ItemTerritorial development, planning reform and urban governance: the case of Ireland's second-tier cities(Taylor & Francis Group, 2016-11-02) Brady, William M.The increased emphasis within Europe on the role of second-tier cities has implications for the ways in which these urban centres are considered within national spatial planning strategies. In centralised, monocentric states like Ireland, there has been a general ambivalence towards urban policy for cities outside the capital city, and historically this has prevented the development of a strong, diversified urban hierarchy undermining prospects for balanced regional development. This paper examines the extent to which a new found emphasis on Ireland’s second-tier cities which emerged in the ‘Gateways’ policy of the National Spatial Strategy (NSS, 2002) was matched by subsequent political and administrative commitment to facilitate the development of these urban centres. Following a discussion of the position of second-tier cities in an international context and a brief overview of recent demographic and economic trends, the paper assesses the relative performance of Ireland’s second-tier cities in influencing development trends, highlighting a comprehensive failure to deliver compact urban growth. In this context, the paper then discusses the implications of current development plans for the second-tier cities and proposals for Irish local government reform for securing compact urban development.