Is urbanisation dead?

I was asked to write an article for “Doing business in Kinsale”, an 80-page book highlighting why this famous town has built a well-deserved reputation as a great place to live and work. You can download it here.

Urbanisation is dead

You can replace Kinsale with a few other nice places to live. I do think a counter-reaction to urbanisation is coming. What do you think?


Real artist don’t starve” suggest that location is a key determinant of your success. If you follow the literature on innovation, proximity = serendipity and the denser the location the more innovation will happen. Which why cities are regarded as serendipity machines and the future hotbeds of innovation.


I am not so sure. Dumb collisions don’t create any added value. You need talent for that. Talent can only be attracted with a mix of interesting challenges, purpose and quality of life. And quality if life will become increasingly important as millennials enter the workforce. I am not sure Dublin is the place for that. Kinsale might be.

Technology and proximity

Everything is action, reaction. As a response to urbanisation, people will move back to the villages. Developments in climate change, self-driving cars, IT, data, the makers’ movement (agriculture and 3D), artificial intelligence, health, bandwidth, online networks and platforms, virtual reality, etc., will make a lot of activity completely location independent.

At exponential speed, which would suggest that even teleportation is within the realms of possibility. Proximity will no longer be an issue. The quality of the location will be.


What you can never digitise is history, natural beauty, eating in nice restaurants (although you might be able to get your fridge to print your food), listening to traditional music in your favourite pub, a walk on the beach, swimming in the sea, hiking in the mountains, whale watching, deep-sea fishing and Mizen Head.


As technology becomes more and more persuasive, people will put a premium on nature and authenticity. Kinsale could have the best of both worlds. So could a few other places,

2 Responses to Is urbanisation dead?

  1. Cormac Fitzgerald October 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    Very interesting piece by Ron

  2. Cormac Fitzgerald October 27, 2017 at 3:58 pm #

    Kinsale..ideally placed for the future in on page 29 of the publication and very interesting read.

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