 68 people per km ² reflecting their more rural characteristics.
  24. 24. 2. Transport Infrastructure • Better developed in GDA region than anywhere else in Ireland but it still struggles to cope with the large volumes of traffic. • Transport costs are a major factor in the location of industry and many traditional city centre industries are moving out to industrial estates on the outskirts of Dublin city. Here, the M50 ring road provides faster, cheaper transport to the airport and port. • Public Transport: The Luas and Dart have made the city centre more accessible to people and encouraged the location of financial services in city centre location. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region
  25. 25. 3.Government/EU Policy: • CAP, Structural and Social funds are supplies to the GDA – as with the BMW. • CAP: Common Agricultural Policy. This is a system of subsidies and support programmes for agriculture. • Structural Funds: Structural funds help reduce regional imbalance. All EU member states receive Structural Funds. • Social Funds: The European Social Fun (ESF) funds job creation schemes and also funds schemes to help disadvantages people enter the workforce. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region
  26. 26. • The GDA qualifies as a competitive and employment region. This funding improves the job opportunities and economic attractiveness of the GDA region. • Dublin, being the financial and administrative capital and most densely populated part of Ireland, is the natural focus for foreign and government investment. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region
  27. 27. • As so much development is focused on the national gateway city of Dublin, the other counties in the GDA do not contain gateway or hub settlements under the NSS. This is to ensure that other regions beyond the GDA have the chance to develop economically. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region
  28. 28. Several government agencies are responsible for directing EU and government funds to the GDA region: 1. The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food • Responsible for CAP payments to the cattle and cereal farmers in Counties Meath, Kildare and Wicklow. Most funding goes towards research, development and modernisation of farms. • Funding for horticulture is important for the north Dublin agricultural community (in areas such as Malahide and Skerries). • This department also funds the extensive forest plantations especially in Wicklow through the Less Favoured Area payment scheme. • The Common Fisheries Policy funding is channelled through Bord Iascaigh Mhara and is focused on the port of Howth. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region
  29. 29. 2. The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) • The IDA attracts direct foreign investment from MNSs to the GDA region. • The IDA has a network of business parks in the GDA region: – Nine in Dublin – Others in Navan, Bray, Arklow, Newbridge and Naas. Human characteristics influencing the development of the GDA region

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