Nov. 2014
Shaping the City
Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation and Resilience
City & Regional Economy
Movement & Transport
Population and Housing
Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure
Green Infrastructure
Arts & Culture
Built Heritage
Community Infrastructure and Sustainable Communities
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Progress to date
3.0 Informing the Future Shape of the City
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
5.0 Main Issues and Challenges
6.0 Summary of Main Issues
1.0 Introduction
The background paper on „Shaping the City‟ is a work in progress which will evolve over the period of
the preparation of the new Development Plan. The emerging chapter will be informed by national and
regional policies, and all of the other background papers, as the future shape of the city is largely
dependent on the influences of climate change, including flooding, the city / regional economy,
movement and transport, population and housing, infrastructure (including green infrastructure),
retailing, culture and heritage and community and social amenities and facilities, etc.
Chapter 4 „Shaping the City,‟ of the current Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017 is considered to
be reasonably robust and relevant, with the vision for the urban form and structure of the city based
on key approaches, including:
the creation of a more compact city thereby reducing urban sprawl;
development of a well designed and defined network of streets and quality of urban spaces;
the development of a green infrastructures strategy;
creation of a sustainable neighbourhoods close to public transport; and
the integration of a cultural and social vision into place-making.
The core strategy of the current Development Plan seeks to create a compact, quality, green, well
connected city with a mix of uses that generates real long term economic recovery with sustainable
neighbourhoods and socially inclusive communities. It establishes a spatial hierarchy for the city
which prioritises the inner city, key developing areas, key district centres, and strategic development
and regeneration areas. The strategy seeks to:
expand the city centre towards the Docklands, Heuston and Grangegorman;
develop sustainable urban villages such as Rathmines and Crumlin; and
make new developing / regeneration areas such as the North Fringe and Docklands.
Since the adoption of the plan, the full range of census reports has been published. The population of
Dublin city grew by 3.8%, from 506,000 in 2006 to 525,000 in 2011. However, over the last decade,
Dublin City has lagged behind national population growth and growth in the other GDA local
authorities. In 1991 Dublin City had 35% of the GDA population but this had decreased to 30% by
2011. This reflects the growth of population and housing in counties such as Fingal, Meath and
Kildare and as a consequence the travel to work catchment for Dublin city is expanding. Levels of
growth of the four Dublin authorities have varied significantly over the last 20 years.
While it is critical that Dublin retains its role as the economic driver of the region, the census findings
and recent growth predictions reinforce the need to accommodate the expansion and consolidation of
the city. Evidence of significant population growth in some parts of the city, in particular the new
docklands area suggests that the city‟s policy of consolidation is having a positive impact.
2.0 Progress to Date
Local Area Plans
The current development plan sets out an ambitious programme of plan-making to help shape the city
and to provide the confidence for investment in the city centre and the key development areas. Since
2011, Local Area Plans (LAPs) have been prepared and adopted for Clongriffin/Belmayne, Georges
Quay, Ashtown/Pelletstown and Naas Road Lands. The Clongriffin/Belmayne LAP is the outcome of
successful collaboration with Fingal County Council, the North Fringe Forum, the Department of
Education and Skills and the major landowners, and has brought forward a coherent road map for the
phased completion of this large residential area. The Georges Quay LAP has provided a framework
to link the city centre with the new docklands. The regeneration of the large brownfield sites in this
part of the city centre has the potential to provide up to 6000 jobs close to good public transport
connections. The LAP for Ashtown/Pelletstown aims for the sustainable completion of remaining
lands and provides a platform for renewed development interest in the area.
Liberties & Phibsborough/Mountjoy Local Area Plans
Implementation of previously adopted Local Area Plans for the Liberties and the Phibsborough /
Mountjoy has been affected by the current recession. The implementation period for the Liberties LAP
was extended in 2014 to take account of this, and the Phibsborough/Mountjoy LAP is currently being
amended. The redevelopment of many of the key development sites identified in the LAPs has not
progressed, with the knock-on effect that the associated community gain, environmental and other
improvement works identified in the LAPs have not been realised to date. At the time of writing, signs
of general economic improvement, coupled with market improvements in the property sector suggest
that progress on key sites may be forthcoming.
Notwithstanding delayed progress on a number of key sites arising from the economic downturn, a
number of significant new projects will benefit these areas. New hospital facilities have been opened
at the Mater Adult (public) hospital, and the proposed National Paediatric Hospital has been proposed
for a new location at St. James‟s‟ Hospital. Diageo has recently expanded its operations on Guinness
lands (St James‟s gate) with associated benefits for the inner city.
Strategic Development Zones (SDZs)
Dublin City Council has also been actively involved in the preparation of two separate Strategic
Development Zones (SDZs) to help fast-track development and investment where it is needed.
The City Council will assist with the implementation of the Grangegorman SDZ in conjunction with the
Grangegorman Development Agency. This will see the re-development of these lands as a modern
third level campus and health facility, based on strong design concepts and working with historic built
fabric. Dublin City Council also prepared an SDZ planning scheme for the 66 hectares of land in the
North Lotts/Grand Canal Dock together with mechanisms to incorporate the relevant parts of the
Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) Master Plan into the City Development Plan. This
scheme was approved by An Bord PleanГЎla in May 2014. The SDZ will maintain the attractiveness of
the Dublin Docklands area as a prime location for inward investment. The proposed Docklands SDZ
has the capacity to yield 350,000m of commercial floor space in high-value financial, technological
and services sectors (enough to accommodate up to 25,000 employees) and the potential for up to
2,600 residential units and essential community facilities.
Your City Your Space: Dublin City Public Realm Strategy, 2012
The Public Realm generally refers to all areas to which the public has access (such as roads, streets,
lanes, parks, squares and bridges and open spaces) This includes the publicly available space
between buildings, along with the spaces and the buildings or other structures that enclose them.
The Public Realm Strategy applies to the historic, cultural and commercial core of the city between
the Royal and Grand Canals. The strategy formally defines what is meant by „public realm‟ and why it
matters. The Strategy aims to coordinate the approach to the public realm and to address its
challenges through a coherent series of actions. The drafting of the Dublin City Public Realm
Strategy commenced in 2008 and after much review and consultation was adopted by Dublin City
Council is 2012. The Strategy consists of 15 long-term actions and a two-year work plan with twelve
assigned projects.
Public Realm Strategy Projects 2012-2013
Informing the Future Shape of the City
The following are the main trends and common themes that will inform the „Shaping the City‟ chapter.
Increasing importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation: It is crucial that the
City Council, through the Development Plan, responds to climate change by ensuring new
developments are designed to mitigate climate change (reduce GHG emissions) and adapt to
its effects. The first priority, in the long term, is to reduce green house gas emissions,
primarily carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming. It is calculated that
approximately 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide is emitted each year in Dublin. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed that warming of the ocean and
atmosphere is happening and that there is clear human influence on climate. The
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed Irelands Climate in 2012 and found causes
for concern; average annual surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures are
rising, and this is impacting on climate and ecology. Impacts of climate change in Ireland will
result in more extreme weather conditions, changes in species distribution, water shortages,
and also an increased likelihood of coastal and river flooding.. Climate Change brings with it
new challenges for Dublin City in the area of Flood Management. The challenges relate to
extreme weather events (including pluvial/monster rain) and the rise in mean sea level with
potential storm surges. It is important that we reduce the impact of the city‟s activities on the
climatic environment through mitigation measures, and secondly to develop resilience to
climate changes. Climate Change is covered in the background paper on Climate Change
Adaptation and Mitigation, which sets out the progress that Dublin City has made in regard to
both mitigating climate change and implementing adaptation measures.
Population Increase and Shortage of Greenfield Sites: Greenfield site areas are much
reduced at a time of planned population rise, which mean there will be renewed emphasis on
appropriate densities of development. Vacant buildings and underutilised sites have been the
subject of project work and will be a focus of attention and further policy. Dublin needs to
encourage innovation in housing typology which delivers on peoples preferences in a
sustainable manner. Currently there are pressures to provide low-density suburban houses
juxtaposed with pressures to provide studios or micro-apartments. The Governments;
construction strategy „Construction 2020‟ indicates that good quality homes are need and that
it is time to learn from past mistakes. Therefore making apartments attractive to live in for a
wide variety of households is an important argument to maintain and perhaps even enhance
standards, particularly inner city locations. Housing supply in the Dublin Region is a particular
concern with only 1,360 homes completed in 2013, due largely to a reduction in mobility in the
housing market due to negative equity, protection of tracker mortgages, and financing
constraints etc. The forthcoming Planning Bill will include measures to enhance housing
supply with the introduction of a vacant land levy aimed at incentivising the development of
vacant sites in urban areas and enabling planning authorities to modify the duration of
planning permissions where larger developments do not keep to a submitted schedule for
Green Infrastructure: The city‟s green infrastructure network plays a key role in creating
and sustaining places, making the city an attractive place to live, benefiting health and wellbeing and making sure that the essential components of environmental sustainability are
safeguarded. A successful Green Infrastructure strategy in the city will improve the city‟s
visual appeal because green space makes places more inviting and attractive and enhances
people‟s sense of well-being. Green Infrastructure will also be a necessary addition to
reducing the carbon footprint of transport and energy provision. Green Infrastructure solutions
will contribute significantly to the development of Green Transport Corridors, using the
potential of healthy ecosystems to sustainably mitigate carbon emissions.
Movement and Transport: The transportation policies and objectives for the new plan will be
guided by the objectives of the National Transport Authority‟s (NTAs) draft transport strategy
2011-2030 and the related 2013-2018 integrated implementation plan. The document
„Smarter Travel – A sustainable Transport Future„ (Department of Transport Tourism & Sport)
is also influential in encouraging the growth of more sustainable modes of transport. It set out
ambitious national level targets for the period 2009-2020 which included a reduction in the
total share of car commuting from 65% to 45%, and a related increase in walking, cycling and
public transport modes to 55% of total commuter journeys to work. Provision of an efficient
and integrated public transport system promotes sustainable development, helps improve the
urban environment, and helps sustain economic progress and competitiveness. Cycling
infrastructure has improved in recent years, and the number of cyclists crossing the city‟s
canals increased by 87% in the period 2006-2013. The „dublinbikes‟ free bike scheme has
also gained popularity, resulting in the schemes recent expansion into new areas. The NTA
has carried out extensive work leading to the publication of a detailed Cycle Network Plan for
the Greater Dublin Area, and this will help inform the next development plan.
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
Local Area Plans
The next round of LAPs will be discussed and agreed by the City Council as part of the preparation
process for the new Development Plan. Given work to date, and known opportunities for
development/redevelopment in the city, and given the considerable time and resources necessary to
prepare an LAP, the following geographical areas of the city are likely to be included in discussions
relating to future LAPs. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and it will be necessary to prioritise
among selected areas.
Cherry Orchard
East Wall
Croke Park Environs
Manor Street/Stoneybatter
(LAP currently being amended)
5.0 Main Issues and Challenges
Brownfield Regeneration
Despite previous incentivised plans, Dublin city in common with most European cities still has a
significant number of brownfield sites which need to be redeveloped as part of the reinstatement of
the urban form and structure of the city. There is a requirement for a systematic overview of vacant,
underutilised and derelict sites in the city and the development of a model for mapping, monitoring
and revitalising these sites. Dublin City Council‟s involvement in the EU B-team project has provided
a timely opportunity to learn about best practice in the revitalisation of brownfields. Dublin City
engaged in this brownfield regeneration project in collaboration with Belfast and seven other EU
cities. A major „Brownfield Week‟ was held in Dublin in May 2012 and the Planning & Economic
Development SPC has agreed to establish a task force consisting of elected members and officials to
address brownfield sites in the city. A recent survey (2013) indicated that there are some 300 vacant
sites within the canals, with a combined area of approximately 65 hectares.
Proposed reforms of the planning system as part of the forthcoming Planning No.1 Bill published by
central Government in early October 2014 include the introduction of a „vacant site levy‟ and „Use it or
Lose it‟ clauses with planning permissions. The proposed levy will work by applying an annual levy at
a rate of, say, 3% of the market value to the site if the owner does not take steps to develop the site.
Once in place, DCC will have the power to apply such levies to vacant sites in areas designated for
priority development.
Improving the Public Realm
It is acknowledged that the distinctiveness of Dublin‟s urban form is due not only to its buildings but to
the shape of its streets and urban spaces. „Your City, Your Space; Dublin City Public Realm Strategy‟
(2012), has identified the importance and character of the public realm and the challenges to be
addressed in order to achieve significant change and improved quality. The strategy aims to improve
Dublin‟s attractiveness to those who live, work in or visit the city by agreeing standards for how the
public realm is planned, designed and managed. All of the projects below, set out in the strategy are
now underway and progress is reported regularly in relation to each.
Public Realm Project
Public Realm Project
Grafton St Quarter Public Realm Plan
Aungier Street
Trinity to IMMA East West Route – Dubline
Public Realm Information Management System
Liffey Corridor Project
Dereliction Project
Mountjoy Square Park and Environs
Design Manual for working with Historic Public
North Inner City Quadrant
Merrion Square Tea Rooms
Grangegorman Connections to the City
Street Charter Pilot Initiative -Thomas Street
The Liffey Corridor Project Report (Project 3) has been completed and published. An Outdoor
Advertising Strategy has also been adopted and sets out policy on the location and type of outdoor
advertising structures that are best for the city.
Following an unprecedented level of success, the „dublinbikes‟ scheme has been expanded across
the city in tandem with the Dublin Wayfinding Scheme. There are now over 1500 bikes in the scheme,
with a range of new bike stations opened during 2014 facilitating 2.5 million journeys over the last
year. The Wayfinding Scheme was rolled out across the city centre in 2011 and a related app was
launched in 2012. The scheme includes fingerpost signs and map panels, helping pedestrians
navigate the city‟s streets. The system now stretches from Baggot St in the south to Croke Park in the
north, Kilmainham in the west and Docklands in the east, and the Grangegorman Development
Agency has agreed to incorporate wayfinding on its planned campus. The system allows people to
build up a mental map of the city, to get a real sense of journey times and an understanding that
Dublin is a walkable city. In partnership with FГЎilte Ireland and the OPW the Dubline project proposes
a number of interventions to improve legibility and public realm on a route from Trinity College to
Kilmainham (Irish Museum of Modern Art) that includes popular destinations .
Urban Form & Density
One of the main objectives of the current development plan is to create a sustainable compact city
with good public transport, less reliance on cars and a sustainable mix of services and amenities
including schools, libraries, shops, and parks for each neighbourhood. Dublin is now recognised as a
thriving European city with a growing number of areas providing accommodation at sustainable
densities such as Docklands, Ashtown/Pelletstown and Ballymun.
Vacant Land
Recent surveys indicate that there are approximately 300 vacant sites on 65 hectares of inner city
land in Dublin. This together with the proposed vacant land levy represents a significant opportunity to
encourage infill development in the heart of the city. How can these vacant brownfield sites contribute
to the character of the city?
Height as part of the Shape and Structure of the City
Dublin contains a wide range of buildings that contribute to its streetscape from Victorian terraces, to
office quarters, to educational institutions, to Liberty Hall and the Alto Vetro building at Grand Canal
Dock. In this context, the current development plan protects the historic city centre including the
Georgian Squares whilst providing for 6-7 storey development in the inner city, 6 storey development
near heavy rail / underground stations, and 4 storey development in the rest of the city. High buildings
may be permitted in a number
of areas including Docklands and Heuston subject to the provisions of a relevant Local Area Plan or
Strategic Development Zone.
Do the prescribed building heights allow sufficient flexibility to consider local circumstances? For
example, the Docklands SDZ allows for the possibility of an additional set back floor and the recently
completed extension to the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is nine storeys in an inner city
location. Should the new development plan allow for some limited flexibility in relation to building
A Coherent, Connected City
The city centre contains new clusters of development such as at Docklands, Temple Bar, and
Heuston. Others are emerging, including the DIT/HSE campus at Grangegorman and the Digital Hub.
In addition, a number of civic spaces have been created for example, the GPO plaza on O‟Connell
Street, Smithfield and at the City Hall. The City Council has implemented a wayfinding scheme to link
these clusters and spaces and assist visitors in finding their way around the city and experience
Dublin‟s unique character and atmosphere.
Urban Design / Architecture
Urban design is essentially a tool to assist in the craft of creating quality urban spaces; it is about how
buildings are put together to shape and enliven our streets and civic spaces. Good urban design
supports the economic, social, cultural and sustainability goals of the city. Architecture, if done
properly contributes to the quality of urban life, civic pride and city identity. Good architecture
recognises that most buildings work quietly as a backdrop to the city and in turn allows the city to be
Urban Public Space
The public realm is an important part of Dublin‟s identity, of how we understand ourselves and how
we want to present ourselves to others. It contributes to Dublin‟s competitiveness both by influencing
the image of the city abroad and by being attractive for people who live in, work in or visit. The public
realm is vital to our city life and this importance requires us to understand it and influence its future.
The Dublin City Public Realm Strategy 2012 contains long term actions and assigned projects
including: the Grafton Street quarter public realm plan; the Trinity to IMMA „Dubline‟ route; and the
project to connect Grangegorman to the city. An outdoor advertising strategy based on the sensitivity
of differing geographical zones has been adopted and included in the development plan. What needs
to be done to further improve urban public space in Dublin city?
Expanding the City
Dublin‟s built-up area is now extending out to the city boundaries, with new communities in the North
Fringe, Pelletstown and Park West. The strategy in the current development plan is to promote a
hierarchy of mixed use centres ranging from key district centres down to neighbourhood centres. The
challenge is to ensure that these areas are integrated into the structure of the city.
A City of Neighbourhoods
All neighbourhoods serve a local community. A common theme across the city is that good
neighbourhoods serve as focal points for the surrounding community with a range of services and
facilities, typically in a vibrant and attractive physical environment. Progress has been made with the
significant improvements in the residential amenity and urban design quality of developments, with
new mixed-use, family-friendly neighbourhoods and communities emerging in areas such as
Ballymun, Pelletstown and the North Fringe.
The Docklands is another distinctive cluster of neighbourhoods in the city. Consideration needs to be
given to the integration of the policies in the DDDA Masterplan, supporting these neighbourhoods,
into the new City Development Plan.
The current Development Plan supports the concept of good sustainable neighbourhoods which are
areas where an efficient use of land, high quality design, and effective integration in the provision of
physical and social infrastructure combine to create places people want to live in. How can the new
development plan promote the creation of good sustainable neighbourhoods?
6.0 Summary of Main Issues
What more needs to be done to improve urban public space in Dublin city?
How can vacant brownfield sites best contribute to the character of the city?
How can the Development Plan enhance Dublin‟s uniqueness in this era of globalisation?
How can the urban structure facilitate the most sustainable patterns of settlement and
How can development better integrate regeneration areas and new communities into the city?
How can we integrate the important aspects of the Docklands Masterplan into the New
Development Plan to support both existing and new Docklands neighbourhoods?
How can the integration of Dublin port and Dublin city be enhanced?
How can we achieve sustainable densities and create a place where people will want to live /
Should the new development plan allow for some limited flexibility in relation to building
heights to take account of particular local circumstances?
How can contemporary architecture match the quality, adaptability and longevity of earlier
How can we retain urban grain and texture, given global trends for larger floorplates and
How can we create safe and pleasant pedestrian routes across of the city?
How can the new development plan encourage the creation of good sustainable
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Integrating Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation and Resilience into the forthcoming
Development Plan
1.2 Climate change
1.3 Urban resilience
2.0 Policy Context
2.1 Current Development Plan and legislative requirements
2.2 Influential policy documents
3.0 Recent progress in Dublin City
3.1 Sustainability
3.2 Climate change adaptation
3.3 Addressing flood risk
3.4 Local Area Planning
3.5 Projects encouraging sustainability and sustainable approaches to energy
3.6 Sustainability and local plan standards
3.7 Emergency planning
4.0 Future trends and development
5.0 Main Issues and challenges
5.1 Adapting to climate change and mitigating its impacts
5.2 Energy efficiency and increasing share of renewables
5.3 Indicators and development standards
5.4 Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation and Resilience; The Big Picture Questions
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Integrating Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation and Resilience into the forthcoming
Development Plan
Because of its significance in regard to long-term planning, climate change mitigation/adaptation and
resilience will necessarily be mainstreamed in the next development plan. It will be addressed at
various levels and scales– from the overarching core strategy for the city, down to policy for local
areas and also detailed development standards. Relevant appendices including „flood defence
infrastructure‟ - which lists proposed works along the main rivers, will also be updated.
Adaptation/mitigation principles and resilience measures will encompass a broad range of subject
areas including energy policy, drainage and water management, coastal protection works, and green
infrastructure. Because of this the subject is of relevance to a range of chapters including „shaping the
city‟, green infrastructure, „sustainable environment and infrastructure‟, and „implementation‟. Hence,
climate change adaptation/mitigation and resilience as a theme will permeate a range of inter-related
development plan chapters. The focus of climate change mitigation is mainly on reducing emissions,
conserving and reducing energy use, and increasing our share of renewable energy.
In regard to the approach taken, and pending forthcoming statutory guidance from the DECLG, the
City Council will cooperate with the approach recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency
which progresses the earlier aims of the „National Climate Change Adaptation Framework‟ (DECLG
2012). The City Council is also advised by Codema in relation to sustainable energy, as the company
provides specialist expertise in this regard, and future policy may also be influenced by assessing the
performance of initiatives to date.
Please note in regard to energy usage/conservation and renewable energy, that whilst main points
are covered below, a greater level of detail relating to energy is provided in the separate background
paper titled „sustainable environment and infrastructure’.
1.2 Climate Change
The fifth assessment report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2014
unequivocally confirmed that warming of the atmosphere and ocean system is happening and that
there is clear human influence on the climate. The concentration of greenhouse gases in the
atmosphere has increased to levels unprecedented in 800,000 years, and there is high confidence
that the extent of sea level rise since the mid 1800s has been greater than the mean sea level rise of
the previous two millennia. Fossil fuel use is responsible for over half of all GHG emissions globally,
and the majority of these come from energy supply, transport, residential and commercial buildings,
and industry. The main greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, fluorinated
gases. It is predicted that further warming will continue if green house gases continue to be emitted.
At the end of the 21 century, the global surface sea temperature is likely to be 2 degrees warmer
than that of the 1850-1900 periods. Climate change will continue- even if CO2 emissions cease and
global mean sea level rise will continue at a rate likely to exceed the rate of the past four decades.
Future climate change will impact globally on climate systems, air and ocean temperatures, and sea
levels. Some parts of the world will become drier and others will have an increased risk of flooding,
and these changes will impact on nature and human populations. Crop yields and biodiversity will be
affected and health problems and disease may increase. Negative socio-economic impacts will arise.
In relation to Ireland, an EPA publication in 2012 titled „The Status of Ireland‟s Climate, 2012‟
provides some facts and trends that are clearly cause for concern. Both mean annual surface air
temperature and average annual national rainfall have been increasing. Mean annual sea surface
temperature is also rising, and sea level is rising at approx. 1.7cm per decade. It is also likely that
there will be wind regime changes impacting on ocean swells and wave heights. Impacts on water
turbidity will affect ecology and species diversity and increased eutrophication may cause algal
It is essential that society adapts to this new set of environmental conditions, as an element of
uncertainty now affects medium to long term planning policies and objectives. Climate change also
forces development of systems and infrastructure to protect against its impacts. The ability of a
system to adjust to climate change is referred to as its „adaptive capacity‟ (IPPC, 2007) – i.e. the
ability of governance and socio-economic systems to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The EU
has committed to reducing greenhouse gases to 20% below 1990 levels by the year 2020, and this
sets a higher target than that set in Kyoto for 2012. However, it appears now that the 2020 target will
be breached by Ireland by 2016. To minimise further negative impacts, a two-pronged approach is
recommended in accordance with best practice; that of mitigation and also adaptation. Climate
change adaptation must be integrated into policies, plans and programmes at all levels or
Government and across all sectors.
There are many significant knock-on benefits to reducing CO2 levels and increasing use of renewable
energy, including reduced health effects, decreased dependence on fossil fuels, improved security of
supply, lower costs, increased energy price stability, and a more sustainable economy.
1.3 Urban resilience
„Resilience‟ as a concept can have many different meanings. It can refer for example to how natural
systems can re-organise themselves following a disturbance, or can refer to the capacity of a system
for adaptation. For humans it can mean the ability to learn and adapt to change. „Urban resilience‟ is
a relatively new concept, and generally refers to the ability of an urban area to withstand shocks and
stresses without reaching an undesired state. Achieving this involves a degree of reorganisation and
adaptation, with the development of new structures and processes. Barriers to resilience, such as
vulnerability to flooding, or social barriers, must be overcome by new innovative approaches. Whilst
there is a diverse range of urban resilience related literature, the following distinct categories are
Urban ecological Resilience ; Cities need to develop capacity to sustain ecosystem services
associated with for example, agriculture, parks, and coastal marine life, because these are all
valuable assets which contribute to quality of life and livelihoods. Social and ecological systems in
urban areas are interdependent.
Urban hazards and disaster risk reduction; Urban hazards are not only natural (such as those relating
to climate change), but can also be man-made – relating for example to terrorism or unintended
industrial incidents. Resilience to such events may relate to social or community resilience,
infrastructural resilience, and economic resilience.
Resilience of urban economies; Urban economies could suffer as a result of climate change or urban
disasters and depending on the event, this could impact certain vulnerable industrial sectors more
than others. Economic stability or growth could be affected.
Institutional resilience through governance and institutions; Resilience thinking can potentially
improve governance mechanisms. For example, adaptive management and community based efforts
can both promote sustainability and reduce vulnerability to climate-related shocks. Effective
institutional arrangements can take many forms.
2.0 Policy context
2.1 Current Development Plan and legislative requirements
The 2011-2017 Dublin City Development Plan took a comprehensive approach to sustainable
planning though the adoption of the „Framework for Sustainable Dublin‟ which sought consideration of
sustainability principles for all development plan policies. By having a shared vision of future success
beyond the immediate period of the development plan, actions could be prioritised to help achieve this
outcome, and indicators would help measure progress. ‟Backcasting‟ from the vision helped to devise
appropriate policies. Sustainability principles were set out for consideration at all levels of strategic
planning, including strategic level and „actions‟ level.
In regard to legislative requirements, the 2000 Planning and Development Act (as since amended)
requires that development plans contain objectives for;
S. 10 (2)d. The integration of the planning and sustainable development of the area with the
social, community, and cultural requirements of the area and its population.
S.10.n. The promotion of sustainable settlement and transportation strategies in urban and
rural areas including the promotion of measures to –
(i) Reduce energy demand in response to the likelihood of increases in energy and other
costs due to long-term decline in non-renewable resources,
(ii) Reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and
(iii) Address the necessity of adaptation to climate change;
In particular having regard to the location, layout and design of new development.
2.2 Influential policy documents
The Irish National Climate change strategy 2007-2012 followed on from the earlier 2006 strategy. It
includes a range of measures that apply across all sectors. Amongst other initiatives, it seeks 33% of
energy to be from renewables by 2020, encourages a switch from private to public transport, and
encourages more energy efficient buildings. In 2011, National Climate Policy was reviewed by the
DECLG. This recognised that, notwithstanding recent progress, meeting the then anticipated 2020
target may be extremely challenging.
In the same year, a document titled „EPA & climate change – responsibilities, challenges and
opportunities‟ reviewed the national climate change strategy and general progress. Projected future
impacts for Ireland are detailed and these include; continued warming of the climate and sea level
rise, more intense storms and rainfall events, increased likelihood of river and coastal flooding, and
water shortages in the east of the country. In relation to greenhouse emissions targets, relevant
indicators show that whilst the Kyoto target could be reached, the EU2020 target with regard to
greenhouse gas emissions would be breached by 2016. Transport-related emissions are projected
to drop significantly; those from agriculture may raise because of (inter alia) the removal of the EU
milk quota.
In 2012 the DECLG launched the „National Climate Change Adaptation Framework‟. Focused on
building resilience to climate change, it set out the role of various organisations in the process,
including that of local authorities who must integrate climate change adaptation into statutory plans.
Adaptation actions will be required to avoid or reduce the adverse impacts of climate change and take
advantage of any positive impacts. The DECLG will support this process by preparing guidelines both
for integrating climate adaptation into development plans and for adaptation proofing Strategic
Environmental Assessment processes.
2.2.1 Energy
Also in 2012, the national level „Strategy for Renewable Energy 2012-2020‟ was published (Dept of
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources). This sets out five strategic goals, which focus on
increasing the share of renewable energy available, increasing supporting renewable heat, and
transport and power generation, sustainable energy use in the transport sector (through biofuels and
electrification), and further research into renewable technologies. There is also a focus on developing
a sustainable bio-energy sector.
By 2020, a 20% improvement in energy efficiency (from 1990 levels) is sought, along with 20% of
energy to come from renewable energy sources and a 20% reduction in EU GHGs ( again from 1990
levels). In early 2014, the EU Commission published its Climate and Energy Framework 2030. This
seeks to make progress towards a low carbon economy and to ensure affordable energy for all users.
It proposes to achieve a 40% reduction in greenhouses gases by 2030 relative to 1990. The two main
EU Directives which aim to meet these targets are the EU Energy Efficiency (EE) Directive
(2012/27/EU) and the EU Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Directive (2009/28/EC). Under the RES
Directive, the target set for Ireland is for 16% of national gross final energy consumption to come from
RES by 2020.
On foot of the above, the National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) outlines how 16% energy
from RES can be achieved and sets national sectoral targets. Meanwhile, the National Energy
Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) sets out a policy roadmap to 2020, setting a higher target of 33%
energy reductions on the public sector (for example). Earlier this year, the Irish government published
its „Green Paper on Energy Policy in Ireland‟. This places emphasis on renewable energy and energy
efficiency in the context of climate change. Following a public consultation process a new white paper
will then be published.
Also of importance are the Irish Building Regulations 2011, Part L of which aims to incorporate high
levels of energy efficiency and RES into new dwellings.
3.0 Recent Progress in Dublin City
3.1 Sustainability
Since the adoption of the City Development Plan 2011-2017, a number of progressive steps have
taken place in relation to the areas of sustainability and resilience. These are set out below;
„Dub City sustainable energy action plan 2010-20‟ was produced by DCC in conjunction with Codema,
Dublin‟s energy agency, and it is currently being updated (due end June 2014). The vision is for
Dublin to become an energy smart and efficient city and the report evaluates how to reduce energy
consumption in the city and how to incorporate renewable energy. Dublin City Council aims to lead by
example and is going beyond the 2020 target of 20% reduction on carbon emissions, having set a
more ambitious target of 33% reduction over the timescale of the action plan. This is part of the
„Covenant of Mayors‟ whereby signatory cities within Europe aim to go beyond the objectives of EU
energy policy. This focus on energy demand is welcome having regard to section S.10.n. of the
Planning and Development Act which, in summary, aims to reduce energy demand, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and address adaptation to climate change.
Detailed sustainability reports produced by Dublin City Council in both 2012 and 2013 provide a very
useful baseline for further monitoring and gauging of progress. The range of indicators used is broad
in scope and addresses a range of important areas such as environment, transportation and the
economy. This range of indicators has been expanded in the most recent report, and use of a „global
reporting Initiative index‟ now helps to accommodate the cross-comparison of reports between
organisations, providing a helpful reference. Whilst energy per capita in Ireland has reduced year on
year from 2003-2011, Ireland was only an average performer in the EU 27 in the year 2010 in regard
to energy consumption, and Dublin was ranked 18 of 30 cities under the energy category in the
Siemens Green city Index in 2009. Renewables contributed to 6.7% of energy consumption.
Advice from Codema
This suggests that a strategic energy plan is required in order to become a low carbon city. This
would involve setting both long and short term goals and integrating them into spatial plans. Large
scale energy systems serving multiple buildings can be provided for, and these can lower costs due to
economies of scale. Energy Action Plans that are geographically focused can give benefits by
drawing on local resources such as geothermal energy or heat from waste. District heating is often an
option for improving energy efficiency in city areas
3.2 Climate change adaptation
The City Council is engaging with the EPA/DECLG in relation to the „National Climate Change
Adaptation Framework‟ and looks forward to further guidance to assist in policy development. To date
this involved consideration of the content of the framework and attendance at an EPA workshop. This
will assist the council in meeting its obligations under S.10.n. (iii) of the Planning and Development
Act 2000.
The content of other sections of this document is also relevant to climate change adaptation
/mitigation. Sustainability/energy efficiency, addressing flood risk, various projects, and emergency
planning all make a significant contribution.
3.3 Addressing Flood Risk
In relation to addressing the risk of coastal flooding, a number of projects have been developed to
protect vulnerable built up areas of the coast and Appendix 17 of the current development plan lists a
range of flood defence infrastructure required along the main rivers. The Eastern Catchment Flood
risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) study commenced in 2011 to meet the requirements of
the floods directive. The current stage requires the drawing up of flood risk/hazard maps with a view
to producing Flood Risk Management Plans (FRAMS) by 2015. There are also various projects
underway to specifically address areas known to be vulnerable to coastal flooding during extreme
events, and therefore requiring new protective works. These projects include; South Campshires
Flood Protection Project, Sandymount Promenade and Flood Protection Project, and Clontarf
Promenade Development and Flood Defence Project. Also, and as part of the Sutton to Sandycove
promenade and cycleway project, the section from Bull Wall to Causeway Road ( adjacent to Bull
island) will commence in 2014 and incorporate flood protection works.
In addition to the above, the Council carries out Flood Risk Assessments of new plans in accordance
with statutory Flood Risk Management Guidelines (2009) in order to determine the likelihood of
flooding in areas being considered for development or regeneration.
3.4 Local Area Planning
The development of locally focussed plans provides an opportunity to integrate, in a practical way,
various sustainability policies and objectives and resilience measures. LAPs completed during the life
of the current development plan include those for Ashtown/Pelletstown, Clongriffin/Belmayne, and
Naas Road Lands, and a Strategic Development Zone Planning Scheme was also approved for North
Lotts and Grand Canal Dock in Dublin‟s Docklands. Through integrated application of sustainability
/resilience measures to such areas, there can be multiple benefits. Promoting sustainable transport
such as walking and cycling along biodiverse corridors with integrated sustainable drainage, for
example, helps implement multiple sustainability-related policies. Such initiatives help with climate
change, greening the city, flood mitigation, biodiversity, and can also promote the health of the
3.5 Projects encouraging sustainability and sustainable approaches to energy
A number of projects have shown initiative in aiming to both reduce energy consumption and
emissions, and make new built developments more sustainable. These include „The Green Way‟
cleantech cluster organisation, the Sustainable Energy Communities Programme, the „Green IFSC‟
energy initiative, the „Emerge‟ communication platform, „Think Energy‟ energy awareness campaign,
and the „Ecar‟ car-pooling scheme.
Within the city there have been a number of initiatives to reduce energy consumption and create a
more sustainable urban environment. These include „The Green Way‟, a cleantech cluster
organisation encouraging green economic growth through the stimulation of the cleantech sector.
The term cleantech encompasses all industries and companies which are involved in sustainable
development, eco-innovation (products, services, processes) and resource efficiency. It is hoped that
by forging international business ties with international greentech clusters, Irelands standing in the
Global Green Economy can be improved. Dublin City Council was a co-founder of this initiative in
In 2011, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) announced Tralee, Dublin City and
Tallaght as the three exemplar Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC), all of whom committed to
specific energy saving projects for the next five years. SEAI‟s Sustainable Energy Communities
Programme aims to develop these communities as „living laboratories‟ to establish a culture of
innovation and facilitate the emergence of new sustainable energy technologies and practices. SECs
involve everyone in the community, working together to enhance sustainability by being as energy
efficient as possible, using renewable energy where feasible and developing indigenous energy
supplies. The programme acts as a catalyst to help stimulate a national move towards sustainable
energy practice and to deliver national energy targets.
GIFSC, in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Dublin City Council
(DCC), created this project in a bid to ensure Ireland has one of the most resource efficient financial
services centres in the world. Launched in 2012, the project is designed to help companies to
measure their carbon footprint and come up with a plan to reduce resource consumption (waste,
water and energy) – and ultimately cut costs. Initially nine companies in the Irish Financial Services
Centre and employing more than 7,500 people, came together in a pilot project to reduce their energy
consumption and company costs. GIFSC also aims to become a global leader in sustainability finance
In 2012, the „emerge‟ project was set up to provide a platform for communications among
stakeholders from the public and private sector, academia and the community and to facilitate
innovation, project replication and capacity building for a more sustainable energy future for Dublin
City. The project followed on from the „Dublin Sustainable Energy Community initiative‟ and is
managed by Codema on behalf of Dublin City Council and has focused in particular on Dublin s
Docklands and the Strategic Development Zone. Emerge provides a networking platform and open
forum for discussion on energy topics, and allows for sharing of best practice examples.
DCC and Codema launched the „Think Energy‟ energy awareness campaign n 2013. The purpose of
this 3 year EU-supported programme is to reduce energy use through changes in behaviour within
Dublin City Council. This in turn will result in cost savings and assists in meet energy conservation
targets. Themed energy days, lunchtime talks, seasonal energy advice, as well as monitoring of civic
office energy use all form part of the programme delivered by Codema. An energy ambassador
program was also launched in early 2014, with 20 staff receiving training on energy issues. They are
now involved in the shaping of the wider energy awareness campaign.
Ecar scheme
The Council launched the Dublin City Council ecar Pooling Scheme in 2012. This electric vehicle car
pooling scheme, supported by Renault Ireland and ESB ecars, gives employees access to two
electric cars and one electric van. Energy consumption by electric cars is significantly less than
standard fuel, and carbon emissions are reduced by over 50%.
Dublin City Council is collaborating with staff of University College Dublin on a Europe-wide project
exploring practical ways of transitioning towards greater resilience. The project is titled „TURAS‟, an
acronym for „Transitioning towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability‟ and it is currently leading a
range of resilience-related experimental projects in various European cities. These projects are
structured around a range of set topics such as addressing underused urban sites, re-use of
buildings, and collaborative planning. Within these, current best practice has been studied and new
strategies will be pilot-tested and evaluated for potential further use. The TURAS project is not only a
collaboration between the university and the council, as SMEs are represented and involved in the
process too. It is anticipated that given the range of resilience variables being explored in a number of
countries, that the results of the project in 2015 will give valuable insights into the practicalities of
developing the city‟s resilience.
3.6 Sustainability Indicators and Local Plan Standards
Appendix 28 of the 2011 development plan contains a set of sustainability indicators devised to reflect
the vision of the core strategy. Progress on these indicators was recorded in the progress report
(report no. 58/2013) during 2013 and a report on these indicators is prepared annually. This
information is a very useful baseline for further monitoring of such indicators.
Local Plans may have specific sustainability standards and greening initiatives. The North Lotts and
Grand Canal Dock SDZ scheme requires that all proposals for development on sites above 0.2 Ha
(0.5acres) apply the minimum standards of international building performance frameworks such as
such as BREEAM, LEED or other European-based standards which are considered as equivalents.
The Ashtown/Pelletstown LAP requires developments to comply with a „green points system‟ which
seeks that all developments integrate a range of sustainability characteristics into the scheme.
3.7 Emergency Planning
In 2013, DCC adopted a major emergency plan which sets out co-ordinated systems for effectively
responding to emergency situations. This also focuses on risk assessment and management,
planning, and recovery. The types of emergency situations that can potentially arise relate for
example to severe weather, industrial accidents, a major fire or a transport incident. Being prepared
for such events increases the city‟s resilience.
4.0 Future trends and development
The development and implementation of integrated flood protection schemes at areas
previously identified as vulnerable - including Clontarf, South Campshires, and adjacent to
Bull Island (Bull wall to Causeway Road) as part of the Sutton-to-Sandycove cycle route and
The Council will proceed with the development of climate change adaptation
strategies/policies/objectives in accordance with evolving guidance from the DECLG and the
EPA. This process has commenced with a workshop held by the EPA (May 2014) but will
require further work including interdepartmental collaboration.
Monitoring of key sustainability indicators is important for the future given previously
established baseline data. There are two sets of indicators; those outlined in Appendix 28 of
the current development plan (subject to review/update), and those set out in recent
DCC/Codema sustainability reports (the latest was in 2013).
Continued Implementation of the Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020 in
order to reduce energy demand and related generation of greenhouse gases. This is not
without difficulty both because significant investment is required in infrastructure, and
because there are barriers to implementation. Cooperation is required between the public and
private sectors. The national-level position on NREAP and NEEAP needs to be considered.
Further initiatives may be required to reduce energy consumption and reduce reliance on
unsustainable energy sources in order to become a low carbon city, mitigating climate
change. Projects to date, including „The green Way‟ „Green IFSC‟, and „emerge‟, focus on
specific aspects of sustainability or particular geographical areas of the city, and progress on
these projects should be monitored. Continued work on the „Think Energy‟ programme will
help reduce the energy consumption of DCC staff both in work and at home.
2.0 Main issues and challenges
5.1 Adapting to climate change and mitigating its impacts.
Whilst the National Climate change strategy has not been updated (it applied to the period 20072012), it was comprehensively reviewed in 2011 and the EPA‟s document „The status of Irelands
Climate, 2012‟ (DECLG) helps us understand key issues. The National Climate Change Adaptation
Framework (2012) now provides the policy context for a strategic adaptation response that is
designed to evolve over time. The City Council looks forward to participating and learning from this
process in order to further develop its approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation.
At Local Authority level, developing an adaptation strategy will require assembling an
interdepartmental team and following the approach recommended by the EPA. The current adaptation
baseline will be assessed and future climate risk then examined.
Adaptation options must be
identified, prioritised and assessed, and this will lead to development of an adaptation pathway and
strategy. A range of previous plans and projects will feed into this process, adding important baseline
information and strategy guidance. These include the „Climate Change Strategy for Dublin City 20082012‟, and annual sustainability reports. Available regional and national level guidance will also be
Mitigation strategies and energy strategies are important for mitigating climate change, and Action
Plans on foot of same, such as the „Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020‟ (detailed
in section 2 of this report) can assist greatly towards meeting national level goals such as NREAP and
In regard to increasing the city‟s resilience to flooding, the range of projects to be implemented during
the forthcoming development plan period will need to be determined from the assessment of flood
risk. Works should be considered with regard to urban design and land uses in the area.
5.2 Energy efficiency and increasing share of renewables
In relation to energy, previously mentioned initiatives at national level will help towards addressing
climate change and its impacts. Both the national strategy for renewable energy and the National
Energy efficiency Action plan cover time periods up to 2020, and the current green paper on energy
policy will form the basis of a new white paper. Within the city, it is important to promote and
implement the Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020. Because this plan will expire
during the term of the forthcoming development plan period, development of a follow-on energy action
plan should be considered.
The success or otherwise of initiatives such as the „Green Way‟, „Green IFSC‟ , and „Emerge‟ needs
to the gauged as these projects progress, such that the Council can improve future approaches to
similar such projects. Progress on sustainable transport projects such as „Dublin Bikes‟ and „Ecar‟
should also be reviewed in conjunction with the Roads and Traffic Planning Division.
Increasing public awareness about energy conservation is also important and Codema‟s work with the
„Think Energy‟ campaign is an example of good practice that can perhaps be further developed as
part of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan.
5.3 Indicators and Development Standards
Gauging future progress on sustainability will be by way of monitoring sustainability indicators – both
those from Appendix 28 (or equivalent) of the plan and also those used in the detailed sustainability
reports produced by DCC/Codema. These indicators may be reviewed.
New/revised standards will assist with climate change adaptation as part of the City‟s Climate Change
Strategy. Current development plan Objective SIO90 requires an energy statement to accompany
large scale applications (50 units or 5000 sq m and above) and considering demolition, construction
and long- term management. District Heating and „combined heat and power‟ approaches can yield
greater efficiencies and have been promoted in the past. The challenge is now to comprehensively
overhaul previous standards to ensure they address climate change mitigation/adaptation and
contribute to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
This will require an integrated approach across a number of subject areas in the development plan,
particularly those relating to built development standards, sustainable energy, transport, sustainable
drainage, flood risk management, biodiversity, and green infrastructure. The market impact of new
standards is also relevant and requires consideration, having regard to the standards of neighbouring
It will also be important to support experimental pilot projects which aim to progress
sustainability and resilience, as these may prove beneficial for developing future standards.
5.4 Climate Change Mitigation/Adaptation and Resilience: The Big Picture Questions
How can the Development Plan address the range of issues associated with climate change
to ensure Dublin City becomes more resilient?
Energy usage in the city is necessary to serve residents, businesses and transport. In
addition to current measures, are there further ways of reducing energy use, conserving
energy, or generating renewable energy that may benefit the city by mitigating climate
Given the likelihood of increased flood events, green roofs, planted areas and sustainable
drainage systems can all help reduce surface water volumes and hence improve resilience.
How can we minimise volumes of surface water draining from developments?
The next Development Plan will contain revised standards for development. To what extent
should sustainability goals influence these ? Should development standards differ for different
land uses (e.g. residential, commercial or mixed-use schemes)
Green industry has been promoted in the city by encouraging development of low energy
buildings and also through geographically focused projects. Are there specific areas of the
city that need particular attention to help address energy concerns?
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Policy Context
3.0 Recent Progress
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
Main Challenges & Issues
1.0 Introduction
The Issues Paper sets out prosperity as being one of the three priority objectives for the new City
Plan as follows:
To support economic growth and improve Dublin’s attractiveness as a place to live, work and
invest in, with an emphasis on providing for good quality of life to sustain a growing
2.0 Policy Context
At a national level overall policy in relation to economic development is set out in the Medium Term
Economic Strategy 2014 – 2020 (MTES).
National job creation strategy is set out in the Action Plan for Jobs 2014.
This is developed in the Local Government Sectoral Strategy to Promote Employment and Support
Local Enterprise - Supporting Economic Recovery and Jobs – Locally.
Also relevant are the regular Progress Reports such as “Action Plan for Jobs 2014 – Third Progress
National “Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland” (July 2014)
is available here:
National policy on promoting Ireland‟s economy internationally is set out in Dept. of Foreign Affairs
and Trade report:
Ireland‟s International Education Strategy 2010-15 is set out in a Dept. of Education and Science
report, “INVESTING IN GLOBAL RELATIONSHIPS”. It sets out Government policy on the wider
benefits of attracting international students.
“Promoting Dublin as an International Education and Student City: The Role of the Private Sector, ELearning and Foreign Direct Investment” (July 2011) is a Dublin City Council report on these
STUDENT CITY” (Dirk Gebhardt 2011), is a study of the potential of attracting international students
to Dublin commissioned by Dublin City Council.
“Food Harvest 2020; A vision for Irish agri-food and fisheries” (Dept. of Agriculture and Fisheries) sets
out the economic potential of the food sectors.
Various reports of Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, are also relevant such as a recent report on the
food-to-go sector. “Demand for value and high quality casual dining, takeaway and food-to-go options
is increasing and accounts for over a third of consumer spend (38%)”
A Dublin City Council report; “Food and the City” (2011), looks at the economic development and job
creation potential of the various food sectors in the city;
In July 2013 the then Lord Mayor‟s, (Oisín Quinn), taskforce made a submission to Government
setting out the wide economic benefits of a vacant land levy for the inner city.
“Construction 2020; A Strategy for a Renewed Construction Sector” (May 2014) sets out policy to
regenerate a sustainable construction sector and encourage the necessary supply of housing and
commercial space. It also reflects the thinking of the City Council vacant land levy submission and
makes similar proposals. For example; “In the first instance we will consider removing any incentive in
existing arrangements for commercial rates to allowing a property to deteriorate.” “Furthermore, in
the context of encouraging economic development, a strong case has been made for enabling local
authorities to impose a levy on vacant sites in Dublin.”
Ambitious tourist targets are set for Dublin to double the number of visitors by 2020 in a recent report;
„Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020‟; Grow Dublin Taskforce
Various reports of the National Competitiveness Council are relevant such as a recent one that
included analysis of property costs;
The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides a stronger and clearer role for local government in
economic development. The City Council must now prepare a Local Economic and Community Plan.
This relates to a key element in achieving the vision set out in the Action Programme for Effective
Local Government: “that local government will be the main vehicle of governance and public service
at local level, leading economic, social and community development”.
Existing Development Plan economic and job creation policies provide a crucial starting point. Policies
and Objectives are set out in areas such as; Enterprise,
Innovation, Clusters and Corridors,
Offices/Commercial/Employment Space,
Economic Area Regeneration,
Vacant Lands and
Buildings, Tourism, Visitors, International Education, and Conventions.
Economic policies for the city are also set out in various Planning frameworks such as that for the
The “Economic Development Action Plan for the Dublin City Region” (2009) with its 3 pillars of
People, Place, and Governance provides a useful framework.
The Report of the Lord Mayor‟s Commission on Employment (2010). Its title, “Working city, Learning
city, Creative city, Open city, Global city, Liveable city” also provides a useful conceptual framework.
"Dublin's Role in the Irish & Global Economy": An evidence-based study on the role and position of
the Dublin Region in the development and growth of Ireland's current and future economy. The
Dublin Study comprises four reports; Click here to download Report 1 on Data Availability. The
Executive Summary of Report 1 is available for download Here. For Report 2 on Spatial
Analysis click here. Report 3 Opinion and Evidence is now available to download Here {PDF 3
MB} . The Synthesis Report (Report 4) is available for download, click here. A recent presentation
of results is available here.
“Globalisation, Diversity and Economic Renewal” (Dublin City Council and GLEN, 2011) sets out the
international economic competitiveness benefits to the city of values of equality, diversity, and
openness in the city.
Various reports from the IDA ( http://www.idaireland.com/),
Enterprise Ireland (http://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/)
Tourism Ireland (http://www.tourismireland.com/) etc also provides a useful policy context.
3.0 Recent Progress
The economy is growing and development has re-commenced in the city including schemes such as
student accommodation, craft distilleries and visitor centres, offices, and apartments.
In their Quarterly Economic Commentary, autumn 2014, the ESRI predicts a growth in GNP of 4.9 per
cent in 2014 and of 5.2 per cent in 2014. Declines in unemployment are also forecast, with the
headline rate envisaged to fall to 9.6 per cent in 2015.
Dublin has been very successful in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and many of these
companies are expanding significantly. Dublin city region attracts more new investments than the rest
of the country, and is particularly important as a host fast growing emerging companies.
There were strong volumes of office take-up achieved in Dublin during the third quarter of 2014 - 149
office leasing transactions totalling almost 130,000m2 were signed in the first nine months of 2014,
according to a CBRE report (October 2014). CBRE also noted that there was a further decline in
office vacancy rates in Dublin over recent months- with Grade A vacancy in the prime Dublin 2/4
district at a low of 1.9% at the end of Q3 2014.
There is growing support at a national level for the perspective that Dublin is the national economic
engine. For example, the recent „Statement of Government Priorities‟ set out: “We will continue to
support the development of Dublin as an international city region that will have positive economic
benefits for the entire country.” http://www.merrionstreet.ie/wpcontent/uploads/2014/07/Statement-of-Government-Priorities-Final-110714.pdf
The food and hospitality sectors are buoyant as can be seen from the following report;
Grant Thornton report on thriving food and hospitality industry; “Irish food and hospitality businesses
doubled staff numbers in 2013”. http://www.grantthornton.ie/GFIreport2014
Following the dissolution of County/ City Enterprise Boards (CEBs), a network of 31 Local Enterprise
Offices (LEOs) have been established in local authorities as a core instrument of local economic and
enterprise support and development for SMEs and micro-enterprises with a focus on providing
financial supports, mentoring, networking support, business and entrepreneurial advice, business
training and information, and advice on Local Authority supports or activities that affect enterprise
including, rates, procurement or the planning system. https://www.localenterprise.ie/DublinCity/
Niamh Bushnell has been appointed as Dublin‟s first start-up commissioner. She will assume strategic
responsibility for making Dublin the best place in Europe to start and grow a tech and innovative
business. The new commissioner will work in conjunction with Dublin City Council and Enterprise
Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices to maximise the potential of Dublin‟s existing business
ecosystem, which already supports a wide range of tech and innovative start-ups and acts as a base
for many global tech companies. http://www.siliconrepublic.com/start-ups/item/38251-wit2014
The extended Dublinbikes scheme has significantly increased the connectedness of the city; its
various economic clusters; and hence its innovation potential; e.g. Digital Hub to Docklands.
Positive changes to Visa regime have been introduced making it easier for e.g. tourists from China to
visit Ireland. The recently announced British Irish Visa Scheme allows for travel to and around the
Common Travel Area (CTA) on a single visa. As matters stand, many overseas tourists and business
visitors who wish to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, need separate Irish and
UK visas.
Special Visa arrangements have also been introduced for foreign investors and entrepreneurs
The City Councils international relations role has resulted in good links with economic powerhouses
such as San Jose and Beijing. For example, the annual official visits by the Lord Mayor, along with
agencies such as the Dublin Airport Authority, to Beijing and meetings with aviation authorities have
contributed significantly to the objective of gaining a direct China Dublin flight link. Such a link would
be of great benefit for tourism and business visitors.
On 2nd October 2014 Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local
Government, announced details of a Planning (No.1) Bill which had been approved by Government
that week. This included a proposal for a vacant land levy at an annual rate of 3% of the market value
of the site. The Bill is to be introduced into the Dail in this term. This follows on from the Lord Mayor‟s
taskforce submission to Government for a vacant land levy for the inner city of Dublin.
The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 provides for a new statutory duty on
public bodies to have regard to human rights and equality in the carrying out of their functions. A
public body shall set out in a manner that is accessible to the public, an assessment of the human
rights and equality issues it believes to be relevant to the functions and purpose of the body; and the
policies, plans and actions in place or proposed to be put in place to address those issues. It is
intended that the new duty will have economic as well as social benefits.
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
The City Council has an increasing economic development and job creation role and responsibility
under the 2014 Local Government Reform Act. This includes the setting up of the Local Enterprise
Office now based in Civic Offices. A Local Economic and Community Plan is now being prepared. An
Economic Development and Enterprise Strategic Policy Committee has been established. The Digital
Hub Development Agency and the Docklands Authority are being merged with the City Council.
NAMA is being given by Government a more developmental role in the supply of office space and
housing in the Docklands and other parts of the city.
There is increasing recognition that „quality of place‟ is crucial to the economic success of the city; in
attracting FDI, attracting and retaining key scarce talent; tourists, and residents. A July 2014 “Policy
Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland” from the Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation,
recognised the key role of Dublin; and set out 3 „differentiators‟ to give the city an international
competitive edge:
An internationally competitive location for talent attraction
Place-making; a vibrant capital city, enhancing the city as a place to live, invest, grow a business,
and nurture innovation.
A connected world-leading research and innovation system.
Shopping habits and reasons to visit city centres are changing with competition from internet retailing
and suburban shopping centres. For example, according to recent research, consumers ranked the
presence of good restaurants as another appealing factor when deciding where to shop and we
believe this could help in prolonging the consumers shopping experience. Young consumers (18-24
year olds) in Great Britain (31pc) and Ireland (36pc) in particular, considered good restaurants either
extremely or very important in a shopping destination compared to 21pc of all consumers.
This is supported by the Dublin City Council on-line survey (Your Dublin Your Voice 2012) which
found that eating out was ranked higher marginally than shopping in terms of the top favourite things
to do in the city centre; see table below.
Top 5 favourite things to do in the City Centre; (% of mentions)
Eating out:
Going to the pub:
CafГ© and restaurants can have an increasing role in the regeneration of areas, making them attractive
for residents, workers and visitors. CafГ© are also increasingly used for business meetings.
Craft distilleries and breweries with visitor centres are major and long-established visitor attractions
and economic generators in US cities. Currently three proposed in Liberties, and one is under
construction with an investment of 10 million euro. It is expected to attract 50,000 to 100,000 visitors a
year. These enterprises also have the benefit of using Irish produce and boosting Irish agriculture.
See for example, http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/pearse-lyons-beer-could-be-the-answer-toall-our-economic-woes-29400921.html
Dublin is successful in attracting International Students and English language students in line with
national and City Council Development Plan policy. There is a growing Student Accommodation
shortage, with international investors and providers willing to develop and manage quality schemes.
One scheme under construction at the Digital Hub in Dublin 8 with a 40 million euro investment. Two
others are at planning application stage. In other cities, clusters of professionally managed student
accommodation are significant forces for regeneration of areas. See for example;
Markets, indoor and outdoor, food and other are increasing and successful. In other cities
internationally they are major tourist attractions as well as a service for residents. 70 million people
visited the Boqueria market in Barcelona in one year.
Markets are also supportive of start-up enterprises; see for example this report; “How Public Markets
Support Small Businesses Owned by Women, Minorities and Immigrants”
The City Council currently has a Part 8 planning application to significantly improve the Fruit and
Vegetable Market in Dublin 7 and include a retail element. Markets are also an affordable way for
start-up entrepreneurs‟ to get a business up and going; see http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/publicmarkets-small-businesses-women-owned-minority-owned-immigrants
There is an emerging shortage of hotel accommodation. A Lord Mayors taskforce on Hotel capacity in
Dublin (2014) set out that an additional 5,000 rooms might be required. According to Failte Ireland:
“Unless more stock becomes available, Dublin runs the risk of being unable to accommodate the
anticipated level of demands”; http://www.failteireland.ie/Research-Insights/PapersReports/Developments-in-Dublin-s-Accommodation-Capacity-Br.aspx
It has been suggested that Real Estate Investment Trusts; (REITs) provide a more stable investment
regime for development in the city; http://www.irishreits.ie/.
5.0 Main Issues and Challenges
How can the Development Plan encourage the greater supply of offices, housing, student
accommodation, hotel/tourist accommodation where shortages are emerging and prices are rising?
“Dublin prime office rents set to return to most expensive in Europe ranks” according to a recent
How can we encourage more domestic and foreign investment in the physical development of the
city? How do we optimise the potential of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)?
The extensive 63 hectares of vacant land in inner city is a great challenge and opportunity for the city.
These extensive areas of vacant lands are potentially a great international competitive advantage for
Dublin. Many of our international competitor cities have fully developed centre city areas and have no
space for the expansion of uses which need/prefer to locate in centre city areas. How can we
expedite the early and high quality development of these c 300 sites?
The current Development Plan states that the transformation of regeneration areas, especially inner
city areas, is a “key policy priority” as this area is the city‟s “core economic generator”. What new
policies or approaches do we need to achieve the transformation of these regeneration areas?
According to economists , density drives productivity and innovation in a city; do we need to assess
our Plot Ratio policy for its economic impacts?
Tourism is set out as one of Amsterdam‟s five economic pillars. How do we enhance existing
Development Plan policy and objectives on tourism to deliver on its great potential for the city?
Dublin could double its tourism revenue to 2.5bn euro by 2020, according to a recent report. However,
the report also noted Dublin has lost tourist business to other cities internationally. „Destination Dublin
– A Collective Strategy for Growth to 2020‟; Grow Dublin Taskforce.
With the amalgamation of Dublin Tourism with Failte Ireland, there is a significant new tourism role for
Dublin City Council in achieving the ambitious tourist targets set out in the Destination Dublin report.
Many of the city‟s most important visitor attractions are in regeneration areas with significant
challenges of vacant land and buildings and public domain in need of improvement. How can we
extend the Dubline tourist route investment project to other parts of the city?
How can we encourage the further development of the various food sectors in the city? What kind of
planning approach should be taken towards the role of cafes and restaurants in the city?
For example see PRODUCTIVITY AND THE DENSITY OF HUMAN CAPITAL; Jaison R. Abel, Ishita Dey, Todd M.
Gabe; Journal of Regional Science; Volume pages 562–586, October 2012
Quality of Place in the City/Quality of Life/the Liveable City/ Safe, Clean, Green; are key international
competitiveness issues for cities internationally to attract FDI; attract and retain key mobile talent;
attract tourists, international students etc. How can we ensure that Dublin is world-class in terms of
these international attractiveness factors?
The Development Plan recognises that openness and diversity are economically beneficial to the city.
How do we implement the new statutory duty on public bodies to have regard to human rights and
equality in the carrying out of their functions2 in a way that is beneficial to the city and its economy?
(Section 42; Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014)
How do we release the economic potential of the Georgian quarters whether as visitor attractions or
unique places to live, as set out in “The Future of the South Georgian Core” (Dublin City Council
The Z6 employment zone includes office districts in the city centre (e.g. Harcourt Street) and
suburban industrial estates. Do we need to refine this zoning?
“Cities offer three overlapping benefits for people and firms –
proximity, density and variety” according to one study on innovation and the city . The Development
Plan recognises that the inner city area is the key national innovation resource. It also recognises the
need to improve the linkages (proximity) between key economic generators such as Docklands or the
Digital Hub and the core city centre. How can we implement this objective, improved public domain
and better provision for pedestrians?
There is significant international investment interest in developing and managing high quality student
accommodation in Dublin. This is a great opportunity in providing high quality accommodation,
enlivening the city, regeneration etc. Do we need to refine existing policy to optimise the benefits for
the city?
There is a role for Dublin City Council in building the confidence of potential investors and
entrepreneurs to choose Dublin. There is a greater perceived sense of risk for first-time potential
investors, especially those from other countries, being unfamiliar with policies and procedures.
One positive example is the recent statement by an international student accommodation investor that
they were “encouraged by the initiatives of both central Government and Dublin City Council in
promoting Dublin as an international student city” (Tim Mitchell, CEO of GSA Europe announcing 40
million Euro investment in Dublin 8; http://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/400-bed-studenthousing-complex-planned-for-dublin-1.1951729).
Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014. See also “Globalisation, Diversity and Economic
Renewal”, Dublin City Council (2011).
Glenn Athey, Catherine Glossop, Ben Harrison, Max Nathan and Chris Webber (2007). Innovation and the
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Progress to date
3.0 Future Trends and Developments.
4.0 Main Issues and Challenges
4.1 Integration of Land use / Transport
4.2 Sustainable Spatial Strategy
4.3 Regional Dimension
4.4 City Centre
4.5 Mobility Management
4.6 Public Transport
4.7 Cycling
4.8 Walking
4.9 Car Parking
4.10 Road / Bridge Infrastructure
4.11 Environment, health and society
5.0 Summary of Main Issues.
Movement and Transport Vision
“To achieve the efficient movement of people and goods in a sustainable manner. To facilitate
the provision of an integrated public transport network which will support greater modal
choice and encourage a shift to more sustainable modes of transport. To integrate spatial
planning and zoning objectives in order to optimise the opportunities in the most accessible
locations and close to transport hubs and corridors”.
1.0 Introduction
The transportation vision set out in the current City Development Plan 2011-2017 seeks to promote
the integration of land-use and transportation in an effort to accommodate as much movement as
possible by high quality public transport, by walking and by cycling. In order to maximize the use of
public transport and to minimize unnecessary car journeys, Development Plan policies and objectives
have focused on encouraging higher densities and interactive mixed uses within walking distance of
public transport corridors and nodes (rail stations and interchanges) and at other key locations, e.g.
Key Developing Areas & Key District Centres. The fundamentals of the transportation vision set out in
the current development plan remain robust, but with car ownership levels still remaining significant
and with increasing concerns in relation to the environmental impacts of the transportation sector, the
case for the active enhancement and promotion of sustainable transport remains a priority of Dublin
City Council.
The policy approach taken by Dublin City Council in the current Development Plan is consistent with
the approach set out in the statutory Development Plan Guidelines. The document „Development
Plans - Guidelines for Planning Authorities‟, published by the DoEH&LG June 2007 (now subject to
review), sets out that the strategy, policies and specific objectives of a Development Plan should take
an integrated approach to land use and transportation. Transport considerations should inform all
aspects of plan making while transport policies and objectives should be informed by national and
regional strategies and guidelines.
Zoning should support the achievement of sustainable travel patterns, reduce reliance on private car
usage and promote public transport, as well as other sustainable modes such as cycling and walking.
Zoning objectives and other measures, such as the application of maximum parking standards,
should also support sustainable modes of transport. Advantage should be taken of strategic transport
nodes and corridors in the formulation of zoning and density policies, while where appropriate,
proposed transportation corridors should be identified and protected.
Over the last number of years, City Council policy, coupled with improvements in the public transport
network, has been successful in integrating land use and transportation to achieve more sustainable
development. Higher density mixed use development is taking place along transport corridors and
the city is consolidating. There has also been a significant increase in cycling as a mode of
transportation. There was an 87% increase in cycling within the area enclosed by the two canals in
the 7-year period from 2006 to 2013 and a 14% increase from 2012 to 2013.
Number of persons crossing the canal cordon inbound between 7 and 10 a.m. – 2006-2013.
% change
Persons crossing the canal ring - total
- 7.3%
By public transport
By car
Source ; NTA 2014
As can be seen from the above table, walking and cycling have increased in the period 2006-2013.
Whilst public transport use has reduced in absolute terms, a breakdown by bus/rail/Luas shows that a
high increase in Luas use was offset by reduced rail and bus use ( see table)
Person using public transport 2006-2013 ( by mode)
% change 2006-2013
Percentage mode share 2013 ; Canal cordon count (Source; Dublin City Council & NTA)
Goods, 0.6
Cycle, 4.7
Walk, 9.2
Bus , 29.2
Taxi, 1.6
Car, 35.6
Rail, 13.0
Luas, 5.7
The current City Development Plan 2011-2017 sought to achieve modal share targets crossing the
canals of 55% for public transport, 15% for cycling, 10% for walking and 20% for private car use in the
annual cordon count by 2017. Some improvement is therefore required on the 2013 figures above.
The transportation policies and objectives of the new City Development Plan will continue to be
guided by the Draft Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2011-2030 (NTA strategy
document). This NTA Strategy is underpinned by the vision to provide a competitive, sustainable cityregion with a good quality of life for all. There are five overarching objectives for the strategy to
support the vision, which are as follows:
Build and Strengthen communities
Improve Economic Competitiveness
Improve the Built Environment
Respect and Sustain the Natural Environment
Reduce Personal Stress
2.0 Progress to Date
Dublin City Council, in partnership with other transport agencies, has implemented a broad range of
transport infrastructure projects and transport management initiatives to respond to the demands
posed by the growth of the city. Progress in recent years includes;
Bus & Rail
The provision/expansion of a network of Quality Bus Corridors and Bus Priority measures.
Expansion of real time information for Dublin bus users.
The provision of additional capacity on the Dart and suburban railway networks.
The completion of Parkwest and Docklands Rail Stations.
Red and Green lines extended to Brides Glen and Saggart respectively, improving access to the
city generally.
Capacity increase on the Luas Red Line.
Work commenced on Luas Cross City route from St Stephens Green to Cabra/Broombridge.
Provision and expansion of Dublinbikes scheme
Provision of Grand Canal Cycleway and Tolka Valley Park Cycleway
Roads & bridges
Bridges ; Opening of the following new bridges over the river Liffey in the city centre ; the
Samuel Beckett Bridge (Macken Street Bridge) in Docklands, and more recently the Rosie
Hackett public transport bridge at Marlborough Street.
Completion of the Ratoath Road realignment including Royal Canal/rail line flyover
Traffic management & sustainable private transport
Introduction of the HGV management strategy.
Introduction of 30km Speed Limit in City Centre
Bye Laws to allow for operation and expansion of car clubs
Provision and expansion of ESB electric car charging points
3.0 Future Trends and Developments.
Transport 21 proposed major infrastructure projects for the Dublin region for the period 2005-2016.
Since then, central government released “Smarter Travel – A sustainable transport Future” – a new
transport policy for Ireland 2009-2020. Following this, the National Transport Authority produced a
„Greater Dublin Area Draft Transport Strategy 2011-2030‟. This is particularly relevant to the Dublin
area, and has been since supplemented by an Integrated implementation Plan for the period 20132018.
Smarter Travel - A Sustainable Transport Future
The Government set out its vision for sustainability in transport in 2009, with 5 key goals and defined
targets for the period 2009-2020. Goals included the general desire to reduce travel demand, cut
emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, and improve accessibility to transport. Targets set out were
more specific and included the following;
Future population and employment to take place in sustainable compact forms.
Total share of car commuting to drop from 65% to 45%.
Walking, cycling and public transport modes to rise to 55% of total commuter journeys to
Total kilometres travelled by cars in 2020 not to be above (the then) current levels.
The overall focus was on an integrated delivery of the policy.
Greater Dublin Area Draft Transport Strategy 2011-2030: Key Proposals
The main planned transport proposals for the Greater Dublin Area under the 2030 strategy include the
METRO: 2 routes
(a) Metro North
Metro North will connect Swords to Dublin City Centre, serving a number of key destinations including
Dublin Airport, hospitals, universities, retail centres as well as residential and employment districts.
Metro North is a key element in the creation of a fully integrated rail based public transport network as
earlier envisaged in Transport 21. It will interchange with existing Luas services, Dart and suburban
rail services at St. Stephen‟s Green via the proposed rail interconnector, and also with suburban and
mainline rail services at Drumcondra. (For interim proposals for the period to 2018, see reference to
bus rapid transit below)
(b) Metro West
This would connect Tallaght via Liffey Valley and Blanchardstown to the proposed Metro North Route.
It would provide an orbital service with opportunities for interchange to rail and Dart and Luas
services. Because it is not proposed under the integrated implementation plan for the period 2013-18,
it is likely to be progressed between 2018 and 2030.
Rail Interconnector Project
The project provides for a Rail Interconnector, largely in a tunnel, to connect the existing Northern rail
line to the lines currently connecting with Heuston Station. New stations will be constructed at
Docklands, St Stephen‟s Green and High Street and these will link with Pearse and Heuston Stations.
In advance of delivering this interconnector, the phoenix park underground rail tunnel may be
reopened as an interim method of improving connectivity (see implementation plan below).
LUAS: 3 routes
(a) Luas Cross City (Luas Line BXD)
The Luas Cross City route was designed by merging Luas Line BX and Luas Line D extensions
together to create Line BXD, now known as the Luas Cross City project. The project is under
construction and the route will interlink for the first time, the two existing Luas lines in the City Centre.
It will connect Cabra (at Broombridge rail station) to St. Stephen‟s Green, joining the existing Luas line
at this location. It will have 13 stops along its route, including serving the new Dublin Institute of
Technology campus at Grangegorman, which will have in excess of 20,000 students when completed.
(b) Luas Line from Lucan to City Centre
This will connect Lucan in West Dublin to the southern side of Dublin City Centre providing an
important link for communities and institutions on the south side of Dublin. This will be subject to
further analysis and it is possible that a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) route may replace it.
(c) Luas Southwest Line
This would connect the Red Cow area (Clondalkin) to Dundrum via kimmage, serving an area with
currently no rail service. As with the Lucan line, this project will be subject to further analysis and it is
possible that a BRT route may replace it.
Road routes
Two main road projects are mentioned in the strategy but may not be delivered by 2030 ;
Leinster Orbital
Preserve the route. Possible incremental approach.
M1,M3, M7/9 link
Eastern by pass connecting
port tunnel to Sandyford area
Preservation of the corridor. Possible incremental
The NTAs Integrated Implementation Plan 2013-18
This plan focuses on the period to 2018 rather than on the longer-term vision to 2030. The main
proposals centre around three BRT routes and the opening of the Phoenix Park rail tunnel to connect
the Heuston heavy rail station to other stations and routes.
Bus Rapid Transit
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a high-quality bus based transit system that delivers urban mobility
through the provision of segregated right-of-way infrastructure. BRT seeks to give similar service,
performance quality, and amenity to that of modern light rail-based transit systems - but at a much
lower cost. Under its integrated implementation plan for the period 2013-2018, The National Transport
Authority (NTA) has recommended three preferred routes for BRT in Dublin: (1) Blanchardstown to
UCD, (2) Swords/Airport to City Centre and (3) Clongriffin to Tallaght. All routes would pass through
the city centre. Public consultation in relation to these routes was held in spring 2014. It should be
noted that the Swords/Airport to City Centre route is not intended as a substitute for Metro North, but
will provide an interim solution pending delivery of Metro.
Phoenix Park Rail Tunnel
Under the current configuration of the Irish Rail network, rail services entering Dublin City on the
Kildare line terminate in Heuston Station. These services include a mix of inter-city trains from Cork,
Waterford, Limerick and Galway, as well as commuter services from Kildare, Carlow, Newbridge and
Portlaoise. Heuston station lies some 3km from the commercial core of the city and in excess of 3km
from the area of highest density employment in the south eastern quadrant of the city. Hence,
passengers currently using the Kildare line and wishing to access the commercial core of the city by
public transport must transfer to bus or to the LUAS Red line at Heuston Station. It is intended to
facilitate the use of the existing Phoenix Park Tunnel for the running of through services from the
Kildare line to Connolly and through to Grand Canal Dock. This tunnel link can only come into
operation however when additional train paths become available. The estimated €12 million cost for
the works would provide a shorter term option pending the delivery of Dart Underground in the longer
term (estimated cost €4 billion)
Other strategic projects for Dublin City include the further development of the Strategic Cycle Network
in accordance with the National cycle Policy Framework. This is a major infrastructural project
4.0 Main Issues & Challenges
In recent years, and since the adoption of the 2011-2017 Development Plan, considerable progress
has been made towards achieving sustainable travel patterns and a reduced reliance on private car
usage. This said, many of the issues facing the city today remain similar, and it is important to focus
on further progressing modal shift to sustainable transport modes in tandem with consolidating the
city and improving accessibility to key destinations. Encouraging sustainable transport modes
requires improving the attractiveness of the environment for walking and cycling and improving the
public transport network towards the NTAs 2030 vision. Initiatives such as the proposed Luas crosscity route, the expansion of Dublin bikes, and the planning and provision of new green
pedestrian/cycle routes can all contribute to a more sustainable and cleaner environment. The city is
also of course the centre of a city region, and improved public transport connectivity with surrounding
counties can add to quality of life and create economic opportunities.
The strategic issues considered of greatest importance and perhaps the biggest challenges facing the
city from a mobility point of view are set out below.
4.1 Integration of Land use and Transportation
The integration of land use and transportation has a key role to play in delivering social, economic
and environmental sustainability. The current City Development Plan has a policy of encouraging high
density development along public transport routes. Restrictive parking policies seek to limit car
parking at destinations while the need to travel generally is minimised by designing mixed used
layouts where people live close to where they work, shop and socialize. Dublin City Council policies,
coupled with improvements in the public transport network, have been successful in integrating land
use and transportation to achieve more sustainable development in accordance with Government
policy for urban areas.
Notwithstanding the progress made, the current policy of locating high-density development along
transport corridors has sometimes been used as a justification for very large-scale development
adjacent to any form of public transport irrespective of its capacity. This approach is not sustainable if
these large-scale developments are largely car dependent and there is not sufficient capacity or
planned capacity on the adjacent public transport network. With this in mind, there is therefore a
necessity to refine land use and transportation policy.
In 2013 the National Transport Authority (NTA) published a document on Planning and Development
of large-scale, rail focused residential areas in Dublin. The document examines how best to deliver
residential densities in areas proximate to public transport corridors. In the Dublin area, a number of
large and medium scale residential development areas on rail-based public transport corridors were
identified for delivery of sustainable neighbourhoods.
Looking at the city‟s development in greater detail, there is an important interrelationship between
public space/movement and connectivity to green infrastructure. This evolving network transcends
many zoning designations and can provide amenities, ecosystem services and sustainable transport
4.2 Sustainable Spatial Strategy
The National Transport Authority‟s Draft Vision for GDA 2030 through its integrated implementation
plans is committed to an infrastructural investment programme for the Greater Dublin Area. The
programme is divided into bus, light rail, heavy rail and various integration measures and services.
This programme for the period 2013-2018 includes annual spending of between 140 and 150 mission
euro up to the year 2018 and includes substantial spending on integration measures. From 2013 to
2018 the NTA will invest close to €900 million on transport infrastructure and related cycling/ walking
infrastructure. This framework seeks to address the twin challenges of past infrastructural investment
backlogs and continuing growth in transport demand.
The Strategy for the GDA is informed by the Regional Planning Guidelines, DoECLG guidelines and a
number of other regional land-use and transportation strategies for major urban areas and their
hinterlands. The document „Smarter Travel – A sustainable Transport Future „ (Department of
Transport Tourism & Sport) is also influential in encouraging the development and growth of more
sustainable modes of transport.
The NTA‟s 2030 draft strategy, through its implementation plan presents real opportunities to achieve
city consolidation and intensification in a sustainable manner. At the heart of the City‟s new
Development Plan should be a spatial strategy that reflects the objectives of Vision 2030. The new
development plan should identify areas that are best placed to accommodate intensification where
most movement can be accommodated by public transport. The current policies for the integration of
land use and transportation need to be reviewed in the next Development Plan if the city is to
maximise the benefits of current and future investments in transport infrastructure as part of the NTAs
vision. In this regard spatial planning and zoning objectives need to be integrated to optimise the
opportunities close to transport hubs, corridors and other interchanges.
While the new plan needs to clearly identify which are the most accessible areas in the city, it must
also recognise the role of public transport and Vision 2030 in delivering intensification at different
levels. Different categories of public transport can accommodate different scales of development. For
example, the capacity of a Quality Bus Corridor (QBC) is quite different from that of BRT or LUAS.
The plan must also recognise that some locations of the city have poor public transport accessibility
or lack of capacity and that the 2030 Vision may not improve this situation with strategic solutions
during the term of the development plan. It may therefore be appropriate to examine these areas with
a view to addressing such shortfalls by way of improving access to existing/planned services.
4.3 Regional Dimension
Dublin as a capital city and a regional employment centre must accommodate the movement
requirements not only of the Dublin City area but also those of surrounding counties on a daily basis.
The challenge is how to integrate the policy approach that promotes sustainable transport and modal
shift with similar policies of surrounding counties, thereby ensuring a consistent approach across the
4.4 Future of the City Centre
The Inner City population is expected to grow significantly on foot of local level plans and general
redevelopment. Currently over 190,000 commuters travel to the city centre in the morning and this is
projected to increase significantly by 2020. This will put the city‟s limited physical infrastructure under
pressure. The major challenge is how best to manage access to and mobility within the city,
particularly having regard to the significantly increased numbers of people projected to live and work
within the canals. Consideration of the function of streets is important as some are primarily vehicular
transit routes for example, whilst others have capacity to have their amenity improved and their use
diversified – perhaps some could be pedestrianised, or cater for wider cycle paths and cycle parking.
Kerbside space is in increasing demand, particularly in the city centre, and the growth of both electric
car usage and also car clubs increases competition for this space further.
Because the City Centre is the most accessible area in terms of public transport, it is therefore the
most appropriate area to consolidate as intensification here can be accommodated in a sustainable
manner. There are real opportunities presented by an integrated public transport network, especially
areas of interchange and transport hubs. Policy and zoning objectives should reflect the opportunities
presented at these locations.
The provision of the integrated public transport network envisaged in the NTAs draft strategy for 2030
also presents challenges - not least how can we keep the city moving during construction. Coordinated traffic management plans are required which make provision for alternative traffic routes
and for enhanced public transport priority measures, while seeking to take account of various
interests, including the business community. A major issue we need to address is how the city‟s
limited road space can accommodate the spatial needs of public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and
the private car. Volumes of through-traffic remain an issue to be addressed in the context of
emerging policy.
4.5 Mobility Management
The city‟s road network is under constant pressure from vehicular traffic – particularly at peak times. It
is necessary to encourage as much travel as possible by sustainable means, that is, by public
transport, walking and cycling, and there are many dimensions to this approach. It begins by having a
sustainable spatial strategy whereby we locate high density development in the most accessible
locations. But it also involves designing new areas in a way which minimises the need to travel, by
providing mixed uses, by putting the pedestrian and cyclist at the heart of the design, and by
developing layouts which incorporate public transport or improved linkages to public transport.
Mobility Management can generally be described as a transport demand management mechanism
that seeks to provide for the transportation needs of people and goods. It can be applied as a
strategic demand management tool or as a site-specific (or area-specific) measure. The aim is to
reduce demand for, and use of cars by increasing the attractiveness and practicality of other modes of
transport. The Mobility Management approach was strengthened in the 2011-2017 Dublin City
Development Plan. Since then a further dimension has been added to that approach in the form of
proactive engagement and collaboration with communities, schools, workplaces and agencies to bring
about modal shift on the ground. Projects such as Hike It Bike It Like It Drimnagh! demonstrate that a
partnership approach between the City Council and local communities can be successful in changing
how people in an area travel from day to day. This proactive engagement and collaboration approach
could be formalised in the new Development Plan through the inclusion of new policies and
Under the „Green schools‟ initiative run by An Taisce, classwork promotes environmental
sustainability through new initiatives in the day to day running of the school that can reduce waste and
energy consumption. Walking /cycling to school is one way of improving sustainability, and a green
flag is awarded by An Taisce to schools successfully completing the programme. Such initiatives
deserve recognition and promotion.
4.6 Public Transport
Public transport is essential for Dublin City. It reduces transport‟s impact on the environment by
providing an alternative to the car and supports a more consolidated, compact form of development in
the Metropolitan Area. It is the only means of transport that can provide the capacity needed to move
the large volumes of people who travel to work, education, shops and leisure facilities in the Greater
Dublin Area each day.
The Government's investment strategy for public transport in the GDA is integrated in the NTA 2030
Vision. Transport projects such as the proposed Rail interconnector, Bus investment programme and
further Luas Line construction and extension will provide an integrated public transport system for the
Dublin Area. The provision of such a public transport system enhances competitiveness, safeguards
the environment, sustains economic progress, promotes sustainable development and contributes to
social cohesion.
It is the policy of Dublin City Council to encourage change from private car use towards increased use
of more sustainable forms of transport. Dublin City Council has actively supported all measures being
implemented or proposed by the Railway Procurement Agency, Iarnrod Eireann, Dublin Bus and other
agencies to enhance capacity on existing lines/services and provide new infrastructure including
extension of Luas, Interconnector, BRT and additional Bus Routes. The responsibility for public
transport, including the setting of priorities, rests with a number of transport agencies including the
City Council through its Development Plan and traffic management systems. Strategic coordination
and cooperation between the various agencies is necessary.
4.7 Cycling
Cycling has the potential to transform the city‟s quality of life in terms of health and environment and
is considered an efficient, fast and relatively inexpensive form of transport. It is the policy of Dublin
City Council to give priority to improved pedestrian and cycling facilities both within the inner city and
the outer city as part of an integrated approach to the management of movement. In order to meet the
national target for 10% modal share for cycling, Dublin City Council must achieve 25% modal share
for cyclists. This requires a proactive approach to the promotion of cycling and the implementation of
the Strategic Cycle Network as envisaged in NTA‟s comprehensive draft „Greater Dublin Area Cycle
Network Plan‟. This plan covers a ten year period and includes many detailed routes, following on
from the National Cycle Planning Policy Framework 2009-2020 (NCPF).
The number of cyclists entering Dublin City has increased by a significant 52% over the period 2010
to 2013 (canal ring cordon count). This significant increase reflects a number of measures introduced
in the past six years to promote cycling in the city – including the highly successful „Dublin bikes‟ bike
rental scheme, the provision of cycle lanes including the successful Grand Canal Cycleway, public
awareness campaigns to promote cycling, and the expansion of the 30kph city centre speed limit.
The new City Development Plan will build on the success of cycling in the City to date, and will aim to
further increase the mode share of cycling and also facilitate a cycling culture in the city. The duration
of the next plan will see further progress in the expansion of the cycle network along all major
waterbodies including the river Liffey and the canals. The recent expansion of the Dublinbikes
scheme will also encourage cycling. The City Council will work with the NTAs draft „Cycle Network
Plan for the Greater Dublin Area‟ in order to develop a more comprehensive cycle network. The
network plan contains proposed cycle routes illustrated in detail.
An emerging issue is that of cycle parking requirements as some cycle parking facilities are
increasingly congested. There is a need for strategic high-quality off-street cycle parks, particularly in
the city centre and close to key destinations.
4.8 Walking
Almost all travellers are pedestrians at some point of their journey i.e. getting to and from the bus
stop, car park, Dart/train station or Luas stop. The quality of the pedestrian experience is therefore
important to people's perception and enjoyment of the City Centre, and to the economic and social life
of the wider city. The creation of a walkable city is a key aim.
At present, conflict may arise between pedestrians and other road users of the City Centre and other
neighbourhoods where both compete for the limited street space available. In recent years the rise in
the number of cyclists has increased conflict between pedestrians and cyclists. This is particularly
problematic on the main routes between the north and south retail areas such as Dame
Street/College Green and Westmoreland Street for example. It is anticipated that there will be
additional pressure placed on footpaths and the public realm as more public transport facilities are
provided and as additional pedestrian movements are accommodated arising from the realisation of
the 2030 Vision.
A coordinated approach to the management of street space and clear demarcation of space for
different users along routes will be needed in the future to significantly reduce the conflict between
users and to accommodate increased pedestrian movement. Improvements for pedestrians can be in
the form of more direct links and footpaths, improved surfaces and pedestrian amenities, increased
circulation space, and reduced waiting times at road crossings. Efficient traffic management on busy
streets is also an important factor in maintaining a quality pedestrian environment. Illegal parking for
example can degrade the pedestrian environment.
4.9 Car Parking
Car parking is an essential element of overall land-use and transportation policy within the city. The
current Development Plan sets out accessibility based parking policy and standards. The standards
set out are generally regarded as maximum standards with provision in excess only permitted in
exceptional circumstances.
The current car parking standards seek to ensure that an appropriate level of parking is provided to
serve new development. For the purpose of parking control the City Council Area is divided into three
zones. Zone 1 is generally within the inner city, Zone 2 occurs alongside transport corridors and the
remainder of the city falls under Zone 3. Car parking provision in Zones 1 and 2 is restricted on
account of the proximity of these locations to good public transport links.
The limitation of parking provision in association with developments is acknowledged as essential in
encouraging sustainable travel choices and tackling congestion. There may be scope to further
reduce parking provision in new developments where they are well served by public transport, or
in/close to a higher-order centre that can be easily accessed by other non-car modes. When
considering this approach, care must be taken not to create such a disincentive as to encourage
development to locate away from the city or town centres. It needs to be recognised that an element
of short term car parking may be essential to maintain the competitiveness of the City Centre versus
out of town locations.
In recognition of national, regional and city policy, most new housing units in the city area will be in
the form of apartments. These will form part of high density mixed use developments that must be
sensitively woven into the existing fabric of the city. While there could be scope to reduce residential
car parking in such developments with good accessibility to public transport, the availability and
accessibility of some secure car parking will likely be a determining factor in seeking to encourage
more families to live in the city.
There have been instances where residents of new developments have opted not to buy parking
spaces in favour of parking on the surrounding streets and on footpaths instead. This results in an
unsafe and degraded environment for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Conditions of planning
permission, which are currently used to manage this practice, may therefore need review.
The preservation of some on-street car parking as a resource for the city will be necessary. There is a
finite supply of car parking on the city‟s streets and there is huge demand placed on existing spaces
by retail and commercial uses. Also, in some parts of the city residents are reliant on communal onstreet car parking spaces in areas where there is increasing competition for limited kerb-side space.
Road Infrastructure
The provision of an Eastern By-Pass Route.
The route corridor of this by-pass shall be protected under the NTAs strategy, but the overall by-pass
shall not be delivered by 2030. Possible incremental implementation may occur.
Leinster Orbital Route
The route of this shall also be protected under the NTAs strategy and whilst some work may take
place, it is not expected to be fully delivered under the 2030 vision. Whilst not located in the city area,
this decision may have implications for city traffic.
Environment, Health & Society
As set out in the NTA‟s Draft 2030 Vision, a key objective is to secure a sustainable transport network
that balances economic, social and environmental considerations. In particular, the need to reduce
the energy intensity of the transport sector and control transport CO2 emissions is recognised.
Increasingly there is a greater awareness of the potential negative impact of transport on the
environment, in terms of air quality, noise pollution and the effects of CO2, NO2, and particulate
emissions. Mode of travel has environmental, health and social impacts. A shift to public transport,
cycling and walking not only reduces fossil fuel consumption and a wide range of air emissions, it also
makes for a healthier population and generates more active and vibrant streets and spaces. In
Dublin City, transport accounts for 25% of the primary energy consumption and 26% of CO2
In the greater Dublin Area, the car share for commuting to work has increased by 2% in the period
2006-2011 to 57.7% (car drivers). The national level equivalent was a 4% increase. This upward trend
adds to road congestion and increased emissions. Dublin City Council seeks to deal with sustainable
transport issues in a proactive manner. A further development of Development Plan policy would
ensure that sustainable transport issues are incorporated as a key element in the planning process.
The challenge is to encourage people out of the car to more sustainable forms of transport through
the provision of traffic and demand management measures whilst supporting the delivery of the NTA
transport projects. There are opportunities for more sustainable energy use in the transport sector (as
well as other sectors).
5.0 Summary of Strategic Issues/Questions.
Integration of Land use and Transportation
How can the new plan seek to facilitate better coordination between land-use and transportation
facilities in order to achieve more sustainable development?
Should the most accessible areas be defined/mapped?
How can the scale of development in these areas be matched to transport capacity or can
capacity be increased to allow for intensification?
How can the plan maximise development potential at certain key public transport
corridors/interchange points?
How much development can industrial lands, Key Development Areas, and Key District Centres
accommodate in a sustainable manner having regard to existing and future public transport
Regional Dimension
How can the regional dimension of transportation and movement (including cycling) be
addressed in the next Development Plan?
Future of the City Centre
What is the role for the car, pedestrian and cyclist within the City Centre area?
Should the public realm be modified to favour pedestrian traffic
- by increasing
pedestrian/footpath space ?
Are the existing residential car parking standards sustainable? Is there demand for private car
storage as distinct from car usage ?
Given the context of improving public transport, are there possibilities for further limiting carparking provision in future?
Mobility Management & Smarter Travel Promotion
Do the existing policies in relation to mobility management need to be strengthened and
expanded? At what scale of proposed development (ie threshold) should Mobility Management
Plans (MMPs) be a requirement?
How can design influence and promote more sustainable travel patterns?
Should DCC collaborate more proactively with communities, schools, workplaces and agencies
to encourage more public transport walking and cycling? If so, in what ways should DCC work
with these groups to encourage sustainable travel?
Public Transport
How can the Development Plan promote integration/connectivity of public transport services
which still have poor onward connections to other public transport modes?
How can the Development Plan address:
Limited multi-modal public transport information.
Poor quality passenger interchange facilities.
Difficulties in accessing public transport by foot and cycle.
Further development of integrated ticketing.
Limited Real Time Passenger Information (i.e. it is not available across all transport
(f) Congestion and restricted capacity of public transport at peak times
How can strategic coordination and cooperation between the various agencies providing public
transport in the city be improved particularly in the context of the long lead time until delivery of
strategic public transport projects.
What measures would encourage a greater changeover from private car to public transport? e.g.
greater frequency and additional priority for buses; provision of Park & Ride facilities, etc.
How can the cycling environment be improved to facilitate cyclists in the city area?
(a) Reduced traffic volumes and a reallocation of road space on cycle routes?
(b) Improved and additional cycle infrastructure such as kerb separated bike lanes,
dedicated Strategic Cycle Streets and good quality surfaces on cycle routes?
(c) Provision of sufficient and appropriately designed cycle parking facilities particularly
at transport interchanges, along rail lines and key bus corridors?
(d) Cycle friendly planning and design of new developments?
What policies/ initiatives would help to reduce private car journeys to schools?
How can public transport support cycling? Existing bye-laws do not permit bicycles onto Luas,
Dart or Dublin Bus. Are there any innovative measures which can address this issue?
Are additional cycle parking and storage facilities required in the city?
What form should cycle parking facilities take? Should they be provided on the street/footpath or
off street in car parks such as the Drury Street facility?
Are additional cycle parking and storage facilities required to be provided at transport
interchanges along rail lines and key bus corridors?
How can a satisfactory cycle network be developed in the existing urban fabric of the city?
Should existing road space be reallocated in favour of cyclists? How can this network be
extended beyond the M50, to the whole region? Are there opportunities to extend the cycle
network to the wider public realm, e.g. parks, canal banks and the coast?
Should further measures to promote cycling in the city (such as the Dublin Bikes Scheme) be
undertaken and if so, what measures should be prioritized?
How can increased pedestrian movement be accommodated in the existing limited public space.
What measures are needed to create a good quality street environment to provide a safer and
more attractive setting for people to move around, socialise and to do business?
Should existing road space be dramatically reallocated to facilitate increased pavement widths,
plazas and the creation of shared surfaces?
Should an extension to the pedestrianised street network in the City Centre be considered?
Should on-street car parking be removed in certain areas to facilitate the development of an
enhanced pedestrian environment?
Should the idea of „homezones‟ - i.e. traffic restricted residential areas where priority is given to
pedestrians, cyclists and children at play – be promoted in the city ?
Car Parking
Should the amount of parking provision for large scale retail/commercial developments continue
to be strictly limited?
How can the plan deliver the national policy of reducing parking in highly accessible locations
whilst satisfying the desire to retain the retail vitality of the City Centre?
Are car parking standards in the current Development Plan appropriate and adequate? If not,
how should they be modified?
Should tighter controls on parking provision or no provision in the vicinity of public transport
nodes be encouraged?
Is the availability of accessible and secure car parking for new housing units in the city area an
issue that should be addressed in the context of seeking to attract more families to move into the
City Centre?
Should the potential of car clubs be explored in those areas were parking is restrained?
Is there a case for providing municipal parking at key locations throughout the city given the
increased pressure for on street parking?
Should car stacking and car lifts be permitted?
Road Infrastructure
The route of the previously proposed Eastern By-Pass is to be protected but no work shall take
place under the 2030 vision (or under the shorter term implementation plan). Does this raise
concerns relating to traffic that may need to be addressed by alternative means in the shorter
The Leinster Orbital Route may not be fully delivered under the NTAs 2030 Vision. Does this
raise related issues to be addressed by the next Development Plan?
Environmental & Other Considerations
What policies and objectives can be used to encourage modal change from private car use to
more sustainable forms of transport?
What measures can be taken to facilitate the mainstreaming of sustainability criteria into land
use and transportation decision-making?
How can the Development Plan promote the use of cleaner, more environmentally-friendly
vehicles, such as biofuel and hybrid-electric technologies for public transport, the haulage
industry and taxi industry?
How can we promote short-term car rental schemes (bio-cars), car sharing schemes and car
How can DCC better promote the health, social and economic benefits of sustainable travel?
Profile of the Dublin Region’s Population
Profile of Dublin City’s Population
3.1 Dublin Inner City and Rest of City
3.2 City Age Profile
Families and Household Composition
Marital Status
Non-Irish National Population
Components of Population Change
The 0-19 age cohort.
The 20-24 age cohort
The 25-39 age cohort
The 40-64 age cohort
Older Persons (65years +)
Housing Stock, Unit Types, and Vacancy Levels
Average Household & Housing Typologies
Social Housing Needs and Provision
Other Housing Issues
Population and Housing projections
5.1 Future population projections
Method based on RPG targets
Method based on CSO projections 2013
Comparison of the two approaches
5.2 Relation of Future Populations with Housing Stock
Regional Planning Guidelines Population and Housing Stock Targets.
Housing Agency Report; Quantum of housing needed.
ESRI Report; Quantum of housing needed.
Comparing RPG, ESRI and Housing Agency figures
Accommodating housing units: Where and How
Issues/Questions for Consideration
1.0 Introduction
Population and housing trends for Dublin City Council are set out in this Background Paper for the
Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2023.
This paper sets Dublin City Council in the context of the Dublin Region and the Greater Dublin Area,
and in the state context. The population and housing statistics, trends and projections set out in this
paper are based on a range of sources including census data, regional population projections,
housing projections and housing completions data.
2.0 Profile of the Dublin Region’s Population
In 2011, Dublin City had a population of 527,612 persons, comprising of 257,303 males and 270,309
females. This equates to 11.5% (11.49%) of the state‟s population, which stood at 4,588,252 in April
2011. This percentage of 11.5% has reduced from 13.6% in 1991, reflecting significant growth levels
outside the city in recent years rather than any population drop in the city. The city‟s population has
been steadily increasing over time, having grown by 10% since 1991.
Census Year
Dublin City
South Dublin
The population of the Dublin Region, comprising the four Dublin local authorities of Dublin City
Council, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and South Dublin County
Council, in 2011 was 1,273,063. Dublin City‟s share of the Region‟s population is 41.4%. This is a
much higher proportion than any of the other Dublin Local Authorities.
Local Authority
Percentage share of the
Regions population
Dublin City
Dun Laoghaire
South Dublin
However, in examining the intercensus percentage changes over the 1991-2011 period, Dublin City
has lagged significantly behind both the state and other GDA Local Authorities in terms of rate of
There was 24% growth in the Dublin Region as a whole over the 1991-2011 period. The growth rates
in the three adjoining Dublin authorities vary, ranging from 11.5% (11.49%) in Dun LaoighreRathdown, 27% in South Dublin to 79% in Fingal.
In the context of the Greater Dublin Area, the Mid-East Region (Kildare, Meath and Wicklow) has
grown by 62.3% from 325,291 to 531,087 over the same intercensus period. Over this period, the
population of the state has increased by 30% from 3,525,719 to 4,588,252.
With regard to the wider area, Census figures confirm that population dispersal is continuing in the
Greater Dublin Area and beyond, with strong population growth across Leinster in a sporadic manner.
See thematic map below.
3.0 Profile of Dublin City’s Population
3.1 Dublin Inner City and Rest of City:
Within the Dublin City Council area there has been very significant differences in population change
between the inner city (i.e. between the canals) and the rest of the city. Between 1991 and 2011, the
inner city population grew by 61.6% (over 51,000) whilst the rest of the city declined by 1.2%. This
reflects significant redevelopment of inner city sites for apartment developments and residential uses
as part of mixed use developments .The graph below shows the broader trend since 1991.
Population (000’s); Inner city & rest of city 1991-2011
Inner city
Dublin Inner City Growth: 1991-2011
Dublin City Growth, excluding within the Canal Ring: 1991-2011
In the most recent intercensus period, 2006-2011, the city population grew by 4.2% , or 21,401
persons. Most of this growth was within the inner city, which has seen 9.5% growth in the 2006-2011
period. This contrasts sharply with only 1.9 % growth in the rest of the city, and this limited growth
follows a period of marginal population decline.
Census 2011 highlights that only one constituency, Dublin North-Central, showed a population
decrease (-1.0%) since Census 2006, with 24,834 people per TD in April 2011. This was the lowest
population per TD in the country. (This is Ireland - Highlights from Census 2011, Part 1, March 2012).
3.2 Age Profile
Dublin city‟s position as a capital city is reflected in the age structure of the city. In 2011, Dublin city
had significantly higher proportions of its population in the 20-34 age categories than the State as a
whole. 31.5% (166,706 persons) of the total city‟s population comprises of persons in the 20-34 age
cohort, and this is reflected in the age pyramid for Dublin city.
The dependency ratio for Dublin city can also be indicative of city‟s age structure. However, it is noted
that this tool can be a rather crude measure as variations can occur due to the number of people in
third level education, and due also to number of people aged over 65 who continue to work . This
caveat is particularly relevant in this local authority, due to the location of a large number of third level
institutions in the capital city.
The total dependency ratio for the state in 2011 was 49.3%, an increase from 45.8% in 2006. On a
state level, this indicates approximately one young or old person for every two people of working age
in Ireland. In Dublin City, the dependency ratio stood at 38.4%, marginally behind Galway City‟s rate
of 34.9%, which was the lowest dependency rate in the state.
In terms of age cohorts for Dublin city, the city‟s population as it stood in 2011 comprises of the
The largely pre-adult (0-19 years) age cohort comprises of 20.7% of the city‟s population
The young adult (19-24 years) age cohort comprises of 8.98% of the city‟s population
The 25-39 age cohort comprises 30.5% of the city‟s population
The 40-64 age cohort comprises 27.1% of the city‟s population
�This is Ireland – Highlights from Census 2011 – Part 1’; CSO, March 2012.
The older people (65yrs +) age cohort comprises 12.6% of the city‟s population
The structure of the population is illustrated in the population pyramid below which shows relative
proportions of each age group. Relatively high figures are evident in the late teens to early 40s
Population Structure of Dublin City, 2011
Source: Census 2011, Profile 2: Younger and Older, Central Statistics Office, 2012.
Percentages in different age categories;
65 plus
3.2.1 The 0-19 Age Cohort
Comprising 20.7% of the city‟s population, or 109,243 persons, Dublin has a lesser proportion of
young people aged 19 and under than the corresponding state figure of 27.5%.
The CSO publication on Census 2011 „Profile 2 - Older and Younger‟ (May 2012) highlights that
although the recent increase in births for the State overall is evident from Census 2011, it is far less
pronounced in Dublin, and that the number of school children is fairly stable at about 5,000 for every
year of age. The actual increase for this age cohort over the 2006-2011 intercensal period is 3,540
persons, or 3.3%.
3.2.2 The Young Adult (20-24 years) age cohort
Comprising almost 9%, or 47,406 persons, of the city‟s population in 2011, this figure of 47,406
represents a decrease of 17.5% from that contained in Census 2006, when it stood at 55,716
In discussing the wider age cohort of the 15-29 age group, Census 2011 highlights that in comparing
the population structure for the state in 2011 to 2006, that in 2011 the number of people in Ireland
increased across all ages, except in the in 15-29 age cohort. This is explained as being due to the
decline in births in the late 1980s and early 1990s, combined with the effects of migration, especially
on those in their mid-twenties. (This is Ireland – Highlights from Census 2011, Part 1; CSO, March
2012). This reduction in the 20-24 age cohort over the 2006-2011 timeframe contrasts with an
increase in the proportion of Dublin city‟s population in the 25-39 age bracket over the same period.
3.2.3 The 25-39 age cohort
Census 2011 shows that the total number of persons for the 25-39 age cohort stood at 161,083 in
April 2011. This represents an increase of 9% for this category since Census 2006, when the total for
this cohort was 147,781 persons.
3.2.4 The 40-64 age cohort
Census 2011 shows that there are 143,390 persons within this age cohort in Dublin city, which
represents 27.1% of the city‟s population. This is an 8% increase over the corresponding figure in
Census 2006.
3.2.5 Older Persons (65years +)
There are 66,490 persons over the age of 65 years in the city. This represents 12.6% of the city‟s
population. This is similar to the corresponding proportion at state level, which was 11.6% (535,393
persons) in 2011. The state‟s figure for Census 2011 is also similar to that for Census 2006, which
stood at 11.03% of the population.
It is apparent that there is some increase in the proportion of those in the 70+ age cohort above the
corresponding figure for the state. The population of those aged 70+ comprises of 48,031 persons,
which is 9.1% of the city‟s population. This is slightly higher than the corresponding figure for the state
as a whole, which stands at 7.8%.
Source: Census 2011, Area Profile
Dublin City, (www.cso.ie.)
Life expectancy in the Dublin region is 75.2 years for males and 80.2 years for females, broadly
similar to the state figures (2006 figures).
3.3 Families and Household Composition
The Central Statistics Office (CSO) uses the following categories for family units:
Pre-family: Family nucleus of married or cohabiting couple without children where female is
under 45 years;
Empty-nest: Family nucleus of married or cohabiting couple without children where female is
aged between 45 and 64 years;
Retired: Family nucleus of married or cohabiting couple without children where female is
aged 65 years and over;
Pre-school: Family nucleus where oldest child is aged 0-4 years;
Early-school: Family nucleus where oldest child is aged 5-9 years;
Pre-adolescent: Family nucleus where oldest child is aged 10-14 years;
Adolescent: Family nucleus where oldest child is aged 15-19 years;
Adult: Family nucleus where oldest child is aged 20 years and over
The following table sets out the „Families by family cycle‟ for Dublin City.
Families by family cycle
Family cycle
Empty nest
Early school
Number of
(Source: CSO Census Data (Census 2011 (SAPS)).
Household composition
There were 208,008 private households in the city area in 2011. There has been a continuing trend
for smaller family sizes in the state generally over recent censuses. In 2011, the average number of
children per family was 1.4. When compared with state averages, Dublin City has a much higher
proportion of one person households and a much lower percentage of couples with children (see
Table below). In 2011 the average number of persons per household in the city was 2.4, having
dropped from 2.6 in 2002. The average number of children per family in Dublin city was 1.2
compared with 1.4 nationally.
Dublin City 2011
Dublin City
No. of
Lone parent family
One person
Couple without children
(Including married couples and cohabiting
Couple with children
(Including married couples and cohabiting
Marital status
Of those aged 15 and over, 54% of the city‟s
population was single in 2011, 35% married,
and the remainder split between those
widowed or divorced/separated.
Non-Irish National Population
There were 544,357 non-Irish nationals in Ireland in April 2011, which comprises 12% of the state‟s
population. Dublin city had 88,083 non-Irish nationals in the same year, out of a stated city population
of 511,344. This equates to 17.2% of the city‟s population. After Galway City and Fingal, it is the third
highest proportion in the state, well above the national average figure of 12%. The number of nonIrish nationals in Dublin city increased by 14,049 persons in the period 2006-11.
The following pie-chart shows that the highest proportions of the non-Irish national population in
Dublin City are from Asia, Poland, and the UK.
Numbers of Non-Irish Nationals in Dublin City 2011 – by Nationality;
By comparison, Leinster as a whole has higher proportions from Poland and the UK, but less from
Asia, and America;
Non-Irish Nationals in Leinster
7% 2%
The data contained on Non-National Population is taken from �This is Ireland – Highlights from Census 2011,
Part 1’ (CSO, March 2012) and from �Census 2011, Profile 6 –Migration and Diversity’ (CSO, October 2012). For
the purposes of this Background Paper, the data outlined in this section follows the statistics set out in Table 2
in �Census 2011, Profile 6 –Migration and Diversity’ (CSO, October 2012).
Components of population change
Population change over time is a function of natural increase (births and deaths combined) and net
migration. In the case of Dublin City, the majority (88%) of population change 2006-11 is attributable
to natural increase, which has been the main component of growth. The city had the fourth highest
natural increase by county in the period 2006-11, as South Dublin, Fingal and Cork County were
higher. Since 1991, migration has played a significant role, with net outward migration replaced by
fluctuating levels of net inward migration, reflecting changes in economic climate and corresponding
employment opportunity.
(a) Dublin City; components of population change.
Total estimated net migration
Natural Increase
Population change
(b) Dublin Region; components of population change.
Total estimated
net migration
Natural Increase
When compared with Dublin City it is clear that migration figures for the Dublin Region have formed a
more substantial proportion of population growth in the last two intercensus periods - for example,
accounting for 22.2% of change in 2006-11 compared with 12% for the city. However, the level of
net migration has been increasing in the city in the latest intercensal period, whilst it has been
declining in the broader Dublin Region (see graphs above).
4.1 Housing Stock, Unit Types, and Vacancy Levels
There were 241,678 housing units in Dublin City in 2011. Dublin city‟s housing stock is 45.8% of that
of the Dublin Region, which stood at 527,665 units in 2011. Between 2006 and 2011, the housing
stock of the city increased by 8.3%, compared to that of the state, which grew by 12.7%.
As can be seen in the table below taken from the most recent census, the city area has a much higher
proportion of flats/apartments/bedsits than the state, and a lower proportion of houses/bungalows.
Dublin City Permanent Housing Stock 2011
Dwelling Type
Dublin City
Occupied or Usually Occupied
House or Bungalow
Flat, Apartment, Bedsit
Not Stated
Holiday Home
Of which
Of which
Source: Census 2011
In 2011, of the 208,008 private households in the city, 69,194 households were flats/apartments/bedsits. These represent 33% of private households in the city.
If we examine the inter-census period 2006 - 2011, the City increased its housing stock by over 8%, a
lower figure than that for the state. During the same period, it reduced its proportion of vacant units
from 11.7% in 2006 to 10.2% in 2011, which compares with an increase in the proportion of vacant
units at state level (see table below). For comparison, the vacancy rates in Cork city, Galway City and
Limerick City were all marginally higher in 2011.
Dublin City Total Housing Stock and Vacancy Levels, 2006-2011
Dublin 2006
Dublin 2011
% Change 20062011
Total Housing
Vacant units ;
Vacancy rate
Equivalent State figures, 2006-2011
State 2006
State 2011
% Change 20062011
Total Housing
Vacant Units
Vacancy Rate
Source: Census 2006 & Census 2011.
Average Household Size & Housing Typologies
Household Size
Average household size is an important consideration in estimating the number of housing units
required to meet a projected population increase.
In 2011, the average household size in Dublin was 2.4, having dropped from 2.6 in 2002 ( and well
below the corresponding state figure of 2.7. ) These figures compare to the state averages of 2.8 in
Census 2006, and 2.94 in Census 2002. This indicates that there is a continuation of the trend
towards smaller household size both nationally and in Dublin city.
In terms of the Dublin Region, there is some variation in average household size across the four
Dublin local authorities. The average household size is Dublin Region is 2.7 (2011), based on a range
from 2.4 in Dublin City and 2.7 in Dun Laoighre-Rathdown, to 2.9 in both Fingal and South Dublin.
The average figure of 2.7 is consistent with the corresponding state figure.
Average household size figures are particularly useful in estimating demand for different residential
typologies in the city.
Housing Typologies
Dublin city needs to encourage innovation in housing typology which delivers on peoples‟ housing
preferences in a sustainable manner. The theme of exploring new housing designs is directly linked to
optimising the use of urban land, achieving efficiencies in public transport and achieving high quality
residential and mixed use environments.
Currently, there are pressures to provide low density suburban houses, and also pressures to provide
studios or micro-apartments. A recent report from the Housing Agency indicates that 57% of the
demand for new housing in the Dublin region in the 2014 - 2018 period will be for one and two person
households, and this has consequences for the type and density of housing supply required.
Issues arising include; how can the development plan encourage the provision of house types for all
life stages, and also to potentially facilitate stock rotation in order to ensure existing larger homes are
available for families.
Central to this topic is the argument that the existing apartment standards, as set out in the current
development plan, should be maintained, and perhaps enhanced, particularly in inner city locations, in
order that apartments can be made attractive to a wider variety of households, including larger
households. In addition, as the population of the city is ageing, there may be a need to explore special
retirement style accommodation.
Social Housing Needs and Provision
The Housing Agency‟s „Housing Needs Assessment 2011‟ states that 8,091 households in the Dublin
City Council area were in need of social housing support in March 2011. However, this has increased
in the intervening period and Dublin City Council is continuing to experience very strong demand for
social housing. The Housing Needs Assessment publication is compiled every 3 years (in accordance
with the Housing Act 1988) and therefore an equivalent figure for 2014 will be taken into account
when available.
The City Councils current housing stock comprises over 25,000 units which need to be maintained on
an ongoing basis. There are approx. 50 flat complexes that are in excess of 50 years old, and these
are in need of refurbishment to extend their life and bring them up to modern standard.
Dublin City Council‟s Public Private Partnership projects collapsed with the downturn in the economy
and the associated decline in the property market in 2008. In this context, a multidisciplinary task
force was established by Dublin City Council which has secured permission for the initial phase(s) of
regeneration at O‟Devaney Gardens, Dominick Street, St. Teresa‟s Gardens and Dolphin House. The
initial phase of the redevelopment of St. Michael‟s Estate, now named Thornton Heights, has been
occupied in 2014.
A challenge for Dublin City Council is the growing demand for social housing and how to increase the
provision of social housing in regeneration areas and elsewhere in the context of constrained
exchequer funding and restricted capital expenditure.
The Council, in consultation with institutional investors, is seeking to reduce its reliance on Exchequer
funding and devise a model which will not negatively impact on the public sector borrowing
requirement. In addition to the development of a new funding and management model, the priorities of
the Dublin City Council Housing Department are to increase the supply of social housing, to improve
existing housing stock, to support independent living, to improve housing services, and to address the
needs of people experiencing homelessness.
The Council will take account of the forthcoming publication of a new Social Housing Strategy by the
Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Also, the forthcoming Planning Bill is likely to include new Part V provisions requiring developers to
provide up to 10% of their housing units for social housing, in order to ensure that social housing units
will be located predominantly on the site where the original development is located. If enacted, this
would mark a significant change in approach compared with current provisions.
Other Specific Housing Issues
Student Accommodation
As a capital city, Dublin city has large number of third level educational institutions. These institutions
are located both in the inner and outer city, and give rise to a demand for student accommodation.
Notwithstanding the fact that approximately 50% of full time students in Dublin live at home, there is a
need for high quality, purpose built and professionally managed student accommodation in Dublin
city. The demand for purpose built student accommodation has become more acute given recent
increases in the costs of private rented accommodation.
There is scope to provide more purpose built student accommodation which could relieve pressure on
the houses in multiple occupation (and potentially free up some family homes) and provide additional
high quality student accommodation for a growing sector of the economy.
Homelessness is a growing problem in Dublin city. Dublin City Council is the lead statutory authority
for homelessness in the Dublin region and continues to implement the Homeless Action Plan. The
main emphasis of the Homeless Action Plan and a major challenge for the Council is to continue to
provide for long-term accommodation in line with Government policy which is to take a housing-led
approach to tackling homelessness.
Traveller Accommodation
Traveller disadvantage issues are being addressed at Inter Agency and Local Traveller
Accommodation Consultative Committee levels. Culturally appropriate Traveller group housing
schemes, halting sites or a combination of both are designed and provided in consultation with
prospective Traveller tenants.
A Draft Traveller Accommodation Programme for the period 2014-2018 has recently been approved
and this contains an evaluation of the previous traveller accommodation plan (2009-2013), and an
assessment of accommodation needs. Details of the new programme are then set out and this
includes specific proposals for various parts of the city .
Press release on DoECLG website dated 14 October 2014, stating that a new Social Housing Strategy which will be published shortly
which will further expand Social Housing provision, and that the Strategy will harness new funding streams to underpin
additional investment in housing.
5.0 Population and Housing Projections
Future Population of the City
For purposes of preparing a draft development plan settlement strategy, a target figure for (end of)
2022 is desirable given that the next City Development Plan will be for the period 2016-22. There are
two sources of estimated/target future population figures; (i) Regional Planning Guidelines, and (ii)
Census projections. Each of these is different in approach. Any available updated information will be
used at the time of draft plan preparation during 2015. The two approaches are summarised and
evaluated below.
Method based on RPG targets
The Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area combines two Regional Authority areas
- the Dublin Regional Authority, or DRA, (comprising Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council,
South Dublin County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council), and the Mid-East
Regional Authority (comprising Meath County Council, Kildare County Council and Wicklow County
Council) for the purposes of regional planning.
The eight regional authorities in the state, of which the DRA and the Mid-East Regional Authority form
two, are to be reconstituted into 3 regional assemblies in January 2015.
The 7 local authorities which make up the GDA are, along with Louth, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly
and Laois, to comprise the forthcoming „Midlands and Eastern Regional Assembly‟. One of the key
tasks of the new regional assemblies will be the preparation of Regional Spatial and Economic
Strategies (RSES), expected to run from 2016-2022, and which will replace current regional planning
In the context of the preparation of the new draft development plan, it is highlighted that the current
Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2010-2022 were published in 2010. As
such, the RPG future targets were drawn up in 2010 based on available data up to and including the
2006 census only.
While much of the information contained in this background paper on population is derived from the
RPGs 2010-2022, it should be noted that anticipated review of the guidelines as part of the
preparation of RSES may change the context for the Citys projections. Any available updated
information will help inform the content of the Draft Development Plan 2016-2022.
It is also
understood that a new National-level Spatial Strategy will be put in place to inform the RSES.
The RPGs for the GDA include target population figures given for both 2016 and 2022, the 2022
figure being 606,110 persons. The graph below illustrates the emerging trend based on census
figures up to 2011 and then the RPG targets for 2016 and 2022. It is important to note that RPG
population targets were drawn up in 2010 based on data up to and including the 2006 census only,
and therefore the RPGs targets do not take account of the now available Census 2011 figures and
regional figures for 2013. In this regard, the 2013 figure in white text on the graph is derived from a
recently released CSO preliminary estimate for the Dublin Region for April 2013, which is discussed
further under Para. 5.1.2. It assumes Dublin City‟s share is 42% of the regional figure, as Dublin City‟s
share was 42.6% in 2006 and 41.4% in 2011. 42% of the regions population of 1,262,400 calculates
at 530,208 persons.
Dublin City Census figures 1991- 2011 in context of RPG targets for Dublin City for 2016 and 2022, &
estimated CSO figure for population 2013
2022, 606110
2016, 563,512
500000 478389
2006, 506211
The red curve is a polynomial projection applied to the entire dataset and hence the 2011 and 2013
figures fall below the curve. Note also ; 2013 figure has been estimated from Dublin region CSO
published estimate of 1262400 for 2013.
In order to meet the population targets set out in the RPGs, a very significant population increase is
required in Dublin City. In the interval 2011-16, a rise of 35,900 is required (6.8%), and in the interval
2016-22 a rise of 42,598 (7.56% over 6 yrs) is required. In comparison, the intercensus period 200611 was the highest percentage rise so far on the chart at 4.2% growth (21,401 persons).
It is anticipated that regional level target figures for the city will be re-evaluated and updated formally
to take account of new data including 2011 census data and also CSO long term regional projections
published in 2013 (see below).
Method based on CSO projections 2013
The CSO Regional Population Projections 2016-2031 (December 2013) take account of the results of
Census 2011. The projections provide both a population estimate for April 2013 and also projected
figure to year 2031 for the Dublin Region. As these figures are for the region only, Dublin city‟s share
of the regional population figure has been assumed to be 42%, as outlined in the preceding section.
See http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/rpp/regionalpopulationprojections2016-2031/ ..
for projections, and ..
http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/pme/populationandmigrationestimatesapril2013/ ..for
the 2013 estimate.
Two scenarios are provided in the CSOs projections, which are titled „M2F2‟ and „M3F2‟. „M2F2‟
gives a higher figure than M3F2, projecting for 1,519,000 persons in the Dublin Region in 2031. M2F2
is the figure used as a baseline in this background paper because it is the higher estimate (preferable
to planning for under-provision of services) and because its assumptions seem appropriate, i.e. it
assumes a slow return to net inward migration, steady falling fertility, & return to traditional (1996)
pattern of internal migration by 2016.
For purposes of deriving a target population figure for Dublin City for 2022, a figure for Dublin City
must first be estimated from the 2031 regional figure, and then a 2022 estimate may derived from
the resulting trend line. Dublin City‟s population has been a relatively steady proportion of the Dublin
Region‟s overall population. In 2006 it represented 42.6% and in 2011 it was 41.35%. On this basis
(and for consistency with the first graph) it can be assumed that 42% of the 2031 figure of 1,519,000
would represent Dublin City‟s approximate future share of the regional population, which calculates at
a projected 637,980 persons in Dublin city for 2031. Applying a trend line (polynomial) to all data
points, and estimating for the year 2022 using this trend, we get a target of approx. 580,000 persons
in 2022, and 550,000 for 2016.
Graph 2; Census figures to 2011 and future estimates based on CSO projected figure for 2031 (where
Dublin City figure has been estimated from the 2031 Dublin Region figure.)
based on 2031 cso
1991, 478389 481854
2022 est,
Note: 2013 figure has been estimated from Dublin region CSO published estimate of 1,262,400 for
The interval percentage increases in this scenario, based on estimates for 2016 and 2022 taken from
the overall trend would be approximately as follows:
(assumes 550,000 estimate for 2016)
(equivalent to 4.6 % over 5 years (linear)).
These figures compare with 4.2% actual population growth 2006-11.
Analysis/comparison of the two approaches
It is considered that the relatively high past growth rate of 4.2 % in the period 2006-11 is a reasonable
yardstick by which to consider the extent of future growth, particularly in the shorter term. Earlier intercensus actual growth rates were much lower:
Intercensus period
Population Growth
The RPGs method assumes an increase in population growth from a high 4.2% growth in the period
2006- 2011 to a very high 6.8% in 2011-16. The equivalent CSO population change 2011-2016
would be a 4.2% increase, from 527,612 in 2011 to an estimated 550,000 persons by 2016.
5.2 Relationship of Future Population with Housing Stock
Regional Planning Guidelines Population and Housing Stock Targets.
The RPGs provide population and housing allocation figures for 2016 and 2022. The table below sets
out the RPGs 2016 and 2022 projected population targets and housing allocations, in the context of
the actual Census 2011 figures.
RPGs 2010-22 Population Targets and Housing Allocations for Dublin City
527,612 (actual)
2016 RPGs
2022 RPGs
241, 678 (actual)
Derived from the above, the next table below sets out the relationship between population and
housing, i.e., average persons per housing unit. The 2011 figure of 2.18 is derived from Census 2011,
whilst the other figures are based on the RPGs. The number of persons per house is clearly expectd
to drop and this would be consistent with the recent trend of falling household size.
Average persons per housing unit based on Census 2011 and RPG projections
persons per house
The following table outlines RPG housing allocation targets, taking account of the number of house
completions in recent years.
RPGs Housing Unit Allocations for Dublin City Council, with Reference to House Completions and
Projected Allocations.
DCC House completions
Remaining RPG allocation
2006-16 (i.e. for 2014-2016)
2017-2022 ( a
set figure in
2006-2010 =
From previous columns,
42,400-21,266 = 21,134
Ie remaining allocation for
…Or 7030 per year
(average) based on rounded
figure of 21,100
… or 9064
per year
from DoECLG))
Total completions
2013: 21,266
* 42,400 is the RPG figure used in the City Development Plan 2011-2017.
The previous table shows that 21,000 residential units were completed in the 10 year period 20062013. To adhere to the RPG 2016 target, a further 21,100 units are required to be completed in the 3
year period between 2013-2016. An average of 7030 units per year are required between 2014-16 as
compared with recent actual completions of approximately 500 per year 2011-13. A very sharp
increase in completions is therefore required to meet the RPG target. In the period 2017-2022, over
9000 units per year would be required to meet the RPG target.
Given this position, it is anticipated that fresh regional-level analysis for the forthcoming National
Spatial Strategy, or for the Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies, may result in reduced
population and housing forecast figures.
Housing Agency Report; Quantum of Housing needed
In April 2014 the Housing Agency produced „Housing Supply Requirements in Ireland‟s Urban
Settlements 2014-2018‟. The figures are for the built-up areas of the Dublin. The document states that
the study assumes no pent-up demand and that previous housing requirements have been met, and
that all projected figures should be seen as a minimum requirement for that year. Note that the figures
do not go beyond 2018 and hence do not cover the lifetime of the next development plan.
Housing Agency ; Regional
figure for settlements/built up
areas in the Dublin Region
Dublin City‟s estimated share :
47.5 %*
Minimum no. units required
Total = 37,100
Average annual figure = 3524
* Dublin City‟s share for each year in the right hand column is estimated here using the known
relationship between Dublin City‟s population and the “city and suburbs” population, that is 47.5%
(527,000 is 47.5% of 1,110,627) and applying this to the figures in the left hand column. This is only a
rough gauge however and is an overestimate because the left hand column figures include all built up
areas in the region, and not only Dublin City and suburbs.
5.2.3 ESRI Report ; Quantum of Housing needed
The ESRI Research Note „Projected Population Change and Housing Demand: A County Level
Analysis‟ (August 2014) constructs a projection of the number of households in each county for 2021,
and analyses the consequences of projected change on the required supply of housing. This research
is based on inter alia Census 2011 data and previous ESRI reports.
This ESRI study states that accounting for the initial number of vacant units, depreciation and some
level of normal rate of housing vacancy, almost 60,000 housing units would need to be built in Dublin
county (i.e., all 4 Dublin local authorities) to meet the projected population demand.
As Dublin city‟s housing stock is 45.8% of that of the Dublin Region, this would suggest that
(assuming the same proportion remains) over the eight year period from 2014 to 2021, approx.
27,000 new housing units may be needed in Dublin City alone. This would equate to an average
annual figure of 3,430 units per year
5.2.4 Comparing RPG, ESRI and Housing Agency figures;
If, for comparison purposes we take the housing allocation required for the years 2014-2016 inclusive,
based on available data from the three different sources, we get the following;
Dublin City; Estimated required housing units 2014-16 (figures derived from source data)
2014-16 total required.
Average annual
RPGs 2010
ESRI 2014
Housing Agency 2014
As can be seen, the ESRI and Housing Agency figures are relatively similar, whilst the RPG
requirement (based on 2010 data) would be over double either of these figures. The figures need to
be places in the current context, with house completions in recent years very low by comparison, and
the historic trend being a downwards one since the property crash in 2007/8
Housing Completions 2005-2013
Known completions
Accommodating new housing units; where and how
Whilst the previous sections of this report set out scenarios to estimate future housing requirements,
this is the „demand side‟ and the approach to supply will necessarily be considered in the core
strategy for the next development plan. The key variables determining the actual quantum of
residential units that can be delivered include the following;
a) Market conditions and the performance of the economy – as this influences the extent of
b) Housing and related policy and any government incentives.
c) The extent of lands zoned for housing ( and mixed uses that will be residential in part)
d) Available Greenfield sites, Brownfield sites, and other Redevelopment sites
e) Building heights permissible and site coverage/plot ratio standards.
f) Required unit sizes ( the larger the units, the less can be accommodated on a given site)
A survey of housing land availability in the city conducted in 2012 examined undeveloped lands.
These areas sum to a total of 440 hectares. This figure is reduced from the figure of 503 hectares
stated in the current development plan (based on information available in 2010) and indicates that 63
hectares of land was developed between then and 2012.
The main areas of lands currently available for development include sites in Docklands,
Ashtown/Pelletstown, Clongriffin/Belmayne and Ballymun. There are also lands throughout the inner
and outer city, and the 440 hectare figure does not include some smaller sites that are developed at
present but may be redeveloped.
Density scenarios
A key variable influencing the number of units which will be delivered is residential density measured
in units per hectare. In simple terms, density multiplied by site area gives the total number of units
accommodated. Densities achievable on a site can be restricted by planning parameters such as
restrictions on height, plot ratio, site coverage, and also open space requirements, and therefore any
revisions to development standards require careful consideration in this context.
In any event, accepting that there is a total of 440 hectares of developable land in the city council
area, the following table gives different scenarios as to what quantum of housing units is achievable
on this area at different densities. Note that the figures assume the entire area is developed at the
average density shown.
density (units
per hectare)
Total housing units
achievable on 440
Approximate Average
annual equivalent (
previous column divided by
Total additional population
that can be
accommodated ( based on
column 2) assuming 2
persons per housing unit.
170 uph
74,800 units
12,500 units
As can be seen, the number of units achievable varies greatly with density, and therefore density is a
key determinant of the additional population numbers that can be accommodated within the city
Of course, the above assumes that the entire 440 hectares would be developed during the lifetime of
the development plan. Because this is unlikely even in a buoyant housing market, required densities
may need to be adjusted upwards to take account of this.
5.3 Issues/Questions for consideration
How can Dublin City provide for the housing needs of all groups, including older people,
students, people with disabilities, the homeless etc.?
Where should social housing be provided within the city?
How can the provision of social housing be increased in the context of constrained exchequer
funding and capital expenditure ?
How can the new City Development Plan encourage innovation in housing typology which
delivers on peoples preferences in a sustainable manner ?
How should the new Development Plan respond to the changing demography of the city
including falling household size, which will increase the need for homes suitable for 1 to 2
people? For example, should retirement villages be considered ?
How can the development plan encourage the provision of house types for all life stages and
potentially facilitate stock rotation to ensure existing larger homes are available for families?
How can the residential potential of the city be optimised in the context of limited land
availability and increasing demand ?
What are the obstacles to viable and appropriate development which the forthcoming
Development Plan should seek to address?
What measures can be taken to encourage the use of existing vacant stock, including disused
upper floors in order to address rising housing demand in the city ?
Where should high quality student accommodation be provided and what standards should
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure Framework
3.0 Progress to date.
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
5.0 Main Issues and Challenges
5.1 Energy Issues and Climate Change Mitigation
5.2 Waste Water Treatment
5.3 Water Supply
5.4 Water Ecosystems/Quality
5.5 Flood Management
5.6 Waste Management
5.7 Air Quality and Noise Pollution
5.8 Telecommunications
6.0 Summary of Issues
1.0 Introduction
Providing the necessary infrastructure to ensure adequate capacity to accommodate the quantum of
development envisaged is essential to ensure that the delivery of this infrastructure is provided in a
sustainable manner that enhances the quality of the city‟s environment and facilitates the sustainable
economic growth and co-ordinated development of the City. Providing adequate services is an
essential component of development, and these include water supply, waste water and surface water
removal and treatment, electricity supply, broadband, gas, mobile phone coverage and telecom
It is important that we promote a safe, clean, green and healthy environment which is essential for the
future social and economic development of our City. New developments should respect the receiving
environment by seeking to minimise the generation of waste, maintain air and water quality and
promote sustainable energy use and conservation.
Dublin City Council needs to look to more sustainable energy technologies which are clean sources of
energy which have a lower environmental impact on the receiving environment. Sustainable energy
sources can reduce air emissions as well as reducing water consumption, waste, noise and adverse
land-use impacts.
Climate change is one of the most significant and challenging issues currently facing humanity.
Increased levels of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, increase the amount of energy trapped in the
atmosphere which leads to global impacts such as increased temperatures, melting of snow and ice
and a rising global average sea-level. Climate Change will result in rising sea levels, more extreme
weather events and more frequent flood events, and it is important that Dublin City responds to these
2.0 Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure Framework
The vision set out in the current Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017 is that „ within the next 2530 years Dublin will have an established international reputation as one of the most sustainable,
dynamic and resourceful city regions in Europe. Dublin, through the shared vision of its citizens and
civic leaders, will be a beautiful, compact city, with a distinct character, a vibrant culture and a diverse,
smart, green, innovation-based economy. It will be a socially inclusive city of urban neighbourhoods,
al connected by an exemplary public transport cycling and walking system and interwoven with a
quality bio-diverse green space network. In short, the vision is for a capital city where people will seek
to live, work and experience as a matter of choice’.
Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017, Written Statement, p.10
In carrying out the review of the Development Plan it is the intention to build on this vision into the
Since the 1980s the term sustainability has been used more in relation to human sustainability on
planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability as a part of the
concept sustainable development, which is set out in the Brundtland Commission Report.
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs‟‟.
Dublin City Council promotes consolidation of the city, maximising efficient use of land and integrating
land-use and transport, all within the context of an over-arching philosophy of sustainability. The
overall vision of the City Council is to create a compact City with intensification of mixed use
development located at high quality public transport hubs, where in the future, all residents will be
within reasonable walking distance of local services and public transport. The vision provides a
coherent spatial framework for the delivery of sustainable development to ensure an improved quality
of life for its citizens. The philosophy and principles of sustainability will be embedded in the new
Development Plan through its vision, core strategy, policies, objectives, zoning and implementation.
2.1 Policy Context
In 1992, the United Nations Conferences on Environment and Development (UNCED), “Earth
Summit”, was held in Rio de Janeiro. In 1997, most world leaders signed the Kyoto Protocol, which
came into effect in February 2005 when green house gas (GHG) emission reduction targets became
legally binding. Under the EU burden-sharing agreement, Ireland has committed to limit growth in
greenhouse gas emissions. In January 2008, EU leaders agreed to new targets for 2020, compared
with 2007 levels, in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, use of renewable energy and use of
biofuels in transport. In the non-trade sector, Ireland is committed to reduce its green house
emissions by 20% over 2007 levels.
The Government White Paper on Energy – „Delivering a Sustainable Future for Ireland‟, sets out the
energy policy framework for the period 2007-2020. The national policy sets the target of 20% energy
savings across the economy and a 33% energy savings target for the Public Sector. Sustainability
„captures the important ideas that development has economic, social and environmental dimensions
which together can contribute to a higher quality of life.‟
These sectors are inseparable and
interlinked. However, the environment is paramount as it provides the context for the other sectors
and it is now clear that development has to be environment-inclusive. Section 10(2) d of the 2000
Planning and Development Act requires that the development plan shall include objectives for – “the
integration of the planning and sustainable development of the area with the social, community and
cultural requirements of the area and its population”.
United Nations General Assembly (1987) Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future.
Transmitted to the General Assembly as an Annex to document A/42/427 - Development and International Co-operation: Environment.
Department of the Environment and Local Government: National Spatial Strategy 2002-2020
In 2007, the City Council developed a proposal outlining a process to embrace the principles of
sustainability and gradually evolve all its activities to comply with this. The Natural Step Framework is
a system for understanding sustainability. The proposal provides for a four-step sustainability planning
process; creating awareness; conducting analysis; developing a vision of a sustainable Dublin in 2020
and implementing the vision.
The Natural Step (TNS) is an approach to sustainability developed in Sweden in the late 1980s which
is useful in policy development. The Natural Step Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
is being used to integrate sustainable practices into Dublin City Council‟s work and its purpose is to
address challenges and sustainably empower organisations and communities to innovate and
accesses new opportunities.
2.2 Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020 (SEAP)
In 2005 Dublin‟s Energy Agency, Codema, on behalf of Dublin City Council, began the process to
develop the Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan. Dublin City Council has taken the initiative
to produce the Action Plan in order to reduce Dublin‟s carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020 and to
become an energy-smart and efficient city.
Dublin City Council, Annual Report and Accounts 2007, Distinctly Dublin, DCC 2008: 24/25
The Action Plan analyses the City‟s current energy and carbon dioxide emissions, and Codema
calculates that Dublin City currently emits 5 million tonnes of CO2 each year. The Action Plan sets out
and evaluates how we can reduce energy consumption in areas such as planning, transport,
residential and commercial buildings, while incorporating the use of renewable energy.
As a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors, Dublin City has joined over 2,000 cities and towns in a
commitment to the principles of best energy policy, while going beyond the EU targets of a 20 %
reduction in carbon emissions by 2020. In the report residential and commercial buildings were
identified as having the biggest opportunity for reducing carbon emissions. Improvements in
residential and commercial energy usage will not only make the city more environmentally friendly but
could allow for significant job creation. The report sets out the long-term vision to show how over the
next 20 years, how the introduction of carbon neutral and low-energy buildings, improvements in
information technology and the development of low carbon transport systems will help Dublin to
reduce its carbon emissions by 50%.
Retrofitting the housing market will bring the building energy rating of a typical Dublin Home from an E
rating to a C rating, and electricity use will become much more intelligent through the introduction of
smart meters.
The overall objectives of SEAP are to:
Reduce the economic expenditure on energy for citizens, council and business
Reduce Dublin‟s per capita CO2 emissions
Reduce Dublin‟s dependence on imported fuel
Make Dublin a more competitive and attractive destination for business through modern and
efficient energy infrastructure and pricing
Increase Dublin‟s share of renewable and sustainable energy systems
Encourage an environment that fosters and supports wellbeing for its present and future
In the report it is noted that the long-term development of sustainable infrastructure is central to
Dublin‟s future transition to a low carbon economy and, critically, its implementation must start without
A monitoring and progress report was produced in 2014.
2.3 Sustainability Report 2013 �Towards a Sustainable City Region’, Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council has recently published the fourth annual Sustainability Report, looking back at
2013, across the following themes; Society, Economy, Innovation, Climate & Energy , Transportation,
Infrastructure & Land Use, Biodiversity and Resource Management.
Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan – Monitoring and Progress Report, 2014, Codema
The principal statistics include:
Reduction in Level of household waste produced per capita in the Dublin Region and Ireland.
Domestic Water Consumption – average consumption levels have remained static. Dublin
ranked 19 of 30 EU capital cities in the water category of the Siemens Green City
Measure of Particulate Matter (PM10) –Traffic emissions in Dublin are the main sources, of
PM10. Levels have decreased since 2003, which is most likely due to the decrease in
particulate emissions from traffic due to improved vehicle engine emissions (EPA 2013)
There is a general trend of improving water quality across the Eastern River Basin District,
with a large decrease in water bodies classified as poor or bad since 1998.
Vacancy rates – indicator examines number of vacant houses. In total the vacancy rate in the
Dublin Region has reduced from 9.7% to 8.3% over a 5 year period (2006-2011). The
vacancy rate for Dublin is significantly lower than the state figure which stood at 14.5% in
Mean journey times to school and work have decreased in the Dublin Region with an overall
improvement for trips less than 45 minutes since 2006.
Road accidents – significant fall in number of accidents in Dublin Region from 49 in 2002 to a
low of 11 in 2011.
Contribution of Renewable energy as a percentage of Total Energy Consumption has
increased to 6.7% in Ireland in 2011.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: In the Dublin Region no data is currently available for this
indicator, the estimated annual emissions per capita calculated for the Dublin City Council
Area was 5.6 tonnes of CO2 in 2011.
% of population with 3 level education – Ireland ranked 3 in the EU 27 for tertiary education
attainment amongst 15-64 year olds, while Dublin ranked as the top international city for
human capital in 2011.
National unemployment decreased by 41, 7000 (-12.8%) in the year to Q3 2013, bringing the
total number of persons unemployed to 282,900. Ireland still has one of the highest
unemployment rates in Europe (8 of 28 in 2013).
Life expectancy continues to increase in Dublin and Ireland, however Ireland still has lower
than average EU levels (males 5 lowest and females 3 lowest of the EU15 nations in
2006). These figures rose from 76.8 years (males) and 81.6 years (Females) in 2002.
The % of population born outside of Ireland – One fifth of the total population usually resident
and present in the Dublin Region is now foreign born.
Statistics from Sustainability Report 2013 – Towards a Sustainable City Region, DCC
3.0 Progress to Date
Climate Change / Energy
Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020
In 2014, Codema Dublin‟s Energy Agency, in association with Dublin City Council, produced a
Monitoring and Progress Report, entitled „Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan Monitoring and
Progress Report 2014‟. This is the monitoring and progress report which follows on from the Dublin
City Sustainable Energy Action Plan 2010-2020 (SEAP). The report shows that there has been a
substantial reduction of overall consumption and emissions from Dublin City over the period 20062011. This was as a result of many factors including, increased energy efficiency, economic
recession, increased regulation, energy awareness, and reduced CO2 levels. The calculations, based
on the latest best available data, show the city consumes 10.14TWh of final energy per year, with
emission of 5.6 tonnes CO2/year/citizen.
The report shows that each energy consuming sector in the city has seen a decrease in energy
consumption, however the residential sector has seen the least changes, and is responsible for a
large proportion of total energy used in the city at 45%. The commercial and transport sectors each
hold a 27% share respectively. The decrease in the transport sector can be largely attributed to the
decrease in freight traffic in the city, but also by the increased uptake of cycling and walking. The
residential sector in Dublin City has an ageing housing stock with the majority of houses built pre16
1970s, and this is reflected in the poor energy ratings.
Sustainable Energy
Other achievements and progress under the heading sustainable energy include:
Dublin City Development Plan 2011-2017: policies for energy efficiency and renewable energies.
Development of a Dublin District Heating System (DCC and Codema). It is envisaged that
district heating will become available in the Docklands Area in 2016. Work has already
commenced on developing the network in the area along with the construction of the Liffey
Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan – Monitoring and Progress Report, 2014
Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan – Monitoring and Progress Report, 2014
Services Tunnel which will facilitate the roll out of the district heating piping network north and
south of the River Liffey.
Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Dublin - The sustainable energy Community model
begins by establishing a clearly defined geographic area called the Sustainable Energy Zone
(SEZ). The SEZ establishes sustainable energy targets that are measured and monitored and
creates a focal point for partners, projects and proposals to integrate in a structured way. This
allows new technologies and techniques to be tried and tested in an incubator or living laboratory
environment. A Sustainable Energy Community is the integration and collaborative action in the
wider community (e.g. town or region) to expand and replicate ideas tested in the SEZ. Emerge
is the project name for the Dublin City element of the Sustainable Energy Community initiative
launched by SEAI in 2011. The initiative saw the formation of three exemplar communities
around Ireland to demonstrate best practice in sustainable energy. In 2012, the Emerge team
concentrated on a 4 km2 zone in Dublin City Centre and included two additional nodes,
Grangegorman and Ballymun. Projects mainly represented energy efficient improvement
measures, specifically in public buildings and social housing.
The Green IFSC, in partnership with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and
Dublin City Council, created the „Greening the IFSC‟ initiative in a bid to ensure Ireland has one
of the most resource efficient financial centres in the world. The first-of-its-kind project was also
designed to assist companies operating from the IFSC to measure their carbon footprint and
collaborate on plans to reduce resource consumption and ultimately to improve their efficiency
and competitive advantage. The project is ongoing.
The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) reporting platform helps organisations to measure and
disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and climate change strategies. This
information is made publicly available for use by a wide audience including institutional investors,
corporations, policy makers and their advisors, public sector organisations, government bodies,
academics and the public. The CDP collects data in a standardised way, making it available to
the global marketplace. Dublin City Council expressed its intention to engage in CDP disclosures
in our 2010 report and started doing so in 2011. The 2011 CPD Ireland Report, the third report
prepared by KPMG examines the strategies being deployed by many of Ireland‟s most
successful companies to ensure sustainability in a low-carbon world.
The European Green City Index measured the environmental performance of 30 leading
European cities. Dublin ranked 21st overall with a score of approximately 54 out of 100. As a
nation powered mainly by fossil fuels, our electricity consumption averages 156 gigajoules which
is twice the average of the 30 cities studied. At present only 5% of Dublin‟s energy comes from
renewable sources with a Government target of 20% set for 2020. With regards to CO2
emissions Dublin emits 9.7 tonnes per person per year compared to the European average of
8.5 tonnes. Air Quality was Dublin‟s highest ranking, giving Dublin 4 place in this section. As a
baseline measure, this data provides a foundation for setting targets and monitoring our progress
in future editions of the report.
Waste Water Treatment
In terms of Waste Water Treatment the following projects have been carried out or are in the process
of being carried out:
The upgrade of the Ballymore Eustace Water treatment Plant was completed in 2011.
Construction of the Liffey Services Tunnel (completed in 2010), which carries two new foul rising
mains to the Main Lift Pumping Station in Ringsend. This also has provision for electricity,
telecommunications and possible future district heating utility requirements.
Adoption of the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study identifying infrastructure required to
cater for storm water and foul effluent.
City Centre Sewerage Scheme is a follow on project from the GDSDS, and the aim is to develop
on the GDSDS findings and identify areas of the catchment that are under capacity and to
proposed solutions. DCC is currently in the preliminary planning stage of this project.
Surface Water & Flood Management
The following Projects have been carried out or are proposed:
Eastern Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) study commenced in
June 2011 and will run until the end of 2016. For each Area of further Assessment (AFA) flood
risk maps and flood hazard maps will be developed during 2013/early 2014, and Flood Risk
Management Plans (FRMPs) for each unit of Management (UoM) will be developed by the end
of 2015
 The South Campshires Flood Protection Project (between Butt Bridge and Sir John Rogerson‟s
Quay) is currently ongoing, and will provide flood protection from extreme tides to the level of 3.7
m above Malin Head Datum.
п‚· Dollymount Promenade and Flood Protection Project: this project is currently at detailed design
п‚· Further flood defence works have been carried out in Sandymount, Chapelizod, the Camac
River, and Fitzwilliam Quay.
п‚· Dublin Region Watermains Rehabilitation Project was established to assist in reducing leakage
by identifying and replacing old water mains and have outlived their usefulness.
п‚· Establishment of a Major Emergency Management Team to respond to flood and other risks. A
Major Emergency Plan 2010 has been adopted to facilitate the response to, and recovery from
major emergencies as well as ensuring the Council‟s arrangements are coordinated with those of
other designated Principle Response Agencies, the Health Service Executive and An Garda
п‚· Introduction of Sustainable Urban Drainage System technologies in new developments.
Waste Management
The following plans are in place or under preparation:
Adoption of a Waste Management Plan for the Dublin Region , Annual Progress Report 2011,
April 2012
Adoption of a Litter Management Plan by City Council in 2008.
The Draft Eastern and Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan (2015-2021) is currently
under preparation.
Noise & Air
The following plans/reports have been published:
Noise Maps, Report & Statistics, Dublin City Council Noise Mapping Project Roads & Traffic
Department, June 2012.
Dublin Regional Air Quality Management Plan 2009-2012.
4.0 Future Trends and Developments
From 1 of January 2014, Irish Water inherited the Capital Investment Plan for Ringsend from
Dublin City Council, and is committed to develop the plant to meet the licence requirements
as an urgent national priority. This is intended in a phased programme:
Upgrading the existing plant, to the value of some €15M which will improve process stability
and consistency. This work is underway and will be completed in 2015
Irish Water intends to expand the plant as intended by DCC but based on advanced
technologies to meet the standards to be agreed with the EPA. They see this work being
delivered by 2015-2016 (with a budget of between €60M – €70M.
Irish Water intends to upgrade the existing plant to meet the capacity up to 2.1M PE
(population equivalent) at the required discharge limits in the new EPA license. This will be
implemented in 2016-2018.
Irish Water intends to retain the long sea outfall for the long term if required.
Maximising the sustainable output of the existing plants (Ballymore Eustace, Leixlip) through
further investment and operational improvements.
Focused regionally managed water conservation programmes
Strategic Trunk Mains Required to distribute the water such that resources are equally
available throughout the supply and to facilitate effective pressure management.
Long-term solution for a new source of water for Dublin is now targeted to be delivered in 7
years rather than the proposed 10 years.
Climate Change - How Dublin City will meet its targets for further reductions in Greenhouse
Gas emissions. Adaption and Flood Resilient Strategies will be crucial for the future
development of our City.
5. 0 Main Issues and Challenges
5.1 Energy Issues and Climate Change Mitigation
In support of the background paper, Codema (Dublin‟s Energy Agency) submitted a paper on Energy
Issues and Climate Change Mitigation, for consideration of the Dublin City Development Plan 2016 –
2022. The issues in their submission are outlined below.
5.1.1 Introduction
Climate change is widely recognised as an issue of increasing significance to the global environment.
According to a recent publication co-authored by the UK‟s Royal Society and the US National
Academy of Sciences, Climate Change: Evidence & Causes, the speed of global warming is now 10
times faster than it was at the end of the last ice age, with the last 30 years being the warmest in 800
years (The Royal Society & The US National Academy of Sciences, 2014). The scientists involved
have also come to the conclusion that the latest changes in our climate are “almost certainly due to
emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities” (The Royal Society & the US National
Academy of Sciences, 2014, p. B9). This publication is just one of many evidence and researchbased papers from all around the world which have made it impossible to deny that GHGs are
responsible for climate change, and it is imperative to act now in order to curtail the irreversible
damage caused by these emissions.
Energy Issues and Climate Change Mitigation Background Paper, Codema, September 2014.
Energy Issues and Climate Change Mitigation Background Paper, Codema, September 2014.
Fossil fuel use is responsible for over half of all GHG emissions globally, and the majority of these
emissions come from energy supply, transport, residential and commercial buildings, and industry
(IPCC, 2007). Reducing energy consumption and finding alternative, non-polluting, and renewable
sources for energy provision and transport are the more prominent issues targeted by national and
international policies in order to reduce CO2 contributions.
The significance of Dublin City in the Irish economic landscape means it is imperative to plan and
commit to energy saving and CO2 reduction through multi-level governance structures and local level
action. Further to climate change mitigation, there are many significant knock-on benefits to reducing
CO2 levels and implementing more renewable energy in the City, including reduced health effects,
decreased fossil fuel dependence, higher security of supply, lower energy costs, increased energy
price stability, increased economic competitiveness and a sustainable economy.
The increasing need for society to change from the current dependency on fossil fuels to increasing
integration of renewable resources to meet energy and material demand means that space is now a
fundamental asset for energy production. This is due to the fact that renewable energy is an areadependent resource, e.g. space for bio-fuel crops, for wind farms, for solar energy, for hydro-power.
(Stoeglehner, et al., 2011). This fact means that spatial planning and management cannot be
separated from energy planning. Economic development in Dublin has been, so far, driven mainly by
resources that have no immediate geographic link to the area exposed to planning. The fossil fuels
and electricity that will be used during the lifetime of a development have, in most cases, no influence
on its location as it can be simply connected by pipe or cable to some far-off location. In this way,
spatial planning is not currently linked to resource management. The planning system now faces the
new challenge of taking account of, and creating balance between; designing cities to reduce energy
demand, retaining sufficient space for sustainable energy production, and providing energy from local
resources, while also evaluating environmental considerations.
As the City continues to grow over the life of the new Dublin City Development Plan 2017-2023, there
is a need to continuously decouple growth from increasing fossil fuel consumption. In order to develop
local level policy and actions which target reduced energy consumption and fossil fuel use, it is
important to examine the macro-institutional context in which they are placed. The hierarchy of
European, National and Regional level regulations and policies relating to energy will guide local level
energy strategies for Dublin City.
5.1.2 Surrounding Regulatory and Policy Framework
In Europe, the European Union (EU) has set ambitious targets of 20% reduction of EU GHGs from
1990 levels, 20% of energy consumption to come from Renewable Energy Sources (RES), and 20%
improvement in Energy Efficiency (EE), by 2020, also known as the “20-20-20” targets. The EU is
ensuring Member States (MS) meet these targets through directives which specify targets for RES
and GHGs and binding measures for EE for each MS. While work is still ongoing to reach these
targets by 2020, the EU has just announced (January 2014) new targets for 2030, which will aim for a
40% reduction of EU domestic GHG‟s from 1990 levels (European Commission, 2014).
The two main EU Directives which set about achieving these targets are the EU Energy Efficiency
(EE) Directive (2012/27/EU) and the EU Renewable Energy Sources (RES) Directive (2009/28/EC).
The EU RES Directive came in to force in 2009 and transposed into member states national law by
end of 2010, and is part of the Climate-Energy Legislative Package, which also includes Directives on
the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), Fuel Quality, and Carbon Capture and Storage. The RES
Directive places mandatory national targets on each member state so as to provide certainty for
investment and to see the development of new renewable energy technologies. The target set for
Ireland is 16% of national gross final energy consumption to come from RES by 2020. Although the
EE Directive does not place mandatory targets on member states, there is a general aim of 20%
reduction across the board, to be achieved through binding measures.
The EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) 2010/31/EU aims to support EU energy
and emissions targets through policies which affect the way energy is used in buildings in member
states. This is of particular importance given that buildings contribute to over 70% of Dublin City‟s
energy consumption (Gartland, 2013). The Directive states that, by 31 December 2020, all new
buildings are to be nearly-zero energy buildings, and by December 2018, all new buildings occupied
and owned by public authorities also need to be nearly-zero energy buildings. These new policies will
come into force within the timeline of the new Dublin City Development Plan.
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Ireland was submitted under Article 4 of the
EU RES Directive. This action plan outlines the pathway to achieving 16% energy from RES, and sets
national sector-specific targets of;
40% electricity consumption to come from RES
10% electric vehicles in transport sector
п‚· 12% renewable heat
Ireland‟s National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) sets out the policy roadmap to 2020 which
addresses the use of energy in all sectors nationally. This plan places a higher target of 33% energy
reductions on the Public Sector so that this sector can play a leading role in EE improvements, and
also outlines 97 actions identified by the government in order to achieve the 20% overall energy
reductions nationally.
The Irish government has also recently released a Green Paper on Energy Policy in May 2014, which
addresses the „key pillars‟ of Ireland‟s energy policy, which are security, sustainability, and
competitiveness, and with these pillars in mind, six policy priority areas are outlined. This paper is
currently in the public consultation process.
The Irish Building Regulations 2011, Part L, deals with the use of fuel and energy in buildings. These
regulations aim to incorporate high levels of energy efficiency and RES into newly built dwellings and
as such, they require a limitation of heat losses, minimum 90% efficiency of oil and gas boilers, and a
minimum of 10
kWh/m2/annum of heat demand or 4 kWh/m2/annum electricity to be provided by RES. There are
currently no specific levels of RES required for buildings other than dwellings.
The Regional Planning Guidelines (RPG) identify the need for a more sustainable mix of energy
sources in order to tackle the high dependence on imported fuels and increase security of supply. The
RPG policies support energy efficiency, low carbon technologies and sustainable modes of transport.
In terms of addressing energy issues at a regional level, the RPGs identify the need to develop
Energy Action Plans and Climate Change Strategies at a local level. It also specifically states that
these action plans should be presented in a spatially geographic manner if possible so that planners
have an evidence-based approach when making energy planning related decisions at a local level.
5.1.3 Strategies Addressing Local Level Energy Issues
Dublin City Council (DCC) has committed to developing the sustainability of the city and has already
built in a Framework for Sustainable Dublin (FSD) into the current Development Plan 2011-2017. This
planning process presents sustainability as an over-arching framework which helps to inform all
policies which fall under the development plan, and helps to prioritise and align actions towards
sustainable development. The Development Plan outlines its supporting role in the promotion and
implementation of sustainable building design, district heating and CHP, energy efficiency and
renewable energy.
DCC has also released a Sustainability Report for the City every year since 2010, and these reports
seek to measure the city‟s progress towards sustainability through indicators which measure social,
economic and environmental development. The latest report outlines the key areas which are being
targeted in order to meet new targets of 80% reductions in CO2 by 2050, which include: sustainable
transport through LUAS extensions and increased cycle-ways, District Heating implementation in the
Dublin Docklands, and increasing renewable energy use in the city.
The Dublin City Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) 2010-2020 was developed by Codema,
Dublin‟s energy agency, in conjunction with Dublin City Council, as part of the EU Covenant of
Mayors initiative (Codema, 2010). Through this initiative, Dublin City has committed to emission
reductions of at least 20% by 2020. The SEAP identifies the actions and strategies which could
potentially achieve this target across all sectors in the city. Short term actions that were identified
include improved user behaviour, low-energy lighting, increased insulation, workplace travel plans
and cycle initiatives. Long term actions which are required were identified as large scale
refurbishment of aging housing stock, District Heating (DH) combined with RES, all new commercial
buildings over 1,000m2 to be „A‟ rated, eco-driving training and Electric Vehicles (EV). The SEAP
energy and emissions baseline figures were calculated for the year 2006, and will be continuously
monitored up to 2020 in order to track progress towards the 20% emissions reduction target.
5.1.4 Energy Consumption in Dublin City
The latest monitoring study of final energy consumption in Dublin City, carried out by Codema, has
shown the city consumed approximately 10.14 TWh (terawatt-hours) in 2011, with CO2 emissions of
5.6 tonnes CO2/year/citizen (Gartland, 2013). This represents a significant reduction in energy and
emissions since the original baseline was calculated for 2006, and is due to numerous factors, such
as energy awareness, increased energy efficiency, economic recession, increased regulation, and
reduced CO2 levels in the electricity supply. Because these reductions can be largely attributed to the
economic recession, it is imperative that the city works to ensure that with current and future
economic growth, we do not return to escalating energy consumption levels, and work to continuously
decouple economic growth from increased emissions and energy use.
Just under 80% of all energy used in Dublin City comes directly from fossil fuel sources.
Approximately 20% of energy comes from the electrical grid, the majority of which is fuelled by fossil
fuels. Less than 1% of the energy consumed in Dublin comes directly from renewable energy
resources. This shows Dublin‟s precarious position in terms of security of supply, price volatility and
import dependency.
Figure 1: Final Energy Consumption in Dublin City 2011
As seen in Figure 1, the largest energy consuming sector in the city is the residential sector. The
majority of the city‟s housing stock was built pre-1970‟s, and so the age profile of these dwellings
means they have very low energy efficiency ratings and as such require large amounts of energy,
particularly for space heating. Buildings in both the residential and commercial sectors are
responsible for the large majority of energy used in the city.
The transport sector has seen a modal shift from public transport use to more autonomous modes of
driving, cycling and walking. Although the shift to walking and cycling is a real positive for reducing
energy, this has been offset by the increase in private car transport in the city and therefore this area
needs to be addressed in order to discourage further increases in private car journeys.
Dublin City is ranked 21st out of 30 cities in the European Green City Index, due to poor scores in
many categories including buildings, energy, transport and CO2 emissions (Economist Intelligence
Unit, 2009). In particular, in the categories of transport and emissions, Dublin ranked well below the
European averages, coming in last place and 19th place respectively. Scores for air quality, on the
other hand, ranked Dublin 4th in Europe in this category.
In order for Dublin City to improve its international energy status and become a low-carbon city, a
strategic energy plan needs to be put in place which incorporates both short and long term goals in to
spatially related plans that will contribute to the city Development Plan and lead to concrete energy
actions. Integrating energy and spatial planning will result in evaluating the energy use and
contribution of new developments, and consider the use of local resources over traditional fossil fuel
options. It will also facilitate the consideration of a variety of energy supplies, in particular, it can
facilitate the planning and implementation of large scale energy systems which serve multiple
buildings rather than the traditional individual building energy systems. Large systems which provide
electricity and heat to large areas have the advantage of lower costs due to economies of scale and
can take advantage of local resources easily.
Renewable Energy in Dublin City
Figure 2: Renewable Energy Map of Dublin (Codema, 2013)
Locally produced renewable energy amounts to less than 1% of total energy consumed in the City.
The first inventory of locally produced renewable energy has been compiled by Codema and part
financed by the NEW INTERREG IVB „ACE‟ project. It shows the total installed capacity of RE in
Dublin is approximately 62MW, with approximately 10.5MW of this within Dublin City (Codema, 2013).
The biggest resource of RE in Dublin City is the biogas produced and used at the Ringsend waste
water treatment plant.
There are very few and small scale opportunities to produce biomass within the Dublin City
boundaries. With very little on-shore large scale wind generation potential due to the dense urban
landscape of Dublin City, the focus for renewable energy production should be on those technologies
which can be accommodated easily and are ideally suited to urban landscapes, like for example,
through the use of RES in District Heating (DH) and Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Other cities in
Europe, which have similar climates to that found in Dublin, have successfully implemented large
scale city-wide DH networks, thereby reducing consumer energy costs, reducing emissions and
increasing security of supply. There is also large potential for roof-top based solar power generation
both for hot water and electricity production. It is also important to look to RES that can be transported
in from other parts of Ireland and used within the city, like biomass and other liquid biofuels.
5.1.5 Main Target Areas for Dublin City Development Plan
Strategic Energy Planning
The next step is to strengthen and develop strategic energy planning in the upcoming Development
Plan in order to directly impact the energy consumption patterns in the city and help to achieve
national level targets from a bottom-up approach. This starts with, as suggested under the Regional
Planning Guidelines, presenting the details of Energy Action Plans in a spatially geographic format.
This involves the mapping of all existing and predicted future energy demands, production and
surpluses in the city, and, where possible, the current energy supply mix. This can then be examined
against spatial representations of recognised renewable energy potentials. After this, the most
appropriate spatial areas for implementing RE technologies and energy efficiency solutions can be
identified and developed through planning objectives. For example, an area identified as having high
heat density, within an area of buildings with mixed uses, is ideally suited to DH. The DH system can
then be matched with local resources like geothermal, solar or waste heat which can provide
economical and sustainable heat resources. Tackling energy and emissions through custom-built
energy plans for the city will allow the development of the most appropriate and economically suitable
sustainable and renewable resources relevant to the city‟s individual characteristics.
The end result of developing an evidence-based Energy Action Plan for Dublin City is that it will allow
the city to become a leader in developing the use of sustainable energy resources within an urban
context, lower energy costs for citizens, increase innovation and employment in the green energy
sector, and increase the overall competitiveness of the city.
District Heating (DH)
From feasibility studies, market assessments, and techno-economic evaluations of the potential for
DH in Dublin, it is clear that DH is a viable option for providing sustainable heat in the city. DH
implementation needs to be evaluated as a tangible option for the provision of heat when any new
development is being considered, which is in line with alternative energy system regulations for new
buildings under the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations 2012 which specifically
highlights the use of DH and CHP. Considering the low energy efficiency of the existing Dublin City
housing stock, plans for large scale DH should also consider extending to high heat demands in
nearby already existing developments.
Energy Supply
The current Development Plan outlines DCC‟s support for meeting consumption needs through a
range of energy solutions with particular emphasis on RES for electricity supply (SI60) and meeting
the national 40% target of electricity generated from RES (SIO89). Another area of energy supply
which needs to be targeted is the provision of heat. As shown in the monitoring of the city‟s energy
consumption, a large proportion is required for the provision of heat. Nationally, Ireland is not on track
to meet national targets for renewable
heat. There needs to be a higher level of support and implementation from a bottom up approach in
order to support the achievement of national targets, especially in regards to the heating sector, as
renewable energy is not currently supplied through the national gas grid. Increasing the amount of
sustainable fuels and high efficiency technologies used to supply heat in the city, through the use of
national level supports, needs to be a specific objective additional to the current support for renewable
electricity supply.
Energy Efficiency
The current Development Plan identifies the need to increase energy efficiency in existing and new
developments. It is easier to implement planning objectives in new developments than in already
existing building stock. It is evident from the monitoring of the city‟s energy demand that the energy
efficiency of the current building stock is still in need of large scale refurbishment. There needs to be
more stringent measures enforced through the development plan in order to impact the already
existing levels of low energy efficiency. An example of this would be to ensure that, as part of the
planning permission for large developments, a fund is set aside for the energy efficiency
refurbishment of nearby existing buildings, or if a DH system is planned, that there needs to be plans
included to connect a percentage of existing nearby buildings.
Energy Issues and Climate Change Mitigation Background Paper, Codema, September 2014.
5.1.6 Energy Networks
In Ireland there are a number of electricity suppliers licenced by the Commission for Energy
Regulation (CER) to supply electricity to retail customers. A key challenge for the expanding City will
be to provide the necessary infrastructure and services to ensure adequate capacity to accommodate
the quantum of development envisaged, and to ensure that the delivery of this infrastructure is
provided in a sustainable manner that enhances the quality of the city‟s environment and facilitates
the sustainable economic growth and co-ordinated development of the City.
Bord GГЎis has developed a major transmission and distribution network which provides almost
640,000 homes in Ireland and Northern Ireland , with access to one of the most environmentally
friendly and economical fossil fuels.
Responsibility for the natural gas pipeline infrastructure lies with Board GГЎis Eireann, a commercial
State Body. In June 2014 it was renamed Ervia as part of the organisation transformation from an
energy company to a multi-utility company, responsible for strategic national gas and water services
and related infrastructure.
Gaslink is the independent system operator with responsibility for developing, maintaining and
operating the natural gas transportation system in Ireland. Bord GГЎis Networks (a division of Ervia)
carries out work and provided services on Gaslink‟s behalf. Gas is brought from the gas fields off the
coast of Cork and from the North Sea gas fields through sub-sea interconnector pipelines and
transported through pipelines around the country. Bord GГЎis Networks has developed a world class
gas infrastructure in Ireland consisting of over 13,000 km of gas pipelines.
EirGrid is the independent electricity Transmission System Operator (TSO) for the Republic of Ireland,
which is often referred to as the „National Grid‟. Power is generated by power plants and wind farms
across the country, utilising a variety of fuel or energy sources, including gas, oil, peat, hydro, wind
and other sources such as biomass and landfill gas. EirGrid, an independent state-owned body, is the
transmission system operator and is responsible for the operation, development and maintenance of
the system. ESB Networks, a separate business unit within ESB, is the owner of the transmission
system and is responsible for carrying out the maintenance and construction of the system.
5.2 Waste Water Treatment
The Dublin Region faces a number of infrastructural challenges particularly in the supply and demand
of a high quality drinking water and for waste water Treatment.
Irish Water is responsible for public water services, and for capital and investment decisions regarding
the country‟s water infrastructure on a national basis. Irish water was established in 2013 as a semistate company under the Water Services Act 2013. From 2014 Irish Water will gradually take over
responsibility from the Local Authorities on a phased basis for the operation of public water services
including managements of national water assets, maintenance of the water systems, investment and
planning, managing capital projects.
Ringsend Waste Water Treatment Plant serves Dublin City and the City environs in the neighbouring
counties. Its contributing residential population is in the order of 1.1M and the total load, including non
domestic load is typically 1.7m PE (population equivalent) on average with significant fluctuations on
a daily basis.
Irish Water have stated that the current works which were commissioned in 2003, and the
subsequent improvements during the 10 years of operation, have greatly improved operating
performance and stability of the process and the odour issues which arose during the plant‟s first
years of operation , and this has been essentially eliminated. The plant provides secondary treatment
with provision for disinfection of effluent in the bathing season.
In November 2012 Dublin City Council received planning permission to expand the current W.W.T.P.
plant to 2.1M PE firm capacity, equivalent to 2.4 M PE ultimate design capacity. This decision was
challenged by way of judicial review and in November 2013, the decision to approve the scheme was
confirmed by the High Court.
The scheme was planned in 3 elements:
Internal process improvements which are expected to further improve stability under the full
range of load conditions
Expansion of the works on an area reserved on site for this purpose
A long sea outfall to discharge beyond the sensitive designation such that nutrient reduction
treatment is not required.
Irish Water has now inherited the Capital Investment Plan for Ringsend from Dublin City Council from
the 1 of January 2014, and is proceeding with the development of this plant to meet the future need
of the catchment in a phased programme.
Irish Water plan on upgrading the existing plant to the value of some €15 million which will
improve process stability and consistency. This work is underway and will be completed in
Irish Water plan to expand the plant as intended by DCC but based on advances process
technologies to meet the standards agreed with the EPA.
Irish Water plan to upgrade the existing plant to meet a capacity of up to 2.1M PE capacity at
the required discharge limits in the new EPA license. This will be implemented in 2016-2018.
Irish Water retains the long sea outfall option for the long term, if required.
Irish Water confirms that it is committed to a development strategy for meeting the
wastewater needs for the Greater Dublin Area to maintain capacity for planned growth.
Irish Water will also process with a planned new wastewater plant and orbital sewer in north
Dublin (known as the Greater Dublin Drainage GDD Scheme) targeted at 2020-2021.
5.3 Water Supply
Supply and demand for a high quality drinking water is finely balanced and this will remain the case in
the short term to medium term pending an increase in the water capacity.
Since the 1 of January 2014, Irish Water has taken responsibility for managing for managing
Ireland‟s water and wastewater investment and maintenance programmes. There are a number of
measures in progress to ensure the continued demand across the country is met and in particular the
Greater Dublin Area. These include:
Maximising the sustainable output of the existing plants (Ballymore Eustace, Leixlip) through
further investment and operational improvements.
Focused regionally managed water conservation programme
Delivering the benefits of customer side leakage through targeted policies on customer side
leakage identified from meter reading.
Strategic trunk mains to distribute the water such that resources are equally available
throughout the supply and to facilitate effective pressure management.
Irish water expects that the long-term solution of a new source of water for Dublin is now
targeted to be delivered in 7 years rather than the proposed 10 years.
5.4 Water Ecosystems/Quality
On the 23 October 2000, the Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council
establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy‟ or in short the EU
Water Framework Directive (WFD) was adopted. The WFD is a European Union Directive which
commits member states to achieve food qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies
(including marine waters up to one nautical mile from shore) by 2015. The Directive aims for „good
status‟ for all ground and surface waters (rivers, lakes, transitional waters, and coastal waters) in the
EU. One important aspect of the Water Framework Directive is the introduction of River Basin
Districts. These areas have been designated, not according to administrative or political boundaries,
but rather according to the river basin (the spatial catchment area of the river) as a natural
geographical and hydrological unit. As rivers often cross national borders, representatives from
several Member States have to cooperate and work together for the management of the basin (socalled transboundary basins). They are managed according to River Basin Management Plans, which
should provide a clear indication of the way the objectives set for the river basin are to be reached
within the required timescale. They should be updated every six years and the first plans cover the
period to 2015. Eight River Basin Districts have been identified in Ireland for the purposes of
implementing the Directive.
River Basin Management Plans were finalised for the 7 river basin districts in July 2010. These plans
are a blueprint for the protection and improvement of our waters in the period to 2015 and beyond.
They cover approximately 800 groundwater bodies and 5,000 surface water bodies (canals, rivers,
lakes, transitional and coastal waters). The plans set out the current status of our waters, the
objectives to be achieved by 2015, and the programme of measures to be implemented in order to
achieve those objectives. The programmes of measures set out the key priorities for water quality
management in the period to 2015. Many measures have already been put in place and a range of
supporting legislation has been enacted in recent years. Further measures will be implemented over
the course of the plans.
The Eastern River Basin District incorporates all or part of twelve Local Authority areas: Dublin City,
Meath, Kildare, Wicklow, Cavan, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Offaly, South Dublin, Westmeath,
Louth and a small portion of Wexford.
Rivers: The main river catchments in the Eastern River Basin District are the Boyne, the
Nanny/Delvin, the Liffey, and the Avoca/Vartry. The Avoca/Vartry includes many smaller catchments
along the coastline. There are 365 river water bodies in the Eastern River Basin District.
Lakes: The Eastern River Basin District includes 524 natural lakes. Six of these, and two reservoirs,
exceed 50 hectares in size, the biggest being Poulaphuca reservoir at around 1,950 hectares. The
Directive requires that we report on lakes that exceed 50 hectares or those which contain protected
areas – a total of 28 lakes and reservoirs in the Eastern River Basin District.
Transitional and Coastal Waters: From Drogheda all the way south to Arklow, the river waters enter
the Irish Sea along 130km of coastline from the Boyne estuary, Malahide, Dublin, Killiney and Brittas
Bays. The Eastern River Basin District contains all the coastlines of Meath, Fingal, Dublin, Dublin
City, Dun Laoghaire and Wicklow (eight water bodies), as well as eleven estuaries and two lagoons.
Groundwaters: As with other basin districts, the water system below ground in the East is quite
complex because of the wide range of rock types and soils within the Eastern River Basin District.
The underground aquifers can cross surface water catchment and boundaries. There are 75
groundwater bodies in the Eastern River Basin District, some of which are restricted to urban areas.
The Eastern River Basin Management Plan identified specific waters which were targeted to achieve
good status by 2015. These waters tend to be in the upper parts of the catchments were problems
can be addressed without other upstream pressures detrimentally affecting the waters. Other waters
will have longer target dates as they could be affected by pressures upstream and therefore the
measures required to improve water quality will take longer than 6 years to implement. Dublin City
Council is the coordinating authority for the Eastern District. Parts of the five river sub-catchments of
the Eastern RBD fall within Dublin City including the River Cammock, Dodder, Tolka,
Santry/Mayne/Sluice and the River Liffey. The main pressures in the rivers are generally as a result
of upstream pollution, combined sewer overflows, misconnections of wastewater from individual
houses and urban runoff. The Santry River has been defined as bad status.
All of the transitional waters which include estuaries and marshes in the Eastern District are of
moderate status, including the four in Dublin. These waters are impacted by the Ringsend
wastewater treatment works. The quality of the water in Dublin Bay has greatly improved due to the
construction of Ringsend wastewater treatment works.
The coastal waters of Dublin Bay have been designated as of moderate status by the EPA. Both of
the groundwater bodies are already at good status. The Plan indicates a progressive improvement in
its waters achieving good status in each management cycle through to 2027.
An indication of the improving water status in all three of Dublin‟s rivers is that for the first time in a
generation, Inland Fisheries Ireland reported spawning salmon in the River Tolka in 2012, which
means that all three Dublin Rivers now support populations of wild salmon.
5.5 Flood Management
Climate change brings with it new challenges for Dublin City in the area of flood management. The
challenges relate to extreme weather events (including pluvial/monster rain) and the rise in mean sea
level with potential storm surges.
The east of Ireland is relatively dry compared to the rest of the country. The total quantity of rainfall
falling on the region is of the order of 850mm per year and this has remained largely unchanged in
over a century. However over the last three to four decades it is clear that rainfall intensities have
increased dramatically punctuated by longer periods of drier weather. The intensity of rainfall brings
with it challenges in terms of urban flood management.
In Dublin, the blue print for the development of drainage services and flood protection over the next
quarter century is set out in the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study (GDSDS). That study
identified, at a strategic level, the infrastructure required to service existing and new development in
the context of dealing with storm water and foul effluent. As part of the production of this study a
detailed report was prepared on climate change impacts and this document gives coherent guidance,
particularly to new development, on how climate change impacts should be addressed.
Eastern River Basin District Website – Progress Reports
Eastern River Basin District Website – Progress Reports
The Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DOEHLG) in conjunction with the
OPW produced Guidelines for Planning Authorities on „The Planning System and Flood Risk
Management‟, 2009. The guidelines will ensure that where relevant, flood risk is a key consideration
in preparing development plans and local area plans and in the assessment of planning applications.
Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanala are required to have regard to these guidelines in carrying
out their functions under the Planning Acts.
Since the 2002 floods, the City Council has built up a high level of expertise and centre of excellence
in urban flood risk management and also cutting edge drainage solutions. The City Council has set up
a separate project team to deliver the new Major Emergency Management Framework being rolled
out nationally in 2007 and 2008. As part of the work on the Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study
(GDSDS) and the SAFER (Strategies and Actions for Flood Emergency Response Management)
Project the issue of coastal zone flood risk management has also been identified and addressed in
part. The new tidal early warning system to deal with coastal tidal surges has already been put in
place and new initiatives have also been put in place to identify areas where new infrastructure is
required. Progress has been made on advancing flood defence schemes in conjunction with the office
of Public works, including the construction of flood gates in Spencer Dock. As part of this project new
flood protection gates were constructed that allowed for the reopening of the Royal Canal to
navigation. The South Campshires Flood Protection Project is currently ongoing, and will provide
flood protection from extreme tides to the level of 3.7 m above Malin Head Datum. The Dollymount
Promenade and Flood Protection Project are currently at design stage.
There have been a number of severe weather events since 2002. Some of the more notable events
were as follows:
a) October 24 2011- Ireland was at the centre of a slow moving frontal depression which
stretched from western France to south of Iceland. A spell of very heavy rainfall occurred,
affecting mainly the eastern and northern parts of Irealnd. , with the greater Dublin area and
Wicklow receiving most rainfall. This heavy rainfall combined with high rainfall totals from the
previous day leave to saturation of soils and flooding in some eastern areas. This rainfall had
an annual probability of 1 in 100.
b) During the winter of 2013/2014, Ireland was severely affected by an exceptional run of winter
storms, culminating in serious coastal damage and widespread persistent flooding. The Polar
jet stream extended across the Atlantic right over Ireland marking the tracks of successive
storms which resulted in wet and stormy weather. The effects of these storms were
exacerbated by very high tides, causing significant disruption to individuals, businesses and
Flood control and mitigation, however, are still prevalent issues for the City Council as identified
districts within the inner city and along the coast have been recognised as high-risk areas for flooding.
With the increase in storm intensities, the additional storm water may be so large that it could not
enter the drainage system, as the available pipes (which cannot be upsized due to their location in the
urban fabric) are unable to cope with monsoon like rainstorms and the rivers are likely to have such
significant flows that free discharge into those rivers under storm conditions is not feasible.
Accordingly, the new strategies involve managing surface water at source, through both attenuation of
rainwater (limiting the maximum outflow of rainwater usually by construction of an on site tank) at
source to limit the maximum flow of any development during a storm, and the use of Sustainable
Urban Drainage System technologies (SUDS).
SUDS are a sequence of management practices and control structures which aim to mimic natural
drainage. SUDS aim to reduce the amount and rate of water flow by a combination of infiltration into
the ground (permeable paving, swales, and detention basins), holding water in storage areas (green
roofs, rainwater harvesting, detention basins, ponds, and wetlands) and slowing down the movement
of water. SUDS can achieve multiple objectives such as removing pollutants from urban run-off at
source, controlling surface water run-off from developments, ensuring flood risk does not increase
further downstream and combining water management with green space which can increase amenity
and biodiversity
In the longer term Dublin as a coastal city will be impacted on by the gradual rise in mean sea level.
The annual rise of 3.2mm per year globally is not significant in the short to medium term but could
be significant if tidal surges become more usual as a result of more intense storm activity. The Irish
Sea surface temperature has been warming by 0.6 Celsius per decade, a trend which is predicted to
continue over the coming decades. The City Council, mindful of the potential impacts, has already
commissioned a pre-feasibility study for a project called Project 2030 that will investigate the potential
for tidal barrages to protect the city and region.
5.6 Waste Management
5.6.1 EU Waste Framework Directive
The Waste Framework Directive sets out the approach for the sustainable management of waste in
the Member States of the European Community and this has been transposed into Irish law by the
European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations 2011. The transposing regulations led to
Met Eireann, the Irish Meteorological Service, Report from winter 2013/2014.
Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk Practice Guide: Department for Communities and Local Government, UK,
June 2008: 89 Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk Practice Guide: Department for Communities and Local
Government, UK, June 2008: 1
The status of Ireland’s Climate, 2012, Compiled by Ned Dwyer
The status of Ireland’s Climate, 2012, Compiled by Ned Dwyer
amendments of the Waste Management Act and the requirement to review and if necessary prepare
regional waste management plans within the state remains. In July 2012 the latest Government
National Waste Policy document, A Resource Opportunity, recommended the consolidation of the
waste regions to a maximum of three. The document acknowledges that the time has come for the
regional waste planning framework to be re-shaped to allow for greater resource efficiencies in the
implementation of the plans and to better reflect the movement of waste. The new regional
catchments will provide for greater consistency and co-ordination with other planning frameworks.
The transformation from ten regions to three has been formally completed with the new regions as
Eastern-Midlands Region;
Connacht-Ulster-Region; and the
Southern Region
The new plans will be in force for 6 years and are to cover the period 2015 – 2021. The main purpose
of the regional waste plans is to provide a planning, policy and implementation framework for the
prevention and management of non-hazardous wastes generated in the waste region. The EasternMidlands Regions comprises the following counties:
5.6.2 Responsible Authority and Plan Area
The lead authority for the preparation of the Eastern-Midlands RWMP is Dublin City Council. The Pan
is focussed on the Eastern-Midlands Region. The Eastern-Midlands Region incorporates all or part of
12 city and county council administrative areas as follows:
Dublin City;
DГєn Laoghaire-Rathdown;
South Dublin;
Wicklow; and
5.6.3 Requirement for a Regional Waste Management Plan
The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) sets out the approach for the sustainable management
of waste in Member States of the European Community and has been transposed into Irish law by the
European Communities (Waste Directive) Regulations 2011 leading to amendments of the Waste
Management Act 1996. The Directive requires the following:
The application of the waste hierarchy to apply as a priority order in waste prevention and
waste management legislation and policy;
To ensure that waste is recovered (including separate collection at source to facilitate
recovery where technically, environmentally and economically practicable) or, where it is not
recovered, to ensure that waste is disposed of without causing risks to human health and the
To prohibit the abandonment or uncontrolled disposal of waste;
To establish an integrated and adequate network of waste disposal installations and of
installations for the recovery of mixed municipal waste - aiming for EU self-sufficiency and for
Member States individually to move towards self-sufficiency;
To take necessary measures to ensure that any holder of waste recovers or disposes of it in
an environmentally sound manner and in accordance with the waste hierarchy either directly
or through a third party;
To have a system of permits and registration for all those involved in collecting, disposing ,
preparing for the recovery, or recovering waste;
To ensure that all those involved keep a record of all the details of their operations (the
quantity, nature and, origin and destination of the waste) and are subject to periodic
inspections and special controls to ensure the safe management of hazardous waste; and
To ensure that the costs of waste management are borne by the original waste producer or by
the current or previous waste holders, in accordance with the polluter pays principle.
The Directive and a number of other directives set out a range of policy principles, mandatory targets
and regulatory frameworks which Member States must transpose into national law.
5.6.4 Draft Objectives of the Eastern-Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan (2015-2021)
The Draft Eastern and Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan (2015-2021) are currently under
preparation. It is proposed publish the Draft Plan in Autumn 2014 and a statutory two-month public
consultation phase will apply. The overarching draft policy objectives of the Eastern-Midlands RWMP
A. Policy & Legislation
The Region will implement EU and national waste policy, legislation, guidance and codes
of practice to improve management of material resources and wastes.
B. Prevention
Prioritise waste prevention through behavioural change activities to decouple economic
growth and resource use.
C. Resource Efficiency
The Region will encourage the transition from a waste management economy to a green
circular economy to enhance employment and increase the value, recovery and
recirculation of resources.
D. Coordination
Coordinate the activities of the Regions and to work with relevant stakeholder to ensure
the effective implementation of objectives.
E. Infrastructure Planning
The Region will promote sustainable waste management infrastructure/technology in
keeping with the waste hierarchy and the move towards a circular economy and greater
F. Enforcement & Regulation
The Region, will implement a consistent and coordinated system for the regulation and
enforcement of waste activities in cooperation with other environmental regulators and
enforcement bodies.
G. Protection
Apply the relevant environmental and planning legislation to waste activities to protect
and reduce impacts on the environment, in particular Natura 2000 sites, and human
health from the adverse impact of waste generated.
H. Other Wastes
The Region will establish policy measures for other waste streams not subject to EU and
national waste management performance target.
In line with national waste management policy objectives and waste legislative obligations the draft
strategy of the Eastern-Midlands RWMP will build on the integrated approach to waste management
established in the previous plans.
Priority will be assigned in accordance with the waste
management hierarchy with a strong emphasis on waste prevention, reuse, and recycling. The future
regional policy in the plans will take cognisance of all relevant and pending regulations, provide a
framework for the management of priority waste streams, and promote sustainable waste practices at
local, business and industrial level.
The position of the Draft Eastern-Midlands Region Waste Plan in the legislation and planning
hierarchy is shown below:
Waste Framework Directive
Waste Management Act 1996
(as amended)
Draft Eastern-Midlands Waste Plan
City and County Development Plans
Local Area Plans, Area Action Plans
Heritage/Biodiversity Plans
Sewage Sludge Plans
Proposed Facility Planning Application
NOTE: Under the Waste Management Act 1996, as amended, a Development Plan is required to include the objectives of the
Waste Management Plan for its area. Section 22 of the Waste Management Act 1996 is amended by the Waste Management
(Amendment) Act 2001 (No. 36 of 2001), and relates to powers of the Manager with regard to a material contravention of the
Development Plan and the objectives of the Waste Plan.
Ireland’s Waste Management Regions
5.7 Air Quality and Noise Pollution
5.7.1 Air
The introduction of the ban on the sale of bituminous fuel in 1990 led to a dramatic and sustained
improvement in air quality in Dublin. This ban has been introduced on a rolling basis throughout the
cities and larger towns in Ireland with comparable results. While some major sources of air pollution
have been largely eliminated, others such as emissions from the transport sector have emerged.
There is an ongoing significant increase in the stringency of air quality standards as our knowledge of
the health effects of these pollutants increases. The Clean Air Package announced by the European
Commission in 2014 will involve a fundamental shift in tacking air emission at source with the
possibility of introducing even tighter air quality standards from 2020 onwards. The World Health
Organisation has in a range of recent reports indicated that these health effects are wider and
triggered at significantly lower levels of exposure than previously believed. According to the
Environmental Protection Agency “Emissions from road traffic are now the primary threat to the
quality of air in Ireland. The pollutants of most concern in this regard are nitrogen dioxide (NO 2) and
fine particle matter, expressed as PM10 & PM2.5.. Results of monitoring indicate that compliance with
the stringent new PM10, PM2.5. and NO2 standards may present problems in some urban areas
subject to heavy traffic.”
EU Legislation has set down air quality standards in Ireland and other member states for a wide
variety of pollutants. The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2011 transpose Directive 2008/50/EC on
ambient air quality and cleaner air in Europe (CAFÉ) into Irish law. They introduce a limit value to
PM2.5 in addition to the existing limit values for PM10, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen,
sulphur dioxide, lead, ozone, carbon monoxide and benzene.
The Environmental Protection Agency in Ireland (EPA) is the competent authority for the purpose of
Directive 2008/50/EC and these Regulations, and they are required to send annual reports to the
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and to the European Commission.
In 2013 the EPA produced the Document „Air Quality in Ireland, 2013, Key Indicators of Ambient Air
Quality‟. The ambient air quality trends are based on the concentration measurements in 2013 of
particulate matter, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, black smoke, heavy metals, ozone, polycyclic
aromatic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and benzene. The report indicates that overall, air quality in
Ireland compares favourably with other EU Member States. The report provided an overview of air
quality in Ireland for 2013, based on data from 29 monitoring stations.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) manages the national ambient air quality network in
Ireland. Under the Clean Air for Europe Directive, EU member states must designate zones for the
purpose of managing air quality. For Ireland, four zones were defined in the Air Quality Standards
Regulations (2011). The zones were amended on 1 January 2013 to take account of population
counts from the 2011 Census and to align with the coal restricted areas in the 2012 Regulations (S.I
No. 326 of 2012). Dublin is located in Zone A. Ireland continues to enjoy good air quality, with no
exceedances for the pollutants measured in 2012, and air quality is good relative to other EU member
states. Generally the air quality for Dublin is good.
5.7.2 Noise
In everyday life people are exposed to all forms of noise, which can contribute greatly to diminishing
people‟s quality of life. In 2009, the Worlds Health Organisation (WHO) European Regional Office
published the „Night Noise Guidelines for Europe‟. These guidelines presented new evidence on the
health damage of night time sound exposure and recommended threshold values that, if breached at
night, would threaten health.
In 2011, the WHO published a document entitled „Burden of Disease from Environmental Noise‟,
which showed that there is now overwhelming evidence that exposure to environmental noise has
adverse affects on the health of the population.
Noise can be characterised as “unwanted sound” or “sound that is loud, unpleasant or unexpected”
(Future Noise Policy - European Commission Green Paper 1996) and that can eventually cause
disturbance, impairment or damage to health. Sound levels are expressed in decibels (dB) on a
logarithmic scale, where 0 dB is nominally the “threshold of hearing” and 120 dB is nominally the
“threshold of pain”. One effect of using the decibel scale is that a doubling of the sound energy results
in a 3 dB increase in the sound level.
People are exposed to different sources of noise in their day to day lives, including:
Construction and Industrial Related Noise
Community Sources (neighbours, radio, TV, bars, restaurants etc)
Social and Leisure sources (portable music players, fireworks etc)
Indoor noise sources (ventilation systems, office machines, home appliances and neighbours
In 2004 the European Community adopted Directive 2002/49/EC, which relates to the assessment
and management of environmental noise, commonly referred to as the Noise Directive. The aim of
this Directive was to avoid, prevent or reduce the negative and harmful effects due to exposure to
environmental noise. This Directive requires all European Union (EU) Member States to produce
strategic noise maps for the main sources of environmental noise.
Under EU Directive 2002/49/EC transposed into Irish Law by SI number 140 of 2006, Environmental
Noise Regulations 2006, the four Local Authorities, within Dublin were required to produce „Maps‟, for
noise emanating from Industry. Under the Environmental Noise Regulations SI No. 140 of 2006,
Dublin City Council is required to review and revise where appropriate noise maps for all road sound
sources within their area. The production of the revised noise maps was the first step in the review of
the Dublin Agglomeration Noise Action Plan 2008-2013.
On foot of revisions of the Dublin Agglomeration Noise Maps in 2012, the four local authorities within
the Dublin Agglomeration carried out a review of the Noise Action Plan 2008-2013. The revised Action
Plan came into effect in December 2013 and is entitled „Dublin Environmental Noise Action Plan
December 2013-November 2018. The Noise Action Plan was prepared in accordance with the
requirements of the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006, SI 140 of 2006. These Regulations give
effect to the EU Directive 2002/49/EC relating to the assessment and management of environmental
For Dublin City the following was observed:
Dublin Agglomeration Environmental Noise Action Plan, December 2013 – November 2018, July 2013
Dublin Agglomeration Environmental Noise Action Plan December 2013 – November 2018, July 2013
Of the 527,612 people living in the Dublin City Council Area, 58% of people are exposed to
noise levels greater than 55 dB (A) Lden, reducing from 100% in 2008.
The number of people exposed to the desirable night time noise levels less than 50 dB (A)
has increased from 1% in 2008 to 69% in 2012.
The number of people exposed to the undesirable night time levels above 55 dB(A) has
reduced from 58% in 2008 to 24% in 2012 with approximately 0.04% currently exposed to
night time sound levels above 70 dB(A), i.e. 200 people.
47% of the population are exposed to sound levels from traffic sources above the desirable
day time level of 55 dB (A) with 5% exposed to day time sound levels above 70 dB (A), i.e.
26,100 people.
Dublin Agglomeration Environmental Noise Action Plan, December 2013 – November 2018, July 2013
5.8 Telecommunications
Telecommunication Infrastructure including radio frequency spectrum and the postal sector in Ireland
is provided on a private basis which is regulated by ComReg. Ireland‟s telecommunications network is
a modern digital system connected by an extensive fibre optic network with multiple high capacity
fibre optic links to the UK, Continental Europe, and North America and with dedicated capacity on
routes to Asia and other parts of the globe. ComReg enables competition in the communications
sector by facilitating market entry through a general authorisation to provide networks and services
and by regulating access to networks so as to develop effective choice for consumers both business
and residential.
The fixed line market in Ireland is still dominated by the incumbent operator, Eircom.
companies operate national fibre optic networks including Eircom, BT Ireland, ESB Group and UPC
Ireland. There are four mobile telecommunications providers, 3 Ireland, O2 Ireland, Meteor (Eircom)
and Vodafone Ireland.
Information technology has transformed the way companies conduct business. The internet has
created an entire business function commonly referred to as e-business or e-commerce. Most
companies in Ireland now utilise some form of internet or business technology into their business
operations. By drastically reducing the time required to transmit information, the internet has made
itself indispensable for commercial endeavours.
There are a number of Broadband internet provides in Ireland, who offer internet access at high
speeds. The main providers in Ireland are currently, Vodafone, Eircom, Digiweb and Irish Broadband.
Broadband internet access is available in Ireland via DSL, cable, wireless and satellite.
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government issued a circular letter PL
07/12 in October 2012, which revised part of the Telecommunications Antennae and Support
Structures Guidelines (1996), in relation to temporary permissions, separation distances, bonds for
removal of redundant structures, health and safety and development contributions. These changes
shall be incorporated in the formulation of the Dublin City Development Plan Review.
6.0 Summary of Main Issues
How can we ensure the timely provision of major physical infrastructure projects to facilitate
the sustainable economic growth of the City?
Flood Management
How should flood risk be addressed and what further mitigation measures/projects are
needed to minimise potential flooding in the City?
Renewable Energy
How should we further encourage renewable energy use along with energy supply?
How and where should district heating infrastructure be provided?
What further measures can be introduced to improve energy efficiency in our current building
stock, and to encourage the use of large scale District Heating for new and existing building
How can the City Development Plan meet its national targets for renewable heat, and to
increase the amount of sustainable fuels and high efficiency technologies used to supply heat
in the city?.
How can the Development Plan ensure that Dublin City is well served in terms of
telecommunications infrastructure, including broadband?.
Waste Management
What can the City Council do to further promote waste reduction, and to encourage
Noise and Air Quality
What measures are needed to improve our Air Quality and reduce Noise Pollution in the
1.0 Introduction
1.1 What is Green Infrastructure
1.2 GI Strategy from Europe to Dublin
2.0 Progress to date
2.1 Local Area Plans
2.2 Biodiversity
2.3 Dublin Bay Biosphere
2.4 Strategic Green Network
2.5 Sustainable Urban Drainage System
2.6 Flooding Mitigations
Future trends and development
3.1 Benefits of Green Infrastructure in the New Development Plan
4.0 Main issues and challenges
1.0 Introduction
A green city is a healthy city. Protecting and enhancing open spaces for both biodiversity and
recreational use has benefits for the city‟s sustainability and attractiveness as a place to live, work
and visit. As Dublin City intensifies and consolidates some natural assets, open spaces and
recreational areas may come under increased pressure. The City Council must respond by balancing
the need of the city to consolidate with the need to protect and enhance vulnerable natural areas.
There are green spaces and other natural features such as rivers and canals in the city and a Green
Infrastructure (GI) approach would help connect all these natural assets to provide a sustainable
Green Infrastructure is therefore essential to the development of Dublin city as it creates an integrated
and coherent network of natural and semi-natural features, green spaces, rivers and lakes that
intersperse and connect villages, towns and cities. Individually, these elements are GI assets, and the
roles that these assets play are GI functions. When appropriately planned, designed and managed,
the assets and functions have the potential to deliver a wide range of benefits (section 3.1) – from
providing sustainable transport links to mitigating and adapting the effects of climate change
GI features in cities deliver health-related benefits such as clean air and better water quality. Healthy
ecosystems also reduce the spread of vector-borne diseases. Implementing Green Infrastructure
features in urban areas creates a greater sense of community, strengthens the link with voluntary
actions undertaken by civil society, and helps combat social exclusion and isolation. They benefit the
individual and the community physically, psychologically, emotionally and socio-economically. GI
creates opportunities to connect urban and rural areas and provides appealing places to live and work
in. Through urban food production and community gardens, which are efficient tools to educate school
children and engage the interest of young people in particular, it addresses the disconnect between
the production and consumption of food and helps increase its perceived value. Investments in GI
have significant potential to strengthen regional and urban development, including the maintenance or
creating jobs
1.1. What Is Green Infrastructure (GI)
GI is a successfully tested tool for providing ecological, economic and social benefits through natural
solutions . It helps us to understand the value of the benefits that nature provides to human society
and to mobilise investments to sustain and enhance them. It also helps avoid relying on infrastructure
that is expensive to build when nature can often provide cheaper, more durable solutions. Many of
these create local job opportunities. Green Infrastructure is based on the principle that protecting and
enhancing nature and natural processes, and the many benefits human society gets from nature, are
consciously integrated into spatial planning and territorial development. Compared to single-purpose,
grey infrastructure, GI has many benefits. It is not a constraint on territorial development but promotes
natural solutions if they are the best option. It can sometimes offer an alternative, or be
complementary, to standard grey solutions.
Many definitions of GI have been developed. It is therefore difficult to cover all aspects in one short
paragraph. The following working definition as stated by the European Commission, will be used for
the purposes of this background paper
Green Infrastructure: An integrated approach to Land use 2009
Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital 2013
“A strategically planned network of natural and semi-natural areas with other environmental
features designed and managed to deliver a wide range of ecosystem services. It incorporates
green spaces (or blue if aquatic ecosystems are concerned) and other physical features in
terrestrial (including coastal) and marine areas. On land, GI is present in rural and urban
1.2. GI Strategy from Europe to Dublin
GI solutions are particularly important in urban environments in which more than 60% of the EU
population lives. There is an increased drive by Europe to embed the Green Infrastructure approach
in member states. Europe‟s landscape has faced more habitat loss and fragmentation than any other
continent . This is a major problem for biodiversity. Although core nature areas are now largely
protected under the Natura 2000 Network, species still need to be able to move between these areas
if they are to survive in the long term.
A green infrastructure will help reconnect existing nature areas and improve the overall ecological
quality of the broader countryside. A green infrastructure will also help maintain healthy ecosystems
so that they can continue to deliver valuable services to society such as clean air and fresh water.
The development of an EU strategy for a Green infrastructure figures prominently in the EU‟s new
post 2010 biodiversity policy. This is because a Green infrastructure is viewed as being one of the
main tools to tackle threats on biodiversity resulting from habitat fragmentation, land use change and
loss of habitats.
In March 2010, the European Council of Ministers set a new EU target for the protection of
biodiversity to 2020: “The EU intends to halt the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of
ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, restore them in so far as feasible, while stepping up the
EU contribution to averting global biodiversity loss”.
And by 2050 “European Union biodiversity and the ecosystem services it provides – its natural
capital – are protected, valued and appropriately restored for biodiversity’s intrinsic value and
for their essential contribution to human well-being and economic prosperity, and so that
catastrophic changes caused by the loss of biodiversity are avoided”.
The EU Biodiversity Strategy follows on from the 2006 EU Biodiversity Action Plan, learning lessons
from its implementation and raising the level of ambition for 2020. Consequently, in addition to halting
the loss of biodiversity, the new strategy also highlights, for the first time, the immense value of
ecosystem services and the urgent need to maintain and restore these for the benefit of both nature
and society. The EU biodiversity strategy is built around six measurable targets that focus on the main
drivers of biodiversity loss. Each target is accompanied by a corresponding set of actions. Target 2
relates to a strategic approach to restoring Europe‟s ecosystems and in particular Action 6 “Set
priorities to restore and promote the use of Green Infrastructure”
In 2013, the European Commission published a document “Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing
Europe‟s Natural Capital” in response to the Commission‟s commitments under action 6 of the EU
2020 strategy. It sets out how EU-wide action can add value to the local initiatives currently underway.
European Commission 2010
The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, 2011
In August 2010, the then Sustainable Development council (Comhar) published a document on Green
Infrastructure in Ireland. The document “Creating Green Infrastructure for Ireland” sets out a broad
definition of Green Infrastructure and explores and proposes an approach and a set of principles that
should be followed in Green Infrastructure planning. The aim of the study is to establish the baseline
situation regarding Green Infrastructure in Ireland and develop recommendations to Government on
the creation of Green Infrastructure and identify the most important actions for establishment of Green
Infrastructure approaches.
Green Infrastructure in Ireland had been slow to be integrated in our Land Use Plans. In a recent
article published by the Irish Landscape Institute, it was stated that “compared to our more
progressive EU partners, Ireland has been slow in implementing the „green agenda‟ in a strategic and
systematic manner. This is reflected by failures in sustainable land-use planning during the boom
period. These failures include the inefficient use of natural resources, urban sprawl and developer
rather than plan-led building, leading to environmental damage and poor living environments. Sadly
these unsustainable „boom-time‟ practices have impacted negatively on the quality of our lives, as
evidenced in long commuting distances, poor health and a lack of quality green infrastructure ”
The Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2010-2022 is another statutory
instrument driving Green Infrastructure principles and approaches in land use planning. At a regional
level, it is intended that the function of green infrastructure planning is to provide an overview of
natural and cultural resources with emphasis on the identification of priority elements and routes.
From this the establishment of strategic priority areas for inclusion and development; the provision of
guidance for a more integrated approach to environmental management; and identification of broad
areas for green infrastructure development can be achieved. More prescriptive details on how areas
are to be enhanced or routes developed should be carried out through Development Plans, Local
Area Plans and other spatial plan processes.
Within the GDA the document identified
environmentally important areas, placing focus on selected themes and regional classifications.
Within the Dublin and Mid East Region, sites and areas which have been identified as having regional
importance include World Heritage Sites, Natura 2000 sites, NHA‟s and proposed or candidates sites,
coastal areas of recognised heritage importance, major river corridors and canals, major recreational
and amenity sites, greenbelts, areas of ecological, physical or historic importance, access routes for
walking and cycling activities and access between and to the aforementioned areas.
Dublin City has been raising the profile of Green Infrastructure for a while now. Dublin City Council
has an integrated approach to GI as set out in the city Development Plan 2011-2017. The GI strategy
for Dublin City includes policies and objectives to be delivered by Local Area Plans and through
development management process. There are other projects in Dublin City Council that focus on
Green Infrastructure and the most notable one is the City Biodiversity Action Plan.
One of the most effective ways to build up Green Infrastructure is through spatial planning. Policies
that adopt a spatial planning approach can improve spatial interactions over a large geographical area
– i.e. at a local and regional level . Therefore the new development plan will build on the current
policies, objectives and programmes regarding Green Infrastructure in the city.
Green Infrastructure – Let’s just do it! Aidan J. ffrench MILI, Landscape Architect
Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2010-2022
Life building up Europe’s green infrastructure – Addressing connectivity and enhancing ecosystem functions
2.0 Progress to Date
In helping to achieve a green connected city and more sustainable neighbourhoods in line with the
core strategy of the Development Plan 2011-2017, Dublin City Council introduced a Green
Infrastructure Strategy. The strategy seeks to connect green spaces and other natural features such
as rivers and canals to different parts of the city and also links to towns and to adjoining Region. The
GI strategy includes an integrated open space, green corridor for cycling and walking, areas of high
biodiversity value, and recreational areas. The strategy is being delivered through Local Area Plans
and through the Development Management Process.
Dublin‟s Green Infrastructure Network incorporates the following range of assets;
a. Parks, gardens, institutional grounds, allotments and community gardens.
b. Green Corridors i.e. rivers and canals including their banks, road and rail corridors, cycling
routes and rights of way.
Natural and semi natural green spaces including, wetlands, grassland, brownfield sites, and
coastal areas.
d. Archaeological and historic sites, and sites of natural heritage or ecological value.
Functional spaces such as flood storage areas, extended river and flood plain widths and
sustainable drainage schemes.
Buildings and hard surfaced areas incorporating greening initiatives such as green roofs,
green walls, and planters.
2.1 Local Area Plans
Since the adoption of the City Development Plan 2011-2017, Dublin City Council has developed
Green Infrastructure Strategies for the following areas through the Local Area Plan process. This
green infrastructure strategy help to unlock spatial gaps in the city and enhance amenity value in the
local area and improves the health and social well being of the local community. These strategies
have positive environmental impacts on the city in so far as
Promoting smarter travel
Enhancing the Biodiversity value in the city
Improving water quality
Green Lungs in the City
Clongriffin – Belmayne Area
Clongriffin – Belmayne Local Area Plan promotes a green route to protect and maximise the assets of
natural heritage both within and adjoining the local area (in particular costal amenities) and promotes
the development of green corridors between amenity areas in both Dublin City Council and Fingal
County Council areas.
George’s Quay and Naas Road Area, Dublin
The Local Area Plans for these areas aim to create a comprehensive network through the delivery of
strategic objectives, which underpin the implementation of the Green Infrastructure Strategy
George‟s Quay GI
Naas Road GI
Ashtown – Pelletstown Area
The intention of the LAP for this area is to achieve a biodiverse network, incorporating SuDs options,
green wildlife corridors, walking and cycling routes, and connections beyond the immediate plan area
to nearby amenities.
Heuston & Environs: Green Infrastructure strategy for Heuston & Environs promotes a network of
green corridors, also incorporating surface water management measures, wildlife corridors, helping
maintain water quality and try to alleviate flooding.
Liberties Area
The Greening Strategy for Liberties area seeks to capitalise on the value and benefits of the existing
green spaces such as improving access to and the amenity of green spaces associated with
deconsecrated churches and archaeological sites; wholesale regeneration of some local green
spaces and incremental enhancements to existing well-functioning green spaces. Globally the
strategy seeks to ensure all children living in The Liberties are within a 5 minute walk of a high quality
and secure play space and all residents within a short 5 minute walk of a high quality green space.
The Greening Strategy will also provide a long term future for food production in the form of
allotments and community gardens within The Liberties.
Grangorman SDZ Planning Scheme
The Grangegorman Development Agency (GDA) aims to create a vibrant new city quarter with a
diverse mix of uses, in a way that is sensitive to the context of the Grangegorman site, its surrounding
neighbourhoods and the existing community. The project will protect and enhance biodiversity, flora
and fauna on the Grangegorman site by managing the site in a manner that promotes diversity of
independent species, reduces or removes invasive alien species from the site, identifies and
minimises interference with habitats of protected species, and retains and enhances existing stands
of mature trees where possible. A network of green spaces will be established which will serve to
create a series of landscaped open spaces “Quadrangles” (light green squares on adjacent diagram)
and pedestrian access routes “Green Fingers” (dark green lines on adjacent diagram) which in turn
will reinforce and enhance the creation of a distinct urban form and sense of place.
Dublin Docklands SDZ Planning Scheme
The vision is that the Docklands SDZ will become a world class maritime quarter with a distinctive
Dublin character. It will be a model of sustainable inner city regeneration incorporating socially
inclusive urban neighbourhoods, a diverse, green innovation based economy contributing to the
prosperity of the locality, the city and the country, all supported by exemplary social and physical
infrastructure and a quality public realm integrated with the wider city.
In order to create an integrated network of green infrastructure and high quality public and communal
open spaces which enables residents, workers and visitors alike to enjoy, the following approach will
be pursued in the Docklands planning scheme:
To create a network of complementing and connecting open spaces which cater for both
active and passive recreation and a wide range of age groups
To promote the greening of the public realm including the campshires and the street network
to provide for a more sheltered environment and one where a higher priority is given to
pedestrians and cyclists
To enhance the biodiversity value of the SDZ area
To create visual and environmental improvements to brownfield sites including the removal of
unsightly hoardings and restoring greenery and landscaping on an interim basis prior to
To ensure that best practice and innovations in SUDs design form part of both developments
in the public and private domain
Biodiversity (Biodiversity Action Plan)
In addition to ensuring a Green Infrastructure network for the city, Dublin City Council continues to
enhance the biodiversity assets of the city (which is beneficial to GI). The position of a Biodiversity
Officer was recently filled and the process of preparing a new Dublin City Council Biodiversity Action
Plan has commenced. The Biodiversity Action Plan presents an ambitious series of actions and
targets for Dublin City Council. By implementing the Biodiversity Action Plan, DCC will be bringing
itself in line with International and National legislation, policies, trends and best practice.
Biodiversity will be a central tenet of a sustainable city. Well managed biodiversity can help reduce
pollution, alleviate floods, reduce erosion/deposition and generally improve quality of life. The
Biodiversity Action Plan will help achieve many of the objectives of the City Development Plan. This is
also in keeping with other policies, both national and regional.
Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study was passed by Dublin City Council in 2006 and includes in
its recommendations. Maintaining or introducing a 10m wide corridor on each side of all rivers and
streams. Opening up piped/culverted surface water sewers where possible, this has flood alleviation
potential as well as improvements in bio-diversity
In 2013, as part of enhancing Dublin‟s biodiversity assets, a Dublin City Bat Map study was carried
out. The study proposed to fill information gaps on Dublin city‟s bat species as specified under the
Dublin City Biodiversity Action Plan 2008-2012.
2.3 Proposed Dublin Bay Biosphere
North Bull Island was designated by UNESCO in 1981 as one of the earliest Biospheres and is
notable for being the only Biosphere Reserve in the world entirely situated in a capital city. A
Biosphere is a place which is internationally recognised by UNESCO for its biodiversity yet is actively
developed and managed to promote a balanced relationship between humans and nature. A
Biosphere is a site which can demonstrate to the world how we can balance conservation with
sustainable economic development and promote education and learning. A Biosphere includes a core
zone for nature conservation which usually includes designated sites of international ecological
importance, but the rest of the Biosphere is not necessarily designated for conservation and will
include places where people live and work sustainably.
Dublin City Council in partnership with 3 local authorities (DCC, DLR, FCC), National Parks and
Wildlife Service and Dublin Port Company proposes to extend outwards the designation to include
inner Dublin Bay, to reflect the approach adopted by the State and local authorities to managing
nature conservation across the region and to promote the significant economic, cultural and tourism
importance of the Bay. An enlarged biosphere is an opportunity for local authorities to work together
and pool resources for the future management and promotion of Dublin Bay. Dublin City wants to use
the international status of the UNESCO Biosphere to promote Dublin as a metropolitan region of
outstanding natural beauty and richness of marine habitats and culture.
The original designation was too small to allow for communities to be directly involved and didn‟t bring
enough benefits to the wider Dublin region. It didn‟t take into account the harmonious goals of
adjoining local authorities and their communities nor did it promote ecological connectivity. The
extension will align the objectives of the three local authorities, the Regional Authority and the
Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the wider region of Dublin Bay and provide a focus
for the various bodies and community groups.
2.4 Strategic Green Network
In order to make provision for habitat creation and maintenance, the city Development Plan 20112017 developed a strategic green network for the city. It is considered important that, to progress
more sustainable forms of development and encourage approaches which effectively work with
nature, the development plan ensured that there is adequate protection for natural assets including
open spaces, landscapes and bio diverse areas, to create a clean, green and well connected city.
Dublin City Council, through the green network approach improved pedestrian and cycle access
routes to strategic level amenities in the city (i.e. The Canals, Rivers, Phoenix Park, Dublin Bay etc).
2.5 Sustainable Urban Drainage System
Dublin City Council‟s Drainage Division first introduced stormwater management in 1998 and since
2005 have required Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs) to be utilised on new developments.
These drainage systems aim to address development issues such as the increase in paved areas
with resultant increase in storm water run-off in times of rainfall.
Extreme rainfall events have increased in terms of both severity and frequency over the past two
decades and it is no longer feasible to direct storm water run-off from newly developed areas into ever
increasing sized pipes that ultimately would discharge very high flows to a local river at the same time
that the river itself is in flood.
Hence, the policy now is to manage stormwater run-off in a more sustainable manner that mimics the
pre-development, green field situation. This usually involves limiting allowable run-off to what the
figure would have been for the green field site, usually around 2 litres per second per hectare. To
achieve this, a volume of storage is required on the site to store the run-off from the storm while
trickling it into the public SW sewer system.
A range of sustainable drainage systems can be used, such as rainwater harvesting, water butts,
soakaways, infiltration trenches, green roofs, storage lakes, etc. Some of these (soakaways,
infiltration trenches), aim to replicate the natural Hyrdological Cycle whereby rainfall is returned to the
Earth and recharges ground water supplies. Others, such as harvesting and water butts provide
rainwater for use as a substitute (where suitable) for potable water. Storage lakes can be attractively
landscaped and provide biodiversity benefits as well as providing storage for run-off from extreme
An example of a comprehensive masterplan approach to stormwater run-off is the Ballymun
Regeneration Project. They have incorporated a large, landscaped, surface water storage lake into
their Surface Water Masterplan. The knock on benefits in terms of enhanced biodiversity, increased
recreational use and improved aesthetics are considerable. They have also used soakaways and
permeable paving in selected locations to minimise run-off.
The new DIT campus at Grangegorman also incorporates SuDs devices and storage facilities with an
allowable discharge comparable to the previous green field status of the site.
A simple example is where people may wish to pave their front garden to allow for car-parking. This,
when scaled up to city level, can have significant impacts as it both reduces any green lawn area that
would have been available to absorb rainfall and replaces it with hard paving that creates significantly
increased run-off in times of rain. The answer is to use either a permeable paving material or to
construct it in such a way the the run-off flows into side filter strips rather than flowing overland out the
front gate and into road gullies.
In Dublin, SuDs requirements have been embedded in the planning system since 2005 and the
industry is evolving rapidly where green roofs are now commonplace and increasing attention is paid
to managing storm water run-off in all development proposals.
The prevalence of water butts and rainwater harvesting is also an indication of the increase in
awareness among the public and how readily they will adopt these measures.
2.6 Flooding Mitigations
Flood Alleviation works to date have been installed adjacent to Marine Drive at Sean O‟More Park
and Merrion Gates in Sandymount, these utilised existing coastal walls as far as possible to reduce
any impact on the environment which significantly increasing flood protection levels behind them,
while allowing access to both beach and park.
Sean O’More Park Entrance
Flood Alleviation measures on the Tolka, following the major flood of November 2002 were
constructed between 2003 and 2006. These used natural embankments and the replacement of
existing walls with flood walls as far as possible. The existing river was widened to accommodate
floodwaters in All Hallows. The sea weir at distillery road was removed and other weirs modified to
allow salmon up the river for the first time in over 100 years, making it the third salmonoid river in the
Capital, a record for EU Capital Cities
The landscaping at Griffith Park improved the natural
surroundings whilst enhancing the Tolka‟s waterside. The
embankments not only provide protection from flooding but add
to the visual appearance of the park that provides a fine
example of how Flood Protection, Amenity and biodiversity can
be achieved.
At Spencer Dock on the Royal Canal the previously removed
sea lock was replaced in 2009. The new flood gates not only provide protection from coastal flooding
to over 300 houses but have helped rejuvenate the Royal canal and its environs allowing barges to
once again navigate from the river Liffey as shown on an RTE programme and added a linier park for
all to enjoy a waterside amenity.
On the lower Dodder existing walls were replaced with flood walls and embankments. New otter holts
have produced at least four otter cubs over the last three years. Nesting sites for kingfishers and new
roosts for bats are key environmental features of the new flood alleviation works. Over 2,500 building
have reduced flood risk as a consequence of
these works to date.
Flood protection projects constructed by both the Office of Public Works and Dublin City Council
along the Dodder River estuary embankments have provided natural walkways as well as cover for
wildlife along the river‟s edge.
Open spaces along the riverside have allowed easy access and tranquil surroundings for everyone to
enjoy the life along the river. These areas also form part of the extensive flood protection programme
for the Dodder.
To combat thunderstorm flooding four new large flood retention green areas have been constructed in
Cabra and Ashtown and two further ones are under construction in Finglas and Clontarf. The swales
transfer flood waters from housing areas to depressions in local parks while the storm is underway
and for a few hours after it eventually draining the excess water back into the drainage network.
Underground drainage in these swales allows them to dry out very quickly after a large storm event.
Catchments Flood Risk Assessment and Management Plans (CFRAMP) for each river and coastal
area of the State have to evaluate any EIS/EIA and Natura 2000 implications; firstly at a strategic
level and later at a project level using EIS/EIA and Habitats Directive evaluation for larger projects or
an environmental report, to more or less the same standard, for smaller schemes at Planning Stage.
The implications of all National, Regional, County and Local Plans (including Biodiversity Plans) are
evaluated in these Planning processes and all regulatory bodies are given a copy of these Plans for
comment. Elements of estimated climate change for the medium future (40-100 years) have been
built into most of these flood alleviation works.
3.0 Future Trends and Developments
Dublin City Council needs to build on the existing Green Infrastructure strategy in the current City
Development Plan 2011-2017. Since the adoption of the DCDP 2005 – 2011 there has been more
focus on the provision of a sustainable environment through Green Infrastructure solutions. The
recently adopted EU strategy on Enhancing Europe‟s natural capital needs to be reflected in decision
making process in the new plan. The next Development Plan will have to take account of significant
change in two key areas
Green Infrastructure Vision
A shared vision should initially be agreed for Green Infrastructure. A vision that will form part of the
Core Strategy of the new plan based on the City‟s natural assets identified in section 2 above. The
Green Infrastructure vision should be defined with consideration of its potential to contribute positively
to biodiversity protection and enhancement, recreational open space provision, landscape character
and amenity, sustainable transport, flood risk management, climate change adaptation, and primary
production in the landscape (agriculture, forestry, etc.).
A Green Infrastructure Vision that has regard to the content of Regional Planning Guidelines must be
sought and also informed from active consultations with the adjoining local authorities. The vision will
help to clarify the nature of expertise required, the potential stakeholders to be engaged and possible
funding sources for implementation.
Green Infrastructure Objectives
For each of the Green Infrastructure assets or ecosystem services provided by the network, the new
Development Plan should state specific, measurable, outcome-based objectives. This is essential for
the justification and specification of actions in the Green Infrastructure strategy formulation stage, and
for the measurement of success in the course of implementation. Chapters in the new plan relating to
GI (Water, Climate change, Landscape/open space, Heritage, Environment, Transport, Flooding etc)
should have objectives that seek to achieve the overall GI vision for the city.
3.1 Benefits of Green Infrastructure in the New Development Plan
Green Infrastructure Strategy in the new plan can make a significant contribution in the areas of
development management, climate change, disaster risk management, and the environment. In most
cases, the contribution GI can make is already recognised. What is needed now is to ensure that it
becomes a standard and integrated part of spatial planning.
Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management
Ecosystem-based approaches are strategies and measures that harness the adaptive forces of
nature. They are among the most widely applicable, economically viable and effective tools to combat
the impacts of climate change. When appropriate, such approaches use Green Infrastructure
solutions, because they work with biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall
adaptation strategy to help people adapt to or mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
GI will also be a necessary adjunct to reducing the carbon footprint of transport and energy provision,
mitigating the negative effects of land uptake and fragmentation and boosting opportunities to better
integrate land use, ecosystem and biodiversity concerns into policy and planning. Green Infrastructure
solutions can contribute significantly to the development of Green Transport Corridors, using the
potential of healthy ecosystems to sustainably mitigate carbon emissions.
The European Commission states that, “GI solutions that boost disaster resilience are also an integral
part of disaster risk management. Climate change and infrastructure development make disasterprone areas more vulnerable in extreme weather events and natural disasters, such as floods,
landslides, avalanches, forest fires, storms and wave surges that cost lives and are the cause of
billions of Euros of damage and insurance costs each year in the EU” . The impacts of such events
on human society and the environment can often be reduced using GI solutions such as functional
flood plains, riparian woodland, protection forests in mountainous areas, barrier beaches and coastal
wetlands that can be made in combination with infrastructure for disaster reduction, such as river
Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital 2013
protection works. GI can also help reduce vulnerability to risks by supporting local livelihoods and
Investments in ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and GI can thus provide many benefits for
innovative risk management approaches, adapting to climate change-related risks, maintaining
sustainable livelihoods and fostering green growth. Cities and local authorities are the first to deal with
the immediate consequences of such disasters. They therefore play a critical role in implementing
prevention measures such as GI.
Land and Soil
The majority of soils within and surrounding Dublin City are urban soils i.e. those which have been
disturbed, transported and manipulated by man‟s activities in the urban environment. Soil
contamination as a result of development is a problem. Therefore, systematically including GI
considerations in the planning and decision-making process will help reduce the loss of ecosystem
services associated with future land take and help improve and restore soil functions.
Integrating GI considerations into river basin management can contribute significantly to delivering
good water quality, mitigating the effects of hydro-morphological pressures and reducing the impacts
of floods. Green Infrastructure also offers cost-effective options for better implementing the Drinking
Water Directive and the Groundwater Directive.
With regard to the marine environment, GI can help put current strategies for marine spatial planning
and integrated coastal zone management into practice, in particular the strategies for sustainably
managing coastal zones and making coastal defences more efficient. Further developing blue carbon
approaches, beneficial for fish stocks, can also profit from the application of GI principles to promote
multiple ecosystem services in the marine environment .
Nature Conservation
Natura 2000 is an ecological network established under the Habitats and Birds Directives. It was
established mainly to conserve and protect key species and habitats across the EU, but it also
delivers many ecosystem services to human society. The value of these services has been estimated
at EUR 200-300 billion per annum . The work done over the last 25 years to establish and
consolidate the network means that the backbone of the EU‟s GI is already in place. It is a reservoir of
biodiversity that can be drawn upon to repopulate and revitalise degraded environments and catalyse
the development of GI. This will also help reduce the fragmentation of the ecosystem, improving the
connectivity between sites in the Natura 2000 network and thus achieving the objectives of Article 10
of the Habitats Directive.
Green Infrastructure (GI) – Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital 2013
European Commission
Health, Well-Being and Social Cohesion
There is a large body of literature indicating that green space makes places more inviting and
attractive and enhances people‟s sense of well-being. People living and working with a view of natural
landscapes appreciate the various textures, colours, and shapes of native plants.
Birds, butterflies, and other wildlife attracted to the plants add to the aesthetic beauty and appeal of
green spaces and natural landscaping. “Attention restorative theory ” suggests that exposure to
nature reduces mental fatigue, with the rejuvenating effects coming from a variety of natural settings,
including community parks and views of nature through windows. In fact, desk workers who can see
nature from their desks experience 23 percent less time off sick than those who cannot see any
nature, and desk workers who can see nature also report a greater job satisfaction (Wolf 1998 ).
Green space offers possibilities in terms of increasing social activity, improving community cohesion,
developing local attachment and lowering crime levels, particularly in deprived communities. In
addition, there is much evidence of green infrastructure delivering key benefits for public health and
well-being, including:
Increased life expectancy and reduced health inequality
Improvements in levels of physical activity and health
Psychological health and mental well-being
Many aspects of green infrastructure can potentially increase property values by improving aesthetics,
drainage, and recreation opportunities. These in turn can help restore, revitalize, and encourage
growth in the economically distressed areas.
4.0 Issues for Consideration
a) How can the Development Plan facilitate the provision of more publicly accessible open
space and ensure that the new spaces are located to address deficiencies in open space?
b) Are current standards (both quantitative and qualitative) for public open space provision
associated with new developments appropriate? How might new standards help achieve
objectives of sustainable urban development?
c) How can we provide for a greening of the city landscape and the protection of existing natural
features including trees and hedgerows? What greening initiatives should be considered for
the city and incorporated into new developments?
d) How should the key areas and features of natural beauty or interest and the landscape of
historic value be identified and conserved?
e) How can existing buildings in the city be retrofitted with green infrastructure ? What standards
should be sought for new developments ? What incentives could be provided ?
Attention Restoration Theory. Bernadine Cimprich, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Michigan
Urban Nature Benefits: Psycho-Social Dimensions of People and Plants. Human Dimension of the Urban
Forest. Fact Sheet 1. Centre for Urban Horticulture. University of Washington, College of Forest Resources
How can we make sure that the increasing demand for sports and leisure facilities can be met
and that all new developments are addressing the sport and recreation needs (including
minority sports) of their communities, including new communities ?
g) How can we provide for informal recreation and play areas suitable for all ages including older
persons and teenagers?
h) What are the barriers that may impede the integration of GI into spatial planning ? Can these
barriers be overcome ?
Paper H:
1.1 Background
Policy Guidance
2.1 National Policy
2.2 Regional Policy
2.3 Retail Guidelines
2.4 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 - 2017
2.5 Local Policy Guidance
Current Retail Issues
3.1 General Retail Context
3.2 Dublin Retail Context
3.3 Transport Infrastructure
3.4 Retail Vacancy & Rent Regime
3.5 Lean/Pop Up Retail Outlets
3.6 e-tailing - Online/Internet Retail Activity
3.7 Discount Retail Outlets
3.8 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017 ; Zoning Classifications
3.9 Southern Retail Core - Grafton Street Environs – Category 1 & 2 Streets
3.10 Northern Retail Core O Connell Street Environs Category 1 & 2 Streets
3.11 Interconnecting the North and South Retail Cores.
3.12 Dublin Docklands and Environs
3.13 Suburban retail centres.
Existing Development Plan 2011 – 2017
4.1 Context
4.2 Development Plan 2011 – 2017: Chapter 10 Retail Review
Development Plan 2011 – 2017 - Appendix 4 – Retail Strategy
Summary of Key Issues/Further Actions
1.0 Introduction
1.1 Background
This retail background paper sets out the context relating to planning for retail development
in the city. It will inform the preparation by Dublin City Council of the new City Development
Plan. The plan making process will take two years and culminate in the publication of the
Dublin City Development Plan 2016 – 2022. Precise and accurate planning for retail
provision is closely aligned to and dependent on population projections.
The population of Dublin City was 527,000 in the 2011 Census an increase of 21,000 from
the 2006 census figure (506,000). The figure is projected to increase again to 563,000 in
2016 (Regional Planning Guidelines) as set out in Table 3 of the Dublin City Development
Plan 2011 – 2017. While the inner city population has increased 2006-2011, the outer city
has declined marginally.
Dublin City Population Change 2006 – 2011, from CSO Figures
The Greater Dublin Area (GDA) encompasses the 3 remaining counties in Dublin (Fingal,
South Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown) and the 3 counties adjoining those again (
Meath, Kildare, Wicklow). It has a population of 1,801,040 (2011 Census) and is served by
large-scale shopping centres such as Tallaght, Dundrum and Blanchardstown. There is
significant overlap of the catchments of these centres – essentially providing a choice of
destinations for shoppers.
catchment area for these destinations, each extends into the hinterland of the other. City
dwellers journey to GDA located destinations and people from the GDA shop in the city
centre, particularly during periods of high turnover such as Christmas.
Greater Dublin Area (GDA)_delineated by Local Authority Boundaries
2.0 Policy Guidance
2.1 National Policy
The National Spatial Strategy (NSS) 2002 – 2020 sets out the strategic planning framework for the
country. It advocates the physical consolidation of Dublin via appropriate land use and transportation
policies. This is also applied to retail services with provision type equating to settlement size.
2.2 Regional Policy
The Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area (RPGs) 2010 – 2022, transposes
national strategy to a regional level with a focus on Dublin as the engine of national development.
The Retail Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2008 – 2016 sets out a co-ordinated, sustainable
approach to the provision of retail within the Greater Dublin Area (GDA) so that;
1. There is suitable provision for a growing and changing population
2. Retail is located in optimum locations
3. Provision of retail outlets is commensurate to the population catchment available
It is recognised that since the original strategy was published and particularly from 2008 the economy
has suffered severe contraction and disposable income has decreased accordingly, and this has
impacted earlier projections of growth. Therefore such economic trends require careful consideration
and scrutiny of the latest economic research is vital. However this has not altered medium/long term
projections (CSO Regional Population Projections 2013) of a region increasing in terms of population.
It is understood that the Regional Planning Guidelines will be will be subject to review and may
comment on retailing and future population.
2.3 Retail Guidelines
The statutory Guidelines for Planning Authorities on Retail Planning and related Retail Design
Manual 2012 set out best practice for retail development and include policy objectives of promoting
city/town centre vitality through a sequential and plan led approach to development, enabling tailored
proposals, a preference for public transport access to such outlets, and ensuring that new
development is of a sufficient design standard.
2.4 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 - 2017
The Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017 is aligned to national and regional policy guidelines
on retail planning and these are articulated through the core strategy and the policies and objectives
set out in the retail chapter.
Retail Hierarchy Outline – Development Plan 2011 - 2017 - Appendix 4
Hierarchy Level
Outlet Type
Floor Area Range
Retail Core in City
High end/luxury retail,
comparison goods
Varied, though a
scarcity of floor areas
of around 1,500 sqm
has been noted
500,000 + visitors
District Centres
Examples of such
are Finglas,
Shopping Centre
Local Shops
Supermarkets, less than
2,500 sqm net food with
car parking, as part of a
variety of non retail outlets
such as banks and
Superstore, greater than
2,500 sqm with car parking
as part of a variety of non
retail outlets such as banks
and restaurants
Usually provide for one
supermarket or discount
store ranging from 1, 000
– 2,000 sqm with a limited
range of shops and retail
services such as a
chemists and hairdressers
Convenience shops
catering for everyday
needs with other outlets in
proximity , typically
butchers and hairdressers
3,000 – 5,000 people
The Retail Planning
Guidelines set a district
centre size of
approximately 20,000
sqm in the metropolitan
area of the GDA
12,000 – 15,000
The supermarket or
discount store can
range in size from
1,000 – 2,500 sqm
Local population
The retail element in
such arrangements is
usually in the 500 –
1,500 sqm range
Surrounding population
2.5 Local Policy Guidance
There has been a series of plans prepared at the sub development plan level related to specific areas
of the city where retail activity is concentrated, Mainly the Grafton Street and O Connell Street areas.
In general terms these relate to the control of non-retail uses, urban design considerations, and
shopfront design. A full list of relevant plans is provided in Table 1.
Table 1: Retail Plans & Relevant Guidelines
Title of Plan
National Spatial Strategy 2002 – 2020
Regional Planning Guidelines for the Greater Dublin Area 2008 2016
Retail Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2008 - 2016
Guidelines for Planning Authorities: Retail Planning 2012
Smarter Travel, A Sustainable Transport Future 2009 – 2020
Dublin City Development Plan 2011 - 2017
O Connell Street & Environs Special Planning Control Scheme
2003 (updated 2009)
O Connell Street Architectural Conservation Area 2001
Authority Responsible
Department of the Environment,
Community and Local Government
Dublin Regional Authority
Dublin Regional Authority
Department of the Environment,
Community and Local Government
Department of Transport, Tourism
and Sport
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
Grafton Street & Environs Special Planning Control Scheme
2007 (updated 2013)
Grafton Street & Environs Architectural Conservation Area 2006
South City Retail Quarter Architectural Conservation Plan 2007
Capel Street and Environs Architectural Conservation Area
Thomas Street and Environs Architectural Conservation Area
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
Dublin City Council
3.0 Current Retail Issues
3.1 General Retail Context
The general retail context is one where of an economy showing tentative signs of recovery, with GDP
growth of 2.6% this year (2014) predicted by the ESRI, however disposable income has been
reduced and there is still uncertainty as to whether the recovery will be maintained. Retailing is
Ireland‟s largest indigenous employment sector and currently employs 280,000 people. However
during the last 5 years the retail sector has lost 65,000 jobs with only the seasonal peaks such as
Christmas offering any respite and the opportunity for additional staff, albeit temporary. Prices and
wages have been under downward pressure and there has also been a lack of credit available,
exacerbated by the banking crisis. An additional burden has been the prevalence in Ireland of upward
only rent review (UORR) clauses in many rental agreements. However domestic demand remains
weak and personal consumption, which accounts for 2/3rds of domestic demand has fallen also, by
0.9% in 2012. Retailing has performed weakly over the last 6 years in a context of high
3.2 Dublin Retail Context
The Ireland Quarterly Property Index details for the opening quarter of 2013 show that capital values
for Grafton Street and Henry Street/Mary Street have decreased by 3.6% and 1.2% respectively,
evidence that the traditional „High Street‟ remains vulnerable to changing consumer spending patterns
. Retailers are also giving greater focus to their online operations which account for E4.1 Billion sales,
and this is expected to rise to E21 Billion by 2017. There have been a number of high profile retailers
that have gone into examinership such as Pamela Scott, others like HMV have closed temporarily and
relocated to different premises. However discount retailers have remained a strong and expanding
presence in Ireland, with brands such as Aldi and Lidl opening new outlets on a regular basis, often in
non traditional retail locations.
DTZ Sherry Fitzgerald have surveyed all shopping centres throughout the country with a lettable floor
area of greater than 10,000 sq m, and given them a rating in descending order from AAA+++ to A.
The ranking was based on key criteria such as size, population density, access to transport, the
presence of leading retailers and entertainment services. Dundrum is the only shopping centre to
qualify for the „very large‟ threshold based on European definitions, (80,000 sqm+). Using the same
European scale for shopping centres, large ranges from 40,000 – 79,999 sqm and medium ranges
from 20,000 – 39,000 sqm. It is interesting to note that the only Dublin City shopping centre to be
included in the top ten were Omni Park and the Jervis Centre.
In 2012 a nationwide survey conducted by Retail Excellence Ireland detailed the major factors that
influenced a person‟s choice of destination with proximity being the primary influence. The importance
of public transport is listed as 10 on the list with car parking accessibility and price at no 4 and no 5
respectively on the list. Overall it shows that atmosphere, conviviality and convenience are all
important, but location is the main determinant.
There has been a concerted effort to upgrade, reinvigorate and expand the retail core in the centre,
pivoted around the Henry Street/Grafton Street axis and the streets adjacent. This is in light of the
challenges of such centres as Dundrum and the Liffey Valley Centre. The development of the M50
and the radial national road routes created the opportunity for a number of large scale retail centres to
the north, west and south of Dublin. These include „The Square‟ at Tallaght, Blanchardstown
Shopping Centre, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Swords Pavilions and Dundrum Shopping Centre.
Such centres provide extensive shopping opportunities and car parking. In the case of Dundrum, this
entails 80,000 sqm of floor space and 3,400 charged car parking spaces.
As well as the city centre retail area the city has also undertaken to establish new district centres or to
regenerate existing centres that are in need of improvement. These (8 in total) have generally being
designated as Key District Centres (KDCs) and tie in with the settlement hierarchy that promotes
further population growth within the city limits. It should also be noted that the Docklands Strategic
Development Zone (SDZ) area is also earmarked as a retail location. These district centres are
located in suburban areas and serve new residential areas such as Pelletstown and Clongriffin or
established areas such as Ballymun and Phibsborough. Some of these areas have also been subject
to specific regeneration plans or Local Area Plans (LAPs) that stipulate incremental development
through a phased approach. In areas such as Belmayne/Clongriffin and Ashtown/Pelletstown, despite
there being gap sites, some retail infrastructure has been provided already. Table 2 details projected
floorspace requirements for the city to the year 2016 as determined in 2010 (source; current
development plan). This data will need to be updated by establishing the current position and
projecting further into the future given the implementation period for the next development plan.
Table 2 : Projected Floorspace Needs for Dublin City up to 2016 based on the RSGDA Data
Gross Lettable
Floor Space
Need (sq.m)
Built 2014
46, 300
46, 300
11, 575
54,375 –
65,950 –
271,875 –
329-750 –
428, 625
* 25 % Flexibility Factor – May be greater in areas of exceptionally high leakage as per RSGDA
3.3 Transport Infrastructure
Vital to the health of retailing is access by various modes of transport. Transport infrastructure has
been improved and there are ongoing works that will eventually link the Red and Green Luas lines via
the cross city link, from St Stephens Green to Broombridge. Through this increased accessibility, will
be increased retail opportunity. The existing Dublin Bus service has been streamlined with the
introduction of cross city routes that traverse the city centre. There are also proposals for a „Bus
Rapid Transit‟ (BRT) scheme that would enable multi door bus carriages to transit the city faster than
is the current norm. There would be three routes, Clongriffin to Tallaght, Blanchardstown to UCD and
Swords to the City Centre. This service would further increase accessibility to the city centre and
indeed to population centres along the routes. The Dublin Bikes scheme has proved to be successful
and is expanding significantly – giving shoppers who uses these bikes improved flexibility in terms of
choice of shopping destinations.
A recent survey by Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 2011 regarding transport modes and
shopping found quite revealing statistics regarding transport modes, perceived attitudes and
spending. Traders on the two main shopping streets (Grafton Street & Henry Street) overestimated
spending by shoppers travelling by car and Luas and underestimated spend by bus users and
Traders perception regarding modes of transport
Grafton Street
Henry Street
Mode of
mode of
transport %
Actual mode
of transport
Mode of
mode of
transport %
Actual mode of
transport %
Average shopper spend per month by mode of transport
Grafton Street
Mode of transport
Henry Street
Average Shopper
Mode of transport
Spend per month
Average Shopper
Spend per month
Dublin Bike
Dublin Bike
This survey was informative in that it highlighted the disparity between what traders perceive to be
important travel modes and what shoppers actually use. Use of both car and Luas were
overestimated ( first table above) and use of buses was significantly underestimated. In regard to
average spends, those by bus users were relatively high – particularly in the case of Henry Street.
The average value of goods purchased by car users was relatively high in the Grafton street area indicating that the car is used for special or dedicated trips. Dublin Bike users also showed high
spends. On Henry street, the emerging picture differs significantly however, bus users having the
highest average spend, with Luas ranking second. Of course, these difference reflect differing levels
of convenience of different modes of transport between Henry Street and Grafton Street. Overall this
research would indicate that it is important to facilitate and improve where possible mass transit
options, and particularly bus that can link locations to the city centre without major infrastructural
works or a long lead in time. Bus Rapid Transit routes would further assist to serve the city‟s retail
3.4 Retail Vacancy & Rent Regime
Retail Excellence Ireland detailed that during 2013 there was a vacancy rate of 10.6% in retail units
in Dublin although this was the lowest figure among the main Irish cities, with Limerick having a
vacancy rate of 15% and Cork a vacancy rate of 20%. In Dublin there is a disparity between the retail
core areas which had lower vacancy rates and other areas, particularly within the canal ring,- which
had higher vacancy rates. Currently there are issues of vacancy for many of the units in the city
centre core and in the KDCs, which not only constitute a loss of potential commercial rates but are
often an eyesore and can lead to further dilapidation. It is interesting to note that the residential
vacancy rate recorded for Dublin in 2011 was 10.7% which was nearly the exact rate as that
recorded for retail vacancy.
Another factor related to occupancy has been the practice of upward only rent reviews (UORR), that
that lead to otherwise viable businesses being forced to either close or relocate thus further stunting
recovery. Between the years 2000 and 2007 commercial rents increased by 240%. It is accepted that
the system functioned during the boom but the precipitous decline in the sector requires a revised
rental arrangement between commercial tenants and property owners.
With regard to the dispute between Bewley‟s Café and their landlord over the UORR arrangement in
place on Bewley‟s Grafton Street premises, the Supreme Court has delivered (July 2014) a
judgement overturning an earlier High Court decision allowing for a reduced rental payment by the
lessee and reinstating the terms of the original lease agreement. This was based on a legal argument
regarding the precise definition of the wording employed in the lease agreement. The judgment will
have implications for both landlords and tenants of commercial leases entered into before the 28
February 2010. Commercial leases entered into after that date are subject to the ban on UORR
clauses set out in the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009.
3.5 Lean/Pop Up Retail Outlets
Lean retail or commonly called „pop up‟ retail is the use of low cost short-term retail rental space. It
allows businesses to see if certain neighbourhoods, or even streets, are profitable. It also helps
brands build relationships, track success and drive their online revenue. This has been successful in
American cities where commercial retail brokers, landlords and malls are renting it, not for traditional
five or ten year leases, but for days, weeks, or months. Both product and service focused businesses
are involved, creating exclusive offline experiences, testing markets and trying out new ideas. Dun
Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council are promoting a pop up initiative to make use of the empty
commercial property in the town centre to offer temporary low-cost space for community benefit,
social enterprise and local business entrepreneurs. This may be an area to explore further and
develop insights, even if only to reduce vacancy over the short term.
Pop Up Shop – Stephen’s Green Centre
3.6 e-tailing & m-commerce - Online/Internet Retail Activity
A report in 2012 by Deloitte with regard to the British market but with many pertinent indicators for
Irish retail predicts that 4 out of 10 shops will have to shut by 2017 as consumers move from the high
street to online purchasing. „ROPO‟ (Researched Online, Purchased Offline) relates to goods and
services that are initially researched online but the resultant purchase occurs offline. This may lead
retailers having to reduce their property portfolios by 30 – 40% in the same time period. The shift to
online purchasing is most marked in the clothes, music and gaming sectors.
The technological innovation arising is signified by;
Increasing number of businesses adopting the „click and collect‟ model.
Central locations being marketed as convenient hubs for collecting items.
Expansion of mobile technology and m-commerce.
Pop up store windows enabling people to interact with products via mobiles.
Increasing use of loyalty apps
The challenges arising from these changes can be summarised as thus;
Weak consumer spending especially for discretionary purchases.
Rising business costs.
Evolving technology and increasing connectivity.
Increasing competition especially from other countries.
For traditional retailers mainly in the comparison goods sector, retailing will now encompass;
1. Stores as destinations to augment the brand experience, less space required for traditional
style displays given the online element and more dedicated for interactive activities, large
screens etc. There is also an opportunity for the inclusion of lifestyle cafes, spas and salons.
2. A decrease in the requirement for storage of products/lines in store as this can be done
virtually though the retailer is required to ascertain which products consumers still require for
physical comparison on the shop floor.
3. Utilising technology such as wi-fi, touch-screen and magic mirror technology. A magic mirror
enables customers to view themselves in a series of outfits – without having to change their
garments. These developments will require retailers in invest in network connectivity and
upgrades of their current facilities. The modern store will be run more like a website:
information regarding purchases can be analysed and fed back to consumers via smart
devices. Time spent at display stands or specific floors can also be analysed and
It is interesting to note that mass consumer on-line retail activity was pioneered mainly in the grocery
sector and though this still exists, customers often bypass this labour saving option in favour of
choosing their produce personally (particularly with regard to perishables such as fruit and
„Magic Mirror’ technology
Research undertaken by Google suggests that the proportion of Irish consumers who researched
online before purchasing increased from 26% in 2010 to 54% in 2012, placing Ireland in third position
out of the 22 countries profiled. Online advertising is now the fastest growing form of business
advertising in Ireland. It has also been estimated (Department of Communications, Energy and
Natural Resources, 2013) that the size of the internet economy is of the order of 4.1% - 4.8% of
economy wide GDP in 2012. The indications are that the internet economy is likely to continue to
grow, with estimates of at least 10% of growth every year for the next five years as technology
becomes more advanced though the only brake on such growth will be the availability of high quality
broadband. Internet retail purchases are often not only cheaper than the high street but time costs
and transport costs are also saved which further increases the savings margin. Therefore such a
change in retail behaviour will impact on the turnover/profit margins of existing high street retailers.
With online trading projected to increase in the future this may permanently alter the traditional retail
arrangements of the high street. This prompts the question “will there be a requirement to provide
extensive floors areas in the future ?”
Google - Survey of Growth of On-Line Shopping (2012)
3.7 Discount Retail Outlets
A recent Nielsen survey (2013) revealed that over 50% of all Irish shoppers have switched to discount
type retailers in the past year in order to save money and will likely remain with them long term.
Eighty-one per cent of Irish consumers say they want to save more next year. Once essential living
expenses are covered, over one-third of Irish respondents (31%) are putting spare cash into savings,
while 28pc are paying off debts. This is due to higher taxes, job losses and debts. There has been a
significant increase in the percentage saying they have switched to cheaper grocery brands - now
77%. This is the highest of all European countries and 24 points higher than the European average of
53pc. These results may indicate a permanent modal shift in shopping preferences.
Nielsen Survey 2013 – Consumer Grocery Sentiment
Figures from Kantar Worldpanel in Ireland, for the 12 weeks ending 2 February 2014, show
SuperValu performing strongly, with 20.1% market share. Tesco‟s market share has dipped to 26%,
despite 87% of Irish shoppers frequenting its stores – more than any other retailer. Dunnes and
Superquinn have both lost ground with shares standing at 23.8% and 5.1% respectively, while the
discounters continue to thrive. Aldi has increased its share points by 1.3% to 7.2%, with Lidl holding
6.6% of the market.
The pie charts detail how, in the grocery sector, the competition has gone from a few dominant
retailers with a 2/3 share of the grocery market in 2005 to one in 2014 where the largest retailer has
only a 26% or quarter share of the market and half of the total market share is divided amongst a
range of retailers.
Grocery Share 2005 (source Competition Authority)
6% 4%
Grocery Share 2014 (source Kantar Worldpanel)
3.8 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017; Zoning Classifications
The table below sets out zoning objectives in which retail uses may be provided. The areas of major
retail development are covered by the Z5 zoning intended for the consolidation and strengthening of
the city centre including the retail core of the O Connell Street/Grafton Street Axis. The Key District
Centres and District Centres are covered by the Z14 zoning, and the Z4 zoning allows for retail in
mixed service facilities. The Z3 zoning is for the provision and improvement of neighbourhood
facilities. Figure 17, Retail Strategy, from the development plan details the retail arrangement from the
periphery to the core.
Key Retail facilitating Development Plan Zoning Objectives]
To protect, provide and improve residential amenities
To provide for and improve neighbourhood facilities
To provide for and improve mixed service facilities
To consolidate and facilitate the development of the central area, and to identify, reinforce,
strengthen and protect its civic design character and dignity
To seek the social, economic and physical development and/or rejuvenation of an area
with mixed use , of which residential and “Z6” would be the predominant uses
An issue that may be considered for further analysis is the number of zonings related to retail, their
definitions/categorisation and what retail –related factors may have changed since the formulation of
the previous development plan. Dublin City has a retail core at the top of the overall hierarchy with a
layer of district, neighbourhood and local centres in descending tiers below. Neighbourhood centres
serve an important local function sometime supplemented by discount stores such as Lidl and Aldi.
There may an opportunity to review the current retail hierarchy in the city to ascertain the role of each
layer in the hierarchy given changing pressures and consumer demands (the current hierarchy of
centres is illustrated below)
Within the city centre retail core, designated Category 1 and Category 2 retail streets in the current
development plan restrict the type of non retail uses permitted on these streets. This is to protect
retailing as the main focus of these areas. A particular emphasis is placed on ground floor units in
category 1 streets – seeking retailing as the predominant use. It may be necessary to review these
categorisations and to evaluate the effectiveness of related policy. Whilst category 1 has proved of
value and remains valid, Category 2 should perhaps be revisited – preferably with survey/analysis to
inform an appropriate mix of uses.
There are major development opportunities available on the northern side of the city centre, with
more limited opportunities on the southern side – particularly for developments seeking large single
floor areas
3.9 Southern Retail Core - Grafton Street Environs – Category 1 & 2 Streets
In relation to the mix of uses allowable under category 2, it make be an appropriate time to survey the
roles of streets undergoing change. These include Dame Street, Dawson Street and Capel Street.
Generally speaking, the south city centre has a rich mix of shopping, cafГ©/restaurant options and
cultural destinations.
There are approximately 78 retail units on Grafton Street of which half are domestic retailers and the
remaining are international brands. Of the 78 units 9% were deemed to be vacant. The comparison
goods sectors accounts for 85% of units , while the convenience goods sectors accounts for the
remainder. Within the comparison goods category, clothing/footwear accounted for 35% of units with
jewellery stores the next largest segment at 11%. It should also be highlighted that this street was
deemed one of the most expensive high streets in the world, however rents have decreased
dramatically with prime rents now approximately €4,000 per sqm. As noted capital values have also
decreased, highlighted by the sale of the River Island Store and adjoining Wallis Outlet for a reported
€115 Million in 2007 only to be subsequently sold for €40 million in 2013, reflecting a 65% decline in
value. There is also the issue of limited floor area available on Grafton Street, with the former HMV
store attracting interest given its 1,200 sqm floor area over three levels. There is a current lack of
units with floor areas in the range 500-1500 sqm, and such unit are in high demand. This shortage
has lead to retailers looking at adjacent units along Dame Street and Wicklow Street. It would be
beneficial to conduct a retail condition survey of this area and surrounding environs to get a more
comprehensive overview.
3.10 Northern Retail Core; O Connell Street Environs Category 1 & 2 Streets
In contrast with the south city centre, the northern city centre has a strong retail core but more limited
restaurant/cafГ© options and more limited and dispersed cultural attractions. There may be a case for
strengthening its mix of uses and its overall role. The mix of uses on the north Liffey quays is
changing and may have key role. Whilst the ACA and Area of Special Planning Control (ASPC) have
been valuable mechanisms for controlling the quality of shopping experience in the vicinity of O
Connell Street, the Capel Street area may benefit similarly from an ASPC.
O Connell Street still awaits redevelopment on some large sites including the „Carlton site‟. On Henry
Street/Mary Street, there are a total of 59 units with a vacancy rate of 5%. Of the occupied units, Irish
tenants account for 55% and international tenants occupy 45% of the space. Comparison goods
occupy 95% of occupied stock with convenience goods accounting for the remainder. Furthermore,
the clothing/footwear category makes up over half of the convenience units. As with the Grafton
Street area, it would be beneficial to conduct a retail condition survey of the area.
3.11 Interconnecting the North and South Retail Cores.
An ongoing concern is the gap in retail continuity between the north and south retail cores centres on
Grafton Street and O Connell Street. Whilst Temple Bar does include some retail outlets, it does not
provide a strong interconnection which can unite the two areas. Related to this is the fact that the
cultural destinations in Temple Bar are small in scale and dispersed, - not large enough to generate
footfall that would assist in interlinking the two retail areas by encouraging shoppers to move between
the north and south as part of a day in the city.
The quality of city streets linking the northern and southern retail cores is of course also relevant, and
environmental improvements for example at College Green and Westmoreland would improve the
attractiveness of this cross city corridor for pedestrians. LUAS Cross-City, when complete, will make it
somewhat easier for shoppers to cross between the two areas, but this alone is insufficient.
3.12 Dublin Docklands and Environs
Dublin Docklands is the subject of ongoing regeneration and a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) for
the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock area has recently been approved by An Bord Pleanala (ABP).
Within the SDZ there are 22ha of land that could accommodate 2,600 residential units and 305,000
sq m of commercial floorspace. The „Point Village‟ is the designated district centre to cater for the
anticipated residential population. Given its proximity to the retail core of the city centre it is not a retail
destination in its own right but given the existing cultural and amenity uses it is ideally placed to
nurture niche uses. There is also an evolving maritime quarter, with an increasing number of cruise
ships calling and making the city part of their itinerary. The objectives of the Dublin Port Company
Masterplan (2012 – 2040) for the expansion and diversification of the area are being implemented
and will lead to major regeneration. Provision for cruise ship docking and upgraded passenger
facilities are a major part of the Masterplan prospectus. The cruise trade can help bolster the retail
core through increased tourism. Vacancy in the area is however an issue, and recently the CHQ
building was sold by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority with low occupancy levels.
CHQ Building Docklands
3.13 Suburban retail centres.
The context for retailing in suburban areas of the city is changing significantly due to a number of
factors including increasing on-line sales, changes in shopping opportunity ( including the availability
of discount stores), and changing consumer demand for goods and services.
The next development plan policy should ….
….acknowledge the importance of local centres for local retail and social activities
…aim to address vacancy through providing for interim uses and „pop-up „uses.
… aim to make further improvements to signage, wayfinding, parking ( including bike parking)
and public realm.
…promote an enhanced retail and service offer.
Support local management in the form of Business Improvement Districts and Chambers of
Commerce ( for example)
… support local farmers markets/food markets.
In relation to specific centres, Ballymun Shopping Centre is now wholly in the ownership of Dublin City
Council and given its age and condition, its redevelopment should be addressed in the next plan.
Local markets/farmers markets could be promoted (inter alia) at the following centres; Glasnevin
Industrial Estate (established), Drumcondra Village Market, Finglas Village, and at Ballymun (farmers
4.0 Existing Development Plan 2011 – 2017
4.1 Context
The existing development plan was formulated as the recession deepened. Notwithstanding this,
policy formulation is a strategic task and therefore addresses the long term. For the decade prior to
2011 there had been record growth and consumption, with large shopping centres opening in the
region. In response to this the current strategy is to reinvigorate the prime shopping area, the city
centre retail core, namely Grafton Street and O Connell Street and their environs. The core issues are
how to provide a sufficient floor area for prestigious international outlets, maintaining and enhancing
the public domain and combining this with cultural and leisure amenity to attract domestic and
international shoppers. Retailing as a hierarchy is dependent on each level functioning correctly. The
city‟s retail hierarchy is as follows;
City Centre retail core - including the O Connell/Grafton Street axis
District Centres – e.g. Finglas, Pelletstown
Neighbourhood Centres – e.g. Collins Avenue, Raheny
Corner shops (small scale and serving local catchments)
4.2 Development Plan 2011 – 2017: Chapter 10 Retail Review
This section will follow the structure of the development plan chapter layout for purposes of clarity.
The existing retail chapter details the achievements and challenges of that sector in the city.
LUAS light rail has improved access to the main shopping street and this should improve further when
the Luas cross city extension works are completed. The Port Tunnel continues to improve the quays
environment with the absence of 5 axle trucks and this is a vital step to future public realm
improvements along this thoroughfare. Further traffic calming may be desirable close to the main
retail areas.
Pedestrian access, and particularly cross city movement still requires improvement. Whilst public
realm proposals regarding the development of pedestrian only areas along the quays and around
College Green are regularly mooted, an official proposal remains to be formulated.
In relation to the main retail core, improvement works are under way on the Grafton Street public
realm project whilst work on the major O Connell Street redevelopment sites have yet to commence.
There are areas in severe need of rejuvenation and would particularly benefit from a mix of uses that
would enliven the public realm both during the day and in the evenings. There is some concern that
the retail environs off these areas or „Category 1‟ streets is becoming diminished in terms of visual
amenity and somewhat diluted with regard to the amount of actual retail outlets present. These
„Category 2‟ streets have a more lenient regime regarding the suitability of non retail uses. This
classification may have facilitated the proliferation of non retail uses in certain areas. An Bord
Pleanala has overturned some decisions by Dublin City Council to refuse non retail uses on these
streets and this issue and indeed street categorisation will require re-examination.
Mention had also been made that small specific areas specialising in antiques or food, -as is the case
on Francis Street and Parnell Street and the market locations in Smithfield and Temple Bar, could
possibly be designated for these uses. Presently these areas have maintained and strengthened
their niche specialities and the markets project in Smithfield will soon be commencing with buildings
and public realm refurbishment. It is also anticipated that once the DIT Grangegorman campus
development commences then the area surrounding Smithfield will receive an economic boost.
Suburban regeneration is ongoing and a substantial element of retail has been included in schemes in
new areas of Ballymun and Pelletstown.
This section can be informed by the content of section 3 – „Current Retail Issues‟ above. In summary
the emerging challenges relate to:
Re-examining the current retail strategy including the locations of each type of retail centre.
Considering the current relevance of Category 1 & 2 shopping streets and existing ASPCs
Seeking effective interconnectivity and good public realm between the north and south core
retail areas.
The recovery of the retail market from economic recession towards growth.
Changing consumer spending patterns arising from rapid growth in on-line shopping.
Responding to competition from large retail centres outside the city boundary.
Progressing retail development in newly emerging/regenerating areas of the city including
Clongriffin/Belmayne and Docklands.
Gauging future floorspace needs as part of the Retail Strategy.
Improving access to shopping areas by those using sustainable modes of transport and by
ensuring adequate directional signage, parking and cycle parking ina quality public realm.
Addressing the problem of vacancy through encouraging short term uses.
Responding to changing demand for retail floorspace arising from internet shopping.
Considering appropriate locations for discount retailers
Supporting local-level retailing including neighbourhood centres and local markets
Retail Guidance
Within the Retail Strategy of the Development Plan, Section 6 details the Retail Strategy for the
Greater Dublin Area (RSGDA) which covers the time period 2008-2016. It is anticipated that a
strategy review will commence prior to 2016.
The Strategic Approach
This section combines the RSGDA and core strategy objectives to pursue a strategy whereby
settlement and retailing are aligned. This ensures there would be neither shortage nor surplus of
retail opportunity and it is always accessible, particularly for local needs. Notwithstanding major policy
alterations there are no fundamental changes envisaged for this section in the next plan.
Primacy of the City Centre and Retail Core Area
Defines the reasoning behind the Category 1 and Category 2 designations as mechanisms to
strengthen the retail character of these areas. This section may require amendment ( see sections
3.9-3.11 above)
Character Areas
Describes the radial market streets and their changing nature and how pedestrian linkages would be
beneficial. May be subject to update.
The Wider City
Appropriately sized retail outlets are vital to the vibrancy of the city in accordance with the retail and
settlement hierarchy. This is non contentious, although the figures in the actual hierarchies may
Convenience Shopping
Retaining good quality convenience shopping is vital to attracting and maintaining residents in an
area, and it supports sustainability because such shops can attract from sizeable walking/cycling
catchments. There is also the issue of discount retailers having a growing presence in the
convenience market, and the availability of on-line alternatives which may be competing with
convenience stores.
Competitiveness and Sustainable Planning
Reiterates that retailing is ever-changing and that government reports have identified a lack of
competition in the grocery sector. The planning system should foster competition and innovation.
There is a need to determine current market conditions to gauge the extent of competition.
Current Development Plan Retail Policies contained in the 2011 – 2017 Development Plan, and
comments in relation to their relevance for the next plan
Policy ( summary)
Include/amend in next plan
Have regard to retail guidelines
Yes – though need to ascertain if there will be any
strategic reviews pre 2016 or proposed
amendments that will have to be considered in the
making of the plan
Follow retail hierarchy ( i.e the regional
hierarchy in Table 1 app. 4)
Yes – though need to ascertain if there will be any
strategic reviews pre 2016 or proposed
amendments that will have to be considered in the
making of the plan
Promote retail as a major driver and
contributor to the economy
Promote new retailing & other services
Yes –
Large commercial development to
incorporate a mix of uses
Yes - This concept is of increasing importance,
especially in making the city centre attractive for
multi-purpose visits. This may need specific
attention in the main text. Also could be tied in with
the drive to attract retail tourists from overseas.
Promote indoor & outdoor markets
Yes – This policy will develop in the next plan
given progress on proposals for Smithfield fruit &
veg markets in the city centre, and the growth of
local markets generally.
High quality shopfronts & finishes
Yes - Very relevant given the number of
vacancies & temporary businesses using low
quality temporary signage/shopfronts
Promotion of temporary uses
Yes – Need to evaluate the success of this to
date, considering the various
challenges/opportunities . temporary uses can
have a role in occupying vacant units.
Control location of adult entertainment
shops i.e. not near residential or
Prohibit expansion of off licenses
except where a compelling case made.
Yes – How successful has this been from a
development management perspective.
Maintain dominant position of retail
Yes – could situation change in the future as a
result of increasing online options ?
Implement objectives of „Retail Core
Framework Plan‟ increasing the
amount of retail floor space &
promoting active uses at ground floor
level, having regard to criteria of Cat 1
& Cat 2 streets & special areas of
planning control
Possibly Amend – Need to re-evaluate the context
of Category 1 & 2 streets, especially Cat. 2, in
cooperation with Development Management
Yes - ACAs, ASPCs and the RPS relate. This is
challenging for example in Grafton Street area
where there is of lack of ( and limited scope for)
large floor plates..
Have regard for the architectural fabric
& fine grain of retail fabric whilst
providing modern retail formats
City can reinvent itself to compete with
regional centres & international cities
Yes/Amend – may need to reframe this or refine.
Regenerate radial market Streets close
to city centre, Thomas, Camden &
Manor Sts
Clustering of specific uses ie. Food on
Parnell Street, Antiques on Francis
Yes/Amend – examine how successful this
concept has been in light o current context.
Promote integration of market streets
with city centre
To ensure adequate provision of retail
in KDAs
Yes /Amend – Examine how successful this has
been thus far and if there are any amendments
required. LAPs have stipulated the nature and
extent of retail provision in line with statutory policy
guidelines for many of the KDA areas.
Strengthen existing district &
neighbourhood centres & revitalise
May need review of neighbourhood centres to
gauge role and performance.
suburban ones
Encourage the provision of local/corner
shops in residential areas
Yes, Could they be better defined/identified in the
development plan ?
Locate new shopping near public
transport facilities
Control the provision of retail
warehousing and retail parks to protect
the central shopping core
Yes – Could there be excess capacity in the future,
what are the latest population projections ?, impact
of online retailing on retail streets ?
Co-operate with adjoining local
authorities on retail planning
To promote accessible & good quality
shopping in the inner city
Promote supermarket shopping
primarily in district & neighbourhood
Yes – Do some discount stores impact on this ?
Ensure Dublin adapts to new
developments in retail formats &
lifestyle cognisant of the retail &
settlement hierarchy
Yes/amend to take account of e-tailing and luxury
brand retail tourism potential ?
Promote & facilitate competition &
2011 -2017Development Plan Retail Objectives and Assessment
Include/amend in next plan
To implement environmental improvements such as
repaving of Grafton Street & Liffey Street Upper &
Update and amend .
Monitor & evaluate progress of „Retail Core
Framework Plan‟
Yes – Requires review
City Markets Project – early implementation
Yes – Requires update on
Evaluate operation of BIDs
Yes – Consult with BID team
& consider further designations
Consider signage for retail core as part of
wayfinding scheme
Yes – Requires update
5.0 Development Plan 2011 – 2017 - Appendix 4 – Retail Strategy
For clarity, this section will follow the structure of the development plan appendix 4 layout.
This is a general overview of policy stating current advice and noting that though the economy
has taken a downturn in recent years, fundamental retail development principles remain. Retail
policy proposed respects the settlement hierarchy and a sequential approach is adopted.
2. Review of Retail Planning Strategy For the Greater Dublin Area 2001
The review of the 2001 Retail Strategy produced the 2008 – 2016 Strategy. The foremost change
related to the outflow of trade from the city to adjoining counties - particularly in relation to
comparison goods. This in turn has inhibited the growth of the city centre, though it still retains its
dominant position in the country. This still remains the case as of this review.
3. Retail Strategy For the Greater Dublin Area 2008 -2016
The strategy sets out two main themes, the first is sustainability, where access to shopping for
regular needs and also for higher order goods is possible either by foot/bike or else by high
quality public transport. The second theme is choice and ensuring there is adequate supply of
retail in suitable locations and ensuring there is no oversupply.
The strategy also sets out the key challenges including the regional-scale centres which provide a
quality retail experience with accessibility via public and private transport. Also supermarkets
have been getting larger, offering a wider range of products and often extending into comparison
shopping. This may have had a detrimental effect on some established centres as people travel
further to shop. This process has also been affected in the last few years by the rise of the
discount retailers.
4. Consumers, Choice, Competition & Affordability
This reiterates that it is not the purpose of the planning system to inhibit competition or preserve
existing interests. It was noted that the Competition Authority found that planning acts as a barrier
to competition though this has been a contentious subject. The statutory retail planning guidelines
were reviewed and updated in 2012 and are a key reference point.
5. Retail Hierarchy
The retail hierarchy is set out for the city and follows the regional guidelines. District centres,
neighbourhood centres and local shops are identified in some cases, and in all cases
recommended floor areas are defined. There is a need to examine identified District Centres and
any other relevant ones not listed, to ascertain their condition and to gauge how well they
function. The advent of discount retailers and increased accessibility of regional shopping centres
has impacted on shopping opportunity and on the extent of use of different layers in the retail
6. Retail Strategy for the GDA – Recommendations for Dublin City
This set out various points detailing that the city centre should maintain its role as the main centre
for comparison goods in the country, should maintain the retail hierarchy, and ensure that all
scales of new/emerging areas are adequately provided for with regard to shopping needs. This
strategy was reflected in the content of the retail chapter in the development plan.
7. Future Retail Demand/Retail Floorspace Need Estimates
Broad guidance on floorspace requirements was provided up to 2016. For convenience goods the
figure is 46,000 sq m and for comparison goods 217,000 sqm with a flexibility factor of 25%. It
will important to establish what has been developed and given the general economic situation and
on-line impact, what realistic floorspace target figures should be.
8. Guidance On The Scale And Location Of Retail Development
This section sets out in greater detail strategies for the strengthening, consolidation and
enhancement of the retail experience from city centre to the local. These strategies are then
articulated via policies and objectives in the retail chapter. The topics examined are:
City centre accessibility and pedestrian loops
North – south links
Category 1 and Category 2 streets
Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs)
Special Planning Control Schemes (SPCS)
District Centres
Neighbourhood Centres
Discount Stores
Transboundary impacts
There is a also a general reiteration of the sequential test and retail impact assessment. At this initial
juncture the main points that require further investigation, notwithstanding any retail strategy review
by the regional team, are the following:
(a) The retail health or otherwise of district centres given the recession, attraction of more
modern regional shopping centres, impact of discount stores and online competition.
(b) The impact of discount stores as an established presence in the market as they continue to
build a larger market share.
(c) Defining neighbourhood centres. In the development plan the Z3 zoning „to provide for and
improve neighbourhood facilities‟ details that a „shop‟ may include a supermarket or
discount store ranging from 1,000 sq m to 2,500 sq m in size. In the retail hierarchy as set
out in P70/71 of the 2008-2016 GDA Retail Strategy, development within the same range is
deemed part of a „neighbourhood centre‟ encompassing other retail outlets such as
hairdressers or cafes. The issue that arises is that in the city it is less easy to define what
constitutes a neighbourhood centre, given that the zoning maps detail neighbourhood
„facilities‟ only. From an examination of the zoning maps there is considerable variety in the
size and geographic distribution of these Z3-zoned sites. Unlike the district centres or the
retail core there is no specific list of Z3 sites provided. Therefore it may be an appropriate
time to re-examine this zoning in relation to retail uses and to also gauge development
management experience in relation to neighbourhood retailing. A survey these
neighbourhood retail zonings could inform the process and serve as a useful baseline for
later work.
5.0 Summary of Key Issues/Further Actions
This review has highlighted a number of issues for further consideration;
1. What is the best means of improving the retail viability of the city ?
2. The existing retail hierarchy descends from the city centre through district centres down to
neighbourhood and local centres. How are changing patterns of retailing impacting on this ?
3. Vacancy has been an ongoing problem in some areas. Should more be done to encourage
temporary uses and pop-up shops in these units ?
4. The city centre retail core includes two significant attractors centred around Henry/O Connell
Street on the north side and Grafton Street on the south side. How can the retail offer of these
areas be better connected ?
5. Has the growth of supermarkets and convenience stores had an impact on local shopping or
provided greater access for all to convenience (food) shopping ?
6. Has the growth of online retailing diminished the vitality of retail centres ? Will the
development of smart technology reduce the need for product display ?
7. The catchment areas of some major retail centres located outside the city boundary extend
significantly into the Dublin City area. How can the City maximise shopping opportunity and
choice for those who live/work or visit the city ?
8. How can local markets including farmers markets be supported and developed further ?
What role can the City Council play in assisting their progress ?
9. Luxury retail tourism driven by overseas visitors has increased in the last few years. How can
this benefit the city whilst also improving choice and convenience for these tourists ?
10. Is there an appropriate balance/distribution between retail and restaurants/cafes in different
category 1 and category 2 retail streets ?
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Policy Background
2.1 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017
2.2 Dublin City Council Culture Strategy 2010 – 2017
2.3 Draft Dublin City Arts Plan 2014 -2018
3.0 Progress to Date
3.1 The Arts
3.2 Libraries
3.3 Accessibility and Information
3.4 Tourism
3.5 Events
3.6 Local Area Plans (LAPs) & Strategic Development Zones (SDZs)
3.7 North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone (SDZ)
3.8 Irish Language and Culture
4.0 Main Issues and Challenges
4.1 Access to Culture/Arts
4.2 Cultural Provision
4.3 Culture/Economy
4.4 Cultural Quarters
5.0 Summary of Key Questions
1.0 Introduction
Cultural endeavour and artistic creativity are central to the role of a capital city. Much as economic
activity dictates employment opportunity, facilitating creativity and cultural expression enhances our
appreciation of the city‟s diversity. A vibrant cultural environment can enhance international image,
foster spontaneity and attract those who seek cultural diversity and is increasingly seen as an
important source of tourism revenue. Culture can also act as a conduit for social inclusion,
regeneration and civic virtues especially when incubated at a local level. The Development Plan,
through various policies and objectives facilitate artistic and cultural pursuits within the city. The
overall cultural strategic aim of the City Development Plan is to ensure that all
neighbourhoods/communities whether existing or newly formed, including areas covered by a Local
Area Plan (LAP) or Strategic Development Zone (SDZ), have the ability to participate and contribute
culturally and artistically while artists themselves can work in suitable environments. In practical terms
this may mean a dedicated area reserved for cultural pursuits or in the case of new development,
purpose built facilities or provision of suitable external communal areas. There is also a commitment
to support individual artists through dedicated and specialised work spaces and facilitate
enhancement of national cultural institutions such as museums and galleries. The core vision of the
current Development Plan is appreciation of and participation in culture and the arts by the greatest
number of people possible in venues or workspaces suitable for this purpose.
There are also dedicated plans for cultural and artistic activities. These are specifically the „Culture
Strategy 2010 – 2017‟ and the „Draft Dublin City Arts Plan 2014 – 2018‟. In essence both these
documents reflect development plan strategy in encouraging cultural and artistic endeavour and
advancement at all levels from the individual artist to local communities through to national
Art forms as defined by the Arts Council can be summarised as encompassing the following activities;
Street Arts &Spectacle
Traditional Arts
Visual Arts
2.0 Policy Background
2.1 Dublin City Development Plan 2011 – 2017
Chapter 7: „Fostering Dublin‟s Character & Culture‟ of the current Development Plan sets out Dublin
City Council‟s (DCC‟s) culture strategy for the duration of the development plan. The section dealing
with the implementation of the „Cultural Strategy‟, which is outlined below, is essentially the
development of a culturally vibrant, creative and diverse city. Details of how this may be achieved are
set out in policies and objectives that promote the development of cultural space and amenity at
neighbourhood level, benefitting communities in their localities. Also there are policies and objectives
for the delivery of infrastructure such as the provision of work studios for artists and further
accommodation for cultural institutions. The continued promotion of the Irish language and
importance of the City‟s library infrastructure is also reiterated. As well as promoting cultural and
artistic activity and infrastructure at a neighbourhood level, there are policies and objectives to
promote and incubate areas of cultural and artistic endeavour, including areas such as Parnell
Square, Heuston Quarter, Docklands and Smithfield. These will complement the longer established
areas of cultural activity loosely arranged around the south city centre historic core. These areas will
promote those aspects of the city‟s culture that may have been overlooked in the past such as its
medieval provenance and industrial heritage.
Linked to the development of cultural and artistic infrastructure and the promotion of the city‟s
heritage, is the recognition of the need for easy, safe and legible access to the historic core and
greater use of the public domain, particularly in the utilisation of public spaces. In this regard policies
and objectives were formulated to promote wayfinding initiatives, physically via panels or through
smart phone applications. Such initiatives are intended to make access to the city‟s landmarks and
cultural and artistic institutions an intuitive and straightforward task particularly for visitors to the city.
The importance of heritage to the economy is being increasingly recognised as tourists and other
visitors, including those visiting for business purposes, are attracted by cultural and heritage
2.2 The Dublin City Council Culture Strategy 2010 - 2017
The City Council sets out, through the „Culture Strategy 2010 – 2017‟ a strategy for the delivery of a
broad range of cultural activities within the City Council area. Partnership with cultural institutions and
other relevant organisations helps to deliver a vision of a city where culture is integral to city identity
and quality of life.
Six themes are encouraged:
Lead and support development of culture and arts through the city
Support established and emerging artists
Create opportunities for everyone to participate in the city’s cultural life
Lead the development of excellent cultural infrastructure
Recognise the symbiosis of cultural activity and economic vitality
Interlink regeneration and neighbourhood identity with cultural expression
Each theme is further expanded into priorities encompassing public, private, citizen and artistic
participation in cultural activity across all formats and delivered through all available media. The
Culture Strategy holds as a core value that „culture is integral to Dublin City‟s identity and quality of
life‟. Therefore it is incumbent that the City Council works with communities to recognise and shape
how arts and cultural practice is embedded within their lives and how these practices give
communities a voice.
Draft Dublin City Arts Plan 2014 - 2018
The Draft Dublin City Arts Plan sets out the purpose and areas of work of the City Arts Office that
supports initiatives through funding and resources. It recognises that such endeavour requires
leadership, curatorial expertise and management. There is an onus to lead, develop and work in
partnership with a focus on three areas of work:
Assisting public access to the arts
Facilitating artists developments
Enriching the cultural experience of the city
It is Dublin City Council policy to ensure the continued development of Dublin as a culturally vibrant,
creative and diverse city with a cultural and artistic offering to match. There is also the recognition that
there are one million citizens who might be characterised as the „target population‟ for cultural and
artistic outreach and can be deemed suitable for „Young People, Children and Education‟ (YPCE)
All three strategies have a core commitment to developing cultural and artistic infrastructure from the
local level upwards focusing on communal and individual cultural/artistic facilities while also
maintaining and enhancing national institutions, bearing in mind Dublin is the national capital.
3.0 Progress to Date
Since the adoption of the last Development Plan the following initiatives have been progressed in line
with the policies and objectives outlined in the Chapter 7 review in section 2.1 above.
3.1 The Arts
There has been an increase in local festivals such as Phizzfest/Five Lamps supported by DCC and
encouraging local activities. A vacant spaces initiative has been undertaken by the Arts Office to
facilitate temporary use by artists as the provision of live-work units in new commercial units has not
been as successful as originally envisaged. A range of artist‟s studios and exhibition and workshop
spaces are also provided in the Red Stables, St Anne‟s Park, Raheny. A wide programme of events,
including exhibitions, workshops, open days and performances are held there.
At a higher level the city accommodates national level art galleries various arts-related educational
facilities. Theatres include the recently built Bord Gais Energy Theatre, and the long established
Gaiety, Abbey, and Olympia theatres. Other centres focus on diverse areas such as theatre, dance,
photography and community activities. The range of events and festivals in the city has been
expanding over time. The activities and functions of Temple Bar Cultural Trust are now wholly
managed by DCC following their transfer in 2014. DCC is also developing proposals for a new
cultural quarter at Parnell Square encompassing a new location for the City Library and a new civic
cultural centre. This will complement the existing facilities at the Hugh Lane Gallery, as part of an
overall initiative to enhance this part of the city.
3.2 Libraries
The libraries provide extensive services and facilities that are free for public use. A „Development
Plan for Dublin City Public Libraries 2012 – 2016‟ has been produced with a mission statement to
maximise opportunity for all through guided access to ideas, learning, literature and heritage
resources. It also acknowledges the challenges and opportunities presented by a rising and ethnically
diverse population, advances in digital technology and the upcoming centenaries to be marked over
the next decade. There has been a strengthening of connections between City Libraries and cultural
institutions including co-programming of festivals such as the „One City, One Book‟ initiative.
Renovation upgrades have recently occurred at Rathmines and Ballyfermot libraries and renovation
works are ongoing at Kevin Street library with completion due in mid 2015.
In a major new project, it is proposed to relocate the city‟s main library from its current location in the
ILAC Centre on Moore Street/Parnell Street to Parnell Square. It is planned that the new library will be
connected directly to the Hugh Lane Gallery via a new pedestrian plaza. This development is part of a
wider initiative to revitalise Parnell Square and also to create a cross-river civic spine linking Parnell
Square, O‟Connell Street, Trinity College, Dame Street and Christchurch Cathedral.
3.3 Accessibility and Information
The making of legible and safe connections between areas has been a priority of the City Council in
recent times and these also improve access to cultural destinations. The implementation of a
„wayfinding system‟ to places of social, cultural and civic interest has also made a significant
improvement. „Wayfinding‟ signage includes clear directional signs at key locations, supplemented by
user-friendly maps. In addition, the success of the Dublin Bikes scheme has facilitated greater
accessibility throughout the city, and public realm enhancements have improved the streetscape.
Smartphone apps and web-based applications can improve users understanding of the city whilst on
the move. In this regard a „Walk Dublin‟ smartphone application allows people to discover what places
of cultural significance are closest to their particular location. The „Dubline‟ - a collaborative project
between FГЎilte Ireland, Dublin City Council and the Office of Public Works incorporates a Dublin
City Discovery Trail from Trinity College westwards to Kilmainham. This route contains a wealth of
historic and cultural assets and includes three of the most visited attractions in Ireland. The Dubline
aims to bring together all the cultural, business, community and public stakeholders along the route to
provide visitors to Dublin with a unique cultural experience. Apps/websites that offer information and
advice on the city include www.dubline.ie, www.dublinculturetrail.ie, and www.culturefox.ie, which
provide information on all cultural attractions and activities throughout the country. It is increasingly
likely that information on the city will be accessed via mobile apps.
3.4 Tourism
There is a close association between tourism and the arts/culture as many tourists visit Dublin for
special events such as the St Patrick‟s Day festivities and sporting fixtures. Since the opening of the
National Convention Centre there have been more business visitors to the city who can avail of the
attractions of the city in an incidental manner. Dublin City Council recognises the importance of
tourism to the business and social life of the City, and actively works with FГЎilte Ireland and other
stakeholders in the Tourism Industry. The Council is a key partner in the recent „Grow Dublin Tourism
Task Force‟ which produced the new strategy „Destination Dublin – A Collective Strategy for Tourism
Growth to 2020‟. Tourism is Ireland‟s largest indigenous industry, contributing almost 4% of GNP and
providing employment for over 200,000 people in every community throughout the island. In the
above report it is noted that since 2007, when 4.5 million visitors from overseas brought €1.45 billion
into Dublin, the city and region has experienced a decline in tourist numbers and revenue. Numbers in
2012 were down 18% from the 2007 peak, and revenues were down 12.6%. Over that period, Dublin
has lost tourist business to cities that are positioned with greater clarity, stronger impact and more
competitive appeal. Competitor cities have shown sustained levels of 5-8% growth to which Dublin
must aspire. As the national gateway, Dublin is ideally located to benefit from the influx of tourists to
the country. There is a steady recovery in the tourism industry in Ireland, and the Development Plan
can look to improve opportunities for an increased number of tourism products and services in Dublin
City. The availability of reasonably priced and low cost accommodation for tourists is a key
3.5 Events
The number of outdoor events across the city has been increasing over the last number of years,
largely through a creative mix of collaboration, sponsorship and community engagement. Public
realm enhancement works, such as those at Smithfield, have facilitated an increase in the number of
such events. Events such as the Olympic Torch relay, the Tall Ships visit and literary inspired
gatherings have all benefitted from the quality of and improvements to the city‟s public realm; and
provided community and economic benefits in return. Outdoor spaces at suburban parks such as
Father Collins Park in Clongriffin, St. Anne‟s park in Raheny and Tolka Valley Park at
Ashtown/Pelletstown have also hosted local events, in addition to community events held in local
„Open House Dublin‟ organised by the Irish Architecture Foundation, is Ireland‟s annual largest
architectural event, inviting everyone to explore and understand the value of a well designed built
environment. Many buildings normally off limits to the general public are open for viewing and events
are organised to coincide with visiting times. A second large scale event, „National Heritage Week‟,
aims to build awareness about our heritage, and the focus is on preservation and promotion of our
natural, built and cultural heritage. There are of course other arts, festivals and culture-based annual
events including; Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin Film Festival, the Fringe Festival, TradFest (based
on traditional music events), Dublin Festival of History, St. Patrick‟s Festival, Pride Festival,
Bloomsday Festival, etc.
3.6 Local Area Plans (LAPs) & Strategic Development Zones (SDZs)
Investment in cultural amenities is vital for neighbourhoods, and particularly those that are newly
established. The challenge will be to develop a collective vision for the purpose and relevance of
culture to a particular area and to identify new opportunities for local cultural development that can
grow over time. Arts and culture can act as catalyst for integration, bridging social divides and
facilitating inter-action between communities. Making space for artists in the form of work spaces and
the production of „on-site‟ or installation artistic work may be one way of doing this.
LAPs and SDZs are the key instruments in directing this process on the ground and, accordingly,
incorporate both policies and specific objectives relating to arts and culture. This may involve the
provision of physical space, the use of space and/or the provision of a built environment conducive to
holding cultural events. For example Fr. Collins Park in Clongriffin has a dedicated concrete stage
area with surrounding landscaping that doubles as an amphitheatre for hosting all manner of
community and musical events.
Grangegorman SDZ is designated as such to enable the relocation of Dublin Institute of Technology
onto a single site from various locations around the city, together with new health facilities for the
HSE. It is currently in the initial stages of development and will eventually constitute a new city
quarter comprising education, sporting, residential and cultural facilities. An Arts Hub is envisaged to
accommodate performance spaces and these will also be accessible to the wider community for
evening uses. There now exists an opportunity for further synergy and cultural innovation and
connection in the general vicinity particularly to Smithfield which itself is adjacent to the National
Museum at Collins Barracks and the Jameson Experience attraction.
Another area that has recently been designated an SDZ is the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock
lands in the Docklands where there is existing cultural and artistic provision. This is further elaborated
in the following section.
3.7 North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone (SDZ)
The North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock Strategic Development Zone commonly called „Docklands‟ is
now recognised as a cultural quarter of its own, within the city, reflecting its success in delivering a
cluster of cultural infrastructure of national importance, including the Bord GГЎis Energy Theatre and
the expanded „3‟ venue. The National Convention Centre has also become operational and offers
multi-functional uses and services expected of a premier international conference venue.
The Docklands are well positioned to benefit from business and corporate tourism, a sector that has
not been fully exploited in the past. The amenity value of the water bodies of Dublin City is also
underutilised for tourism. The Liffey Voyage, Sea Safari and Viking Splash Tours go are indicators of
future tourist potential. At a larger scale, cruise tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of world
travel and Dublin as a destination has increased significantly in the last decade with record cruise
vessels numbers in 2010. The Dublin Cruise Traffic and Urban Regeneration Plan (CTUR) aims to
attract more cruise ships into Dublin by improving facilities for cruise ships. In addition, Docklands
now hosts a number of significant festivals with a variety of themes, including maritime, summer, or
Christmas themes. There are also links and interactions with renowned festivals such as the Dublin
Fringe Festival and the Dublin Theatre Festival, as well as a strong focus on local community level
projects. As part of the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock SDZ Planning Scheme (2014), a range of
policy proposals were developed through a wide ranging consultative process. A number of the
policies derived from this process, as detailed below, may be useful when considering other city areas
and developing city wide strategy:
To explore the synergies between the professional, community, statutory and corporate
sectors to further develop locations as cultural quarters with world class arts, entertainment,
festivals and events
To ensure that the cultural strategy reflects social and physical regeneration objectives by
engaging with neighbourhoods and communities and ensuring community access to
resources or facilities as key to cultural development in emerging communities
To support the development of a vibrant youth arts scene in the city
To explore the potential for further cultural collaborations and twinning opportunities with other
To develop a cultural tourism itinerary by expanding the range of high profile events such as
commemoration of historical events, musical or circus showcases, water-based activities and
family friendly daytime events and to promote low cost or free public events.
To support the production of artistic work by encouraging the optimum use of existing event
infrastructure, civic spaces as event spaces, the use of vacant space for artists and / or a
shared creative space for community groups and the provision of new infrastructure for the
performing arts, where feasible. This is particularly vital for emerging communities in the city.
To explore a variety of mechanisms to support a structured form of engagement with
professional artists living and working in the city.
There is an opportunity within the preparatory process of the new Development Plan to utilise use this
approach, where applicable, for devising future policies.
3.8 Irish Language and Culture
The promotion of Irish language, dance and music is ongoing within the city, with Irish language and
cultural events promoted and supported by the City Council. Census 2011 identified that Dublin City
was the city/county with the lowest percentage of Irish speakers (35.2% of the population) in the
country. This may in part reflect the large non-Irish proportion of the city‟s population (18%).
4.0 Main Issues and Challenges
4.1 Access to Culture/Arts
The production of high quality art is often aided by artists having good working conditions and such art
works are better appreciated when the public understand the relationship between participating in the
arts and practising the arts. This can be best achieved by accessing the arts locally, with the
provision of arts space such as studios within a community facility like a theatre or gallery. Such a
locally based scenario can offer the best route to introduce culture and arts to the very young, as a
means of connecting artists to citizens, and promoting collaboration between artists and citizens.
Following on from this there is also a requirement to consider which of the various art forms are best
suited for particular areas of the city, as some areas may already have established strengths. What is
in no doubt is that exposure to culture/arts of whatever variety is beneficial in the long-term for their
growth and sustainability.
4.2 Cultural Provision
Dublin City Council is unique as being the authority of the capital city where the majority of national
cultural and artistic institutions are located. Therefore, perhaps the most significant thing that the City
Council can do is to cooperate with national institutions, such as the Arts Council, Department of Arts,
Heritage and the Gaeltacht, etc. for the promotion and dissemination of culture and arts. An example
of such cooperation that could be replicated in the future was the Giro d‟Italia stage held in the city
during this summer, which combined a sporting event with cultural events. Another example is the
Bram Stoker Festival, a collaborative effort between DCC (Libraries and Arts), FГЎilte Ireland and the
Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA). Partnership between national and local levels will stimulate a
creative Dublin culture that is especially important at a time of reduced funding and provide an
alternative means of ensuring that artistic output is maintained.
Dublin City is home to the largest number and ethnic range of immigrants in the country, having over
88,000 people of non-Irish origin or around 17% of the city‟s total population. This number is part of
the half million immigrants who have made Ireland their home since 1996. Much of this population is
concentrated within the canal ring. The City Council have backed initiatives such as the recent „One
City One People‟ campaign organised by DCC‟s Office for Integration (OFI). The OFI produced
„Towards Integration, A City Framework‟ 2008 that places the City Council as the political and
administrative leader when developing integration policies and implementing initiatives. An important
part of this programme is the utilisation of culture/arts as the medium by which established cultures
and new cultures to Ireland can find common space to understand and appreciate the others cultural
attributes. The Arts Office has also engaged in a research project regarding immigrant artists and
their needs in the city and how such talent can bridge the divide between the national and
4.3 Culture/Economy
Dublin has become an increasingly attractive venue for conferences, in part due to the opening of the
National Convention Centre and this has lead to an appreciation of how such delegates may also take
the opportunity to explore the city. Therefore, the maintenance of visitor attractions, the effective
dissemination of information about them and precise wayfinding sign and Smartphone applications
are vital in optimising the experience. This need not only be confined to business visitors as many
casual or city break visitors may decide to visit attractions when information regarding them is
conveniently available on a wide variety of communicative platforms either electronically or physically.
Therefore, the management and maintenance of many heritage sites may be subsidised in part by
such visitors and there is an increasing awareness of the subtle link between the general economy
and the upkeep of existing heritage/tourism attractions. Such an appreciation has come at an
opportune time as the city and indeed the state embarks on a series of commemorative centenary
events surrounding the foundation of the state and there will many sites in the city that will have an
historic resonance of this period.
4.4 Cultural Quarters
The existing development plan details various „Cultural Quarters‟ with Temple Bar being a
predominate example with the scale, proximity and quantity of buildings connected to the culture/arts
rendering it as a functioning cultural quarter. Therefore, there may be a need to confirm the status of
certain areas as possible emerging cultural areas or quarters such as the Liberties and Smithfield, to
allow them the time and space to evolve organically.
Summary of Key Questions
1. Nearly a 1/5 of the city‟s population (88,000) are non Irish. Are existing initiatives (such as
Council sponsored Chinese New Year Celebrations) that recognise unique aspects of nonIrish culture, sufficient? Or are other needs to be met?
2. How can planning help to reduce „cultural exclusion‟ in the city? How can we encourage
more citizens to participate in the cultural life of the city and to appreciate the growing
3. The National Convention Centre has become increasing popular for hosting international
conferences and business gatherings, in what ways can such trade benefit the wider city,
particularly in the tourism sector?
4. What initiatives can be undertaken to further promote/advance the use and proficiency of the
Irish language and Irish culture within the city?
5. Is it appropriate or necessary to revise or redefine the term „cultural quarter‟?
6. Are newly developing urban areas satisfactorily catering satisfactorily for a diversity of arts
and culture.
7. The commemorations of events that eventually led to the foundation of the State are
underway. In what ways, either small or large, could such events or landmarks associated
with them be detailed or recorded to permit optimum access by the general population?
8. With the success of the wayfinding panels‟ scheme and development of on-line information
for various cultural, heritage and tourist attractions what similar innovations should be
promoted by DCC in the future? For example in London and Manchester there is a „Talking
Statues‟ scheme whereby through a smartphone app it is possible to hear a statue „speak‟.
This has re-engaged people with their city‟s history and personalities.
Progress to date & achievements
Future trends
Main Issues and Challenges
Summary of Main strategic Issues
1.0 Introduction
The historic urban environment enriches our quality of life. It contributes enormously to desirable
qualities such as local distinctiveness and develops among its citizens a stronger sense of place.
This local city-wide and national significance also has an international dimension in the form of
historic buildings and streetscapes, monuments, archaeological features, historic urban
landscape and areas of discernible cultural coherence, such as the Georgian „Core‟ or Mediaeval
„Old City‟.
The City Council aims to identify and protect the special qualities of the city‟s historic features,
whilst also promoting greater awareness of their character and value. There is a strong cultural
and economic justification for valuing and protecting our built heritage. The historic built
environment has tangible and intangible links with city‟s cultural heritage in terms of identity, as
well as the city‟s social or literary history, and it is also one of the prime reasons for tourists to visit
the city. For these reasons, we need to value and protect our built heritage, whilst at the same
time promote and facilitate economic development of our capital city.
The built heritage in the development plan spans across the three realms of conservation,
archaeology and heritage. It is considered worthwhile to assess progress and achievements since
the adoption of the current plan in 2011 and to identify the key challenges and main issues for the
next Development Plan.
2.0 Progress to Date / Achievements
Architectural Conservation Areas
Under Objective FCO32, there is commitment in the current development plan to designate
Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs) with a particular focus on suburban residential areas of
the city and the objective of reducing buildings in these areas which are listed on the Record of
Protected Structures (RPS), where appropriate. The plan clarifies that any buildings selected for
deletion will be of local rather than regional significance and that the ACAs will protect primarily
the front facades and streetscape character of the areas / buildings as set out in Appendix 11.
Appendix 11 sets out 9 suburban residential areas which include whole streets of buildings listed
on the RPS and proposes these areas for designation as ACAs and the deletion of the buildings
of lesser importance within them from the RPS.
To date, five such ACAs have been completed and these are as follows:
Westmoreland Park
Temple Place,
Colliers Avenue
Elmwood Avenue Upper & Lower & Elmpark Avenue
Ranelagh Avenue
Assessment to inform the designation and deletion of structures is complete on a further area,
Belmont Road / Mount Eden, whilst it is envisaged that the three remaining areas will be
progressed during the lifetime of the current plan.
Objective FCO34 refers to undertaking an assessment to inform the potential ACA designation of
a number of areas. Under this objective, both Mountjoy Square and Sandymount Village &
Environs have been designated as ACAs.
In addition, an ACA has been prepared for Aungier Street, building on the work of the „Aungier
Street: Revitalising an Historic Neighbourhood‟ Project.
Additions & Deletions to the RPS
There have been 44 additions to the RPS, which in effect relate to some 58 Structures.
There have been 19 deletions to the RPS, a number of which relate to entire streets, resulting in
the deletion of circa 178 Structures. This is in part attributable to the designation of the ACAs in
the suburban residential areas and the removal of structures of local significance which were
previously included on List 2 in the Dublin City Development Plan 1999, but which would not
otherwise merit inclusion on the RPS.
There have been 10 Clarifications to the RPS, relating to circa 42 structures.
South Georgian Core
A comprehensive study has been undertaken on „The Future of the South Georgian Core‟. The
study examines trends, assesses issues such as vacancy and re-use, explores potential
residential typologies and evaluates current development plan policy in terms of conservation and
land use zoning objectives, as well as operational matters such as building control and fire
It sets out a series of recommendations to revitalise the South Georgian Core. The
seek to address the wider city and civic role of this area, its contribution to the wider economy,
tourism and the image of the city, as well as its potential role in promoting sustainable residential
living and the enhancement and regeneration of the historic city. It also gives consideration to the
UNESCO application for World Heritage Status and the concept of wider civic engagement to
develop a shared vision and collective ownership for the city‟s Georgian heritage.
The South Georgian Core Study, along with two parallel studies relating to an assessment of
interior plasterwork and residential typologies (see below), fulfils Objective FCO31: To carry out a
study using international best practice as a guide to formulate detailed guidelines on active uses
for buildings within the Georgian Core and Conservation Areas.
North Georgian Core
The Parnell Square Cultural Project includes proposals to provide a variety of public cultural
facilities, including a new City Library, complementing the landmark Hugh Lane Gallery and the
Dublin Writer‟s Museum. The project will play an important role in promoting the wider
development of the North Georgian Core, providing a new focus at the northern end of O‟Connell
Street and revitalising Parnell Square. The project will also progress Policy FC45: „To promote the
regeneration and enhancement of the north city Georgian squares and the North Georgian Mile
with public enhancement schemes, cultural initiatives and specific development policies‟.
Historic Urban Villages & Streets
Considerable historical research has been undertaken on Sandymount Village, Aungier Street
and Thomas Street, contributing to the protection and public awareness of the cultural identity of
these areas. This work in part fulfils with Objective FCO35: „To implement historical studies and
conservation plans to assist in the conservation of the unique characteristics of Dublin‟s historic
villages and the promotion of the conservation of their architectural features and streetscapes
9see section Policy SC9).
Mansion House
The repair, enhancement and upgrading of the Mansion House as the official residence of the
Lord Mayor to celebrate 300 years of its continual use as a Mayoralty House, has been
substantially delivered by City Architects. This fulfils Objective FCO36.
Fruit & Vegetable Market
The City Council has prepared a Part 8 development proposal (currently on public display) for a
new retail food market, as part of the proposed regeneration of the Fruit & Vegetable Market in
the North Inner City. Established in 1892, the market building is a fine example of late Victorian
design with entrances onto Mary‟s Lane and St. Michan‟s Street. The market is predominantly
wholesale with plans for a continental style food market with wholesalers selling products
alongside market stalls and cafГ©s. Conservation of the market hall is a key aspect of the proposal.
City Assembly House
The City Council has played a pivotal role in the conservation of the City Assembly House,
transferring use of the building to the Irish Georgian Society. This is significant in terms of the
protection and appreciation of the city‟s architectural legacy as the City Assembly House (17661771) and the adjoining Powerscourt Townhouse forms part of one of the most complete
surviving groupings of eighteenth century merchant‟s houses in the city, on South William Street,
which survives remarkably intact as a Georgian Street.
Jobs Leverage Scheme (JLS) / Conservation Grants
The Council has administered in excess of €500,000 grant assistance to owners of protected
structures under the Governments Job Leverage Scheme (JLS). This promotes best practice and
the use of specialist building skills in the conservation of protected structures and accords with
Policy FC34. This policy will require updating as the City Council no longer manages the
Conservation Grant Scheme, which is now it administered DECLG JLS.
Guidelines for Owners of Protected Structures
The Conservation Section has also produced a series of guidelines on works that typically qualify
as exempted development and administers these, as well as architectural advice, in response to
queries from potential applicants, as part of the implementation of Policy FCO4 in terms of
assisting owners of protected structures.
Energy Efficiency & Heritage Buildings
Dublin City Council‟s forthcoming publication „Built to Last, Energy Efficiency in Historic Houses‟
will provide guidance for owners of protected structures or historic buildings on upgrading for
energy efficiency and to promote the principles of sustainable building design in conservation
(Objective FCO28).
Gabled Buildings
A survey and study of the remains of the city‟s gabled buildings has been undertaken by Dublin
Civic Trust, securing the legacy of the tradition of gabled buildings, thereby substantially
delivering Objective FCO37.
Dublin City Heritage Plan
The following has been delivered under the Dublin City Heritage Plan / Development Plan 20112017:
Heritage Research
Research Project to understand and assess potential UNESCO Designation (In Progress)
Research Project: Wide Streets Commission (In Progress)
Survey: Decorative Plasterwork: The Dublin School 1745-1775 (In Progress)
Architectural Study & Inventory of 20 Century Architecture in the City (In Progress)
Guidelines on Plaques, Commemorations & Naming New Developments / Streets
Research Project on Tenement Life in Henrietta Street
Heritage Management
Preparation and / or implementation of Conservation Plans for the Follies in Saint Anne‟s
Park, Kilmainham Mill, Saint Luke‟s (The Coombe), Henrietta Street, Dublin City Walls and
Defences, Pigeon House Precinct.
Preparation of guidance documents to assist home owners and other public authorities:
Historic Street Surfaces in Dublin, Historic Pointing Techniques in Dublin and Care &
Conservation of Decorative Plasterwork (In Progress)
Annual Lecture Series: Conserving Your Period House in association with Irish Georgian
Capital Projects include conservation works to Nos. 3 & 14 Henrietta Street
Heritage Awareness
Publications including „Bank Architecture in Dublin: A History to c. 1940; Dublin Flats, a book
of architectural photography and essays on housing in Dublin City; More than Concrete
Blocks, a publication of Dublin City‟s legacy of public housing, emerging from the Twentieth
Century Research Project and Henrietta Street, A History (In Progress).
Events and Collaborations undertaken relate to conferences, lecture series, exhibitions,
festivals including the following: Tales of Medieval Dublin Talk Series, Milestones of medival
Dublin, Dublin Tenement Experience: Living the Lockout, Landing Place (at Pigeon House
Precinct) in association with Commonage and Public Art; Open House events on Henrietta
Street and Pigeon House Precinct; Dublin City Walls Virtual Tour (iPhone App), Dublin
Tenement Experience: Living the Lockout at 14 Henrietta Street; Dublin Fringe Festival:
Thirteen in 2013, and Samual Beckett‟s Fizzles in 2014.
The following achievements relate to the city‟s archaeological heritage:
New Dublin City Archaeological Archive opened with funding and support from Dublin City
Nationwide & Citywide 1014 millennium celebrations supported by the archaeological office.
Development of Archaeology GIS Tool which assists dissemination of archaeological findings.
Promotion and awareness of, and access to, the city‟s archaeological inheritance through a
number of mechanisms including the hosting lecture series, events, publications and
conferences, including: Archaeofest, Milestone of Medieval Dublin lectures, Friends of
Medieval Dublin Symposia, Battle of Clontarf Books, Re-enactment at St. Anne‟s Park,
construction of a Viking House at Glasnevin, reprint of „Viking Age Dublin‟ and publication of
„Before and After the Battle of Clontarf‟. Dublin City Council also hosted the following events:
International K2U2 Conference at Wood Quay, Traces of the Past Exhibition and the Arch in
the Park Event.
Promotion of the international significance of Viking and Medieval Dublin through 2014
millennium events including St. Patrick‟s parade, lecture series, conferences, media
interviews and publications.
Recognition of the importance of underwater / intertidal archaeology: lecture series on
Jeannie Johnston supported by Dublin City Council.
3.0 Future Trends
There are a number of key issues facing the city in terms of its built heritage. An over-arching
issue is the on-going need to balance the often competing demands of a modern city in terms of
consolidation and future growth with the need to protect its intrinsic character.
There is also an inherent need to ensure that the historic city is a real and vibrant city where
people can live and work, not merely a tourist attraction. There is a new focus on encouraging
people to live in the historic core and the challenge will be to ensure sensitive and
environmentally sustainable restoration of historic properties for modern living.
Cities evolve and each era leaves its mark on the built environment. High quality contemporary
architecture and successfully integrating new design into historic settings can add substantially to
the richness of these spaces and places of distinction.
Dublin‟s built heritage is a distinguishing feature in an increasingly globalised world. It is a unique
asset which forms part of our cultural identity and there are strong indications that it plays an
important role in attracting investment. We need to promote a deeper understanding of our built
heritage as an authentic, distinguished and finite resource.
The widening appreciation of our heritage, culture and creativity presents significant potential for
collaboration with community, professional and institutional stakeholders across the various
cultural spheres, developing and understanding the tangible and intangible cultural links with the
built heritage.
4.0 Main Issues & Challenges
4.1 Conservation
Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs)
A list of possible ACAs has been identified for the forthcoming Development Plan, including areas of
city-wide or civic importance such as the Liffey Quays and the Grand and Royal Canals, which are
also of industrial heritage importance, as well as a number of predominantly residential, innersuburban areas of heritage value. The prioritisation of the type or nature of areas for ACA designation
could be a matter for consultation under the Issues Paper.
The ACA designation process has proven to be somewhat cumbersome and lengthy in terms of
matters such as land registry research requirements for notification purposes. This should be
considered in an early evaluation of the benefits of adopting an ACA compared to a Z2 (Residential
Conservation) Zoning Objective, particularly in some residential areas where an ACA is being
considered for the purposes of removing structures of local significance from the Record of Protected
Structures (RPS), as per Appendix 11 of the current Development Plan.
The Z2 (Residential Conservation) Zoning Objective is a robust zoning which works well and could be
considered as an alternative to the use of ACAs for more modest, vernacular, residential areas of
heritage value. An option for these areas may be to delete relevant structures from the RPS and to rezone the area with the Z2 Zoning Objective.
Record of Protected Structures (RPS)
There are currently circa 9,000 structures on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). A substantial
number of these relate to structures of „local significance‟ according to the assessment criteria of the
National Inventory Architectural Heritage (NIAH) and which would not otherwise be protected but
represent a legacy of former List 2 Buildings under the 1999 Development Plan.
The development plan process presents an opportunity to review and rationalise the RPS. The
process of deleting structures from the RPS is notably more expedient if undertaken as part of the
development plan process.
National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH)
The NIAH for Dublin City is currently under preparation by the Department of Environment,
Community and Local Government (DECLG). The NIAH Survey classifies structures according to a
rating system of international, national, regional and local significance, with only the first three
categories recommended for inclusion on the RPS. It brings the benefit of a national perspective and
a standardised evaluation system for built heritage.
The NIAH Preliminary Report for Dublin 1 & 7 is now available. This first tranche of survey findings
recommends circa 400 Plus additions to the RPS and is contrary to expectations that the NIAH
Survey would result in a rationalisation of the RPS with deletion of structures. However, the
recommendation for a considerable number of additions may in fact reflect the nature of the study
areas and it is possible that deletions may arise in other areas more suburban and residential in
Objective FCO25 which refers to undertaking a review of the RPS to ensure that all records are
consistent with the criteria for inclusion on the RPS, needs to be up-dated to refer to the NIAH Survey
& Recommendations. The reasons for inclusion should also be made available on the file, so that they
can be easily ascertained by owners, occupiers and other interested parties and should a planning
application be made in relation to the structure.
North & South Georgian Core
Dublin‟s Georgian Core arguably comprises the city‟s greatest architectural and urban design set
pieces, contributing to the city‟s rich heritage and unique identity and is of international significance.
The City‟s Georgian Core encompasses the North and South Georgian Squares and the immediate
adjoining streets and is primarily designated Zoning Objective Z8 „Georgian Conservation Areas‟.
Notwithstanding the above, there are a number of challenges facing the future of the Georgian Core.
The South Georgian is in need of a policy approach to stimulate a revitalisation and reuse of this part
of the city. The North Georgian Core may present a different set of challenges in terms of the level of
inappropriate or insensitive residential sub-division of the former townhouses, a lack of high end or
quality uses and marginal locations, emphasising the need for regeneration and enhancement as
pursued under the current Development Plan policy (Policy FC45).
A number of studies undertaken during the life of the current plan, such as „The Future of the South
Georgian Core‟, „Georgian Living Experiences‟ and „Decorative Plasterwork: The Dublin School 17451775‟ contribute to a greater understanding of the challenges and will help in formulating new policy
approaches aimed at revitalising and regenerating the Georgian core.
For example, a key finding of the South Georgian Core Study is that the Z8 Zoning Objective,
requiring a minimum 60:40 Residential / Office use mix, is too restrictive in terms of facilitating or
attracting appropriate office use and that in general office requires a greater percentage use having
regard to floorspace, identity and security needs. Whilst it is acknowledged that the 60:40 use mix can
be applied over an entire site (main building and mews), in practice however, the main building and
mews or associated buildings are often separated in terms of the planning application site or
ownership, especially in the South Georgian Core. The North Georgian Core which is fragile in terms
of building fabric and its marginal location illustrates the limitations of this approach, whereby, high
end offices would be a more appropriate alternative to buildings remaining vacant or low grade uses.
So it has been suggested that a relaxation of Z8 Zoning Objective and its percentage use mix should
be considered.
Relaxation of Zoning Objectives & Standards
It is also considered that the opportunity to relax zoning objectives and development standards
provided in Section 15.7 of the current Development Plan could be used to a greater extent in
appropriate cases to encourage uses compatible with the character of protected structures. It is
suggested that greater emphasis on this provision in the policy section or in the chapter on built
heritage could generate greater awareness and use, in circumstances where some flexibility may be
necessary to secure protection and long-term viability of a building.
Section 15.7 provides: �Dublin City Council actively encourages uses which are compatible with the
character of protected structures. In certain limited cases to ensure the long-term viability of a
protected structure, it may be appropriate not to stringently apply city-wide zoning restrictions,
including site development standards, provided the protected structure is being restored to the highest
standard, the special interest, character and setting of the building is protected and the use and
development is consistent with conservation policies and the proper planning and sustainable
development of the area’
Similarly, it is considered that the provisions in relation to the inter-linking of adjoining protected
structures may be misinterpreted. The requirement was drafted during the preparation of the previous
Development Plan to enable the interconnecting of buildings where appropriate, such as at The
Merrion Hotel, Upper Merrion Street, which is considered to be a good example where
interconnection across a number of adjoining structures have provided for a compatible use for the
protected structures and brought vitality to the street. In this regard, the wording could be reviewed;
Section 17.10.1 (extract: Paragraph 3, page 271): �The interconnecting of adjoining protected
structures will only be permitted if size restrictions of the individual buildings otherwise prohibits
sustainable usage.’
Residential Typology for Historic Buildings
Two architectural studies are currently underway to assess the potential for residential typologies in
historic buildings. One study „Georgian Living Experiences‟ explores four typologies for residential
refurbishment ranging from the full townhouse, apartment-duplex, boutique hotel to an executive
residential suite, for the South Georgian Core. The other study addresses an „over the shop‟ or upper
floor residential typology for historic buildings with a case-study on Nos. 19-20 Aungier Street. The
findings of these studies will have a wider application providing a template for residential units in
historic buildings across the city. The benefits of this approach are multi-fold contributing to achieving
a vibrant historic core, securing the protection of historic building fabric and lowering vacancy rates at
a time of housing shortage in the city and region. There is merit in an appropriate policy in the new
Development Plan.
Living City Initiative
The Government is promoting the refurbishment of historic buildings in city centre areas through the
„Living City Initiative‟. This is a targeted, pilot, tax incentive initiative aims to assist the regeneration of
historic mixed use and residential districts. Under the initiative, home owners and commercial
property owners can apply for tax relief on the refurbishment of all buildings built prior to 1915. The
initiative is designed to encourage people to live in historic buildings in city centres and is to be rolledout subject to EU state-aid approval.
The Department of Finance has set out criteria in draft guidelines for the consideration of areas under
the initiative, including that the area be:
An inner city or central city area,
Largely made up of dwellings built prior to 1915 and
In need of regeneration with clear evidence of neglect or dereliction.
The area should also be largely residential in character with clear evidence that dwellings are being
under-utilised or inappropriately utilised.
Dublin City Council‟s initial submission to the Department seeks consent for the designation of four
distinct areas of the inner city on a pilot basis, each of which manifest particular challenges and
underperformance in terms of the local urban economy and as a national tourism resource. The areas
are the North and the South Georgian Core (Zoned Z8), the City Centre (Zoned Z5) and the Key
Radial Routes inside the canal ring (mainly Zoned Z4). However, the Department has responded with
a request for greater emphasis on buildings in poor condition.
The reasons for designating these areas are residential and tourism potential of the North Georgian
Core; the promotion of the South Georgian Core as a vibrant residential and cultural quarter; to target
isolated, fragmented and acutely vulnerable historic fabric in regeneration areas such as James
Street, Thomas Street, Abbey Street; and to support the re-use of upper floors in more desirable and
central locations such as Dame Street and South Great George‟s Street.
4.2 Heritage
Dublin City Heritage Plan - Creative Collaboration & Cultural Partners
The Dublin City Heritage Plan sets out priorities to identify, enhance, and increase awareness of
Dublin's heritage in the specific areas of the historic built environment, and the tangible and intangible
social and cultural heritage of the capital city.
It is through creative collaboration and harnessing synergies across agencies and sectors that much
has been achieved in the past and that much can be achieved in the future. There is now an
opportunity to firmly link the preparation of the new City Development Plan with the preparation and
implementation of a new City Heritage Plan. A key challenge will be balancing the on-going
implementation of projects developed under the previous heritage plan and delivering on new areas of
interest and importance, a major aspect of which will be a multi-disciplinary focus working with a
broad church of cultural partners in relation to historic and contemporary cultural heritage.
Heritage Research
The Heritage Office aims to put in place a mechanism that will promote post-graduate, doctoral and
post-doctoral primary research on Dublin, with third level institutions collaborating with the City
Council. Possible research topics include architecture, social and cultural history, geography,
archaeology. Meanwhile, on-going commissioned research includes the Twentieth Century
Architecture Project; the Wide Streets Commissioners; and Georgian and Tenement Life in Dublin.
Dublin’s Intangible Cultural Heritage
This is a further research topic with potential for creating synergies across built and cultural heritage.
The UNESCO Convention of Intangible Cultural Heritage, 1989 recommends the safeguarding of
traditional culture and folklore and defines the nature of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) as including
oral traditions, expressions, language, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events,
traditional craftsmanship, and knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe.
Research on this topic is particularly relevant, especially in the context of understanding, appreciating
and celebrating the city‟s cultural identity at a time of globalisation, as well as opportunities for
creating synergies and transcending boundaries between built heritage and cultural heritage initiatives
throughout the city.
World Heritage Nomination for Historic Centre of Dublin
The Historic Centre of Dublin is on Ireland‟s Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. While no
decision at local or national level has been made regarding the advancement of a nomination for
Dublin as a World Heritage Site, there is great benefit to developing the management capacities and
determining the attributes which contribute to the city‟s Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). Dublin
City Council and the Heritage Council are currently co-funding a study to investigate the management
implications of such a nomination for the city of Dublin. This includes a research agenda for the
evaluation of Dublin City‟s Outstanding Universal Value and a potential World Heritage Management
Commemoration and Historic Public Sculpture
The Heritage Office will continue the existing programme of management and maintenance of public
monuments and sculpture, with a focus on activities and events relating to the 2016 Centenary. It will
also support implementation of the City Plaques Scheme along with the Culture, Recreation and
Amenity Department in conjunction with the Commemorative Naming Committee, having regard to
the Naming Policy Document. It is recommended that the next development plan includes a policy
relating to the new guidelines devised for naming structures or commemorative plaques throughout
the city.
Decade of Centenaries
Following the recent centenary successes of the 1913 Lockout (2013) and the Battle of Clontarf
Millennial (2014), the Heritage Plan will commit to continue to develop a programme reflecting on the
events to be marked by the Decade of Centenaries with partners including the Culture Recreation and
Amenity Department, third level Institutes, FГЎilte Ireland as well as study groups and NGOs. Such
projects could may include conferences on rebuilding cities after conflict and / commemorating conflict
and site specific theatre commissions on aspects of the decade on centenaries, for example. These
initiatives contribute significantly to heritage awareness.
Public Realm
There is merit in up-dating on an on-going basis, the inventory of Historic Street Furniture and ensure
its integration within GIS and City Council Service Providers. In addition, an Advice Series for Historic
Street Surfaces (DAHG) is pending and following publication, it would be worthwhile to review existing
policy and procedures and implement actions concerning the protection of historic street furniture
within the wider debate of public realm provision, management and maintenance. These measures
are particularly relevant in the context of implementation of the City Centre Public Realm Strategy.
New Design in Historic Areas
Contemporary design in historic areas accords with conservation philosophies and best architectural
practice, thus there would be merit in seeking to establish a design approach for sensitive in-fill sites
and generating debate and discussion on the challenge of contemporary design.
A possible project could focus on the North Georgian Core, which in contrast to the South Georgian
Core, is primarily residential in character, with undeveloped and underdeveloped mews lanes, which
have considerable potential for new residential mews buildings. The project could seek to understand
the significance of Dublin‟s Georgian lanes and produce design guidance for mews lane development.
Conservation Plans / Conservation Statements
Conservation Plans are an effective mechanism in gaining an understanding of vulnerable historic
sites and structures, the issues affecting them, and devising policies and actions that mitigate threats
to their future. The City Council in partnership with stakeholders will seek to ensure through
development plan policy and the heritage plan programme of actions that the implementation of
existing Conservation Plans for the City Walls, Henrietta Street and St. Luke‟s are continued.
A limited number of new Conservation Plans may be undertaken through the life of the forthcoming
Development Plan and Heritage Plan on a strategic basis where there are complex and competing
priorities in sensitive sites. Alternative mechanisms such as conservation statements, management
plans etc, should be undertaken for other sites as appropriate.
However, the City Council is mindful not to commit to additional Conservation Plans, save for those of
a very strategic nature, given the non-statutory nature of such plans and that resources are scarce in
the current climate. Moreover, a wider role for heritage in the city is emerging, with a greater
emphasis on the active promotion of heritage in the community and across a range of cultural
spheres, as well as developing collaborative networks.
Museum of Dublin
The Dublin Civic Museum closed to the public in September 2003. A detailed catalogue and analysis
of the museum collection was commissioned by Dublin City Council as a vital first step in securing a
museum for Dublin. The next steps need to be carefully considered but could include a feasibility
study to identify the remit, appropriate location, management and curatorial structures of a City of
Dublin; creating and maintaining partnerships with national cultural institutions; reviewing policy with
regard to existing practices of cataloguing, storage and access. These matters could be addressed in
the development plan by way of a policy or objective (review Policy FC60).
Culture & Tourism Links / Cultural Tourism
Recognising the importance of cultural tourism for the city‟s economy, attractiveness and vibrancy,
the Heritage Office will develop and maintain strong links with other allied agencies involved in
tourism and cultural infrastructure in the city by the provision of information, access, linking sites, and
developing stronger relationships with external agencies such as FГЎilte Ireland, the OPW, Dublin Port.
Links will also be developed and maintained internally with Culture Recreation and Amenity
Department (the Events Unit, the Arts Office, the Dublin City Library and Archive) and the Corporate
For example, the Dubline Project, a Dublin Discovery Trail, represents a collaborative approach with a
sharing of resources to promote and facilitate new initiatives, involving FГЎilte Ireland, OPW and the
City Council. The City Council through the Heritage Office and Arts Office is also actively engaging
with FГЎilte Ireland on the centenary commemorations for 1916. The Council has also developed the
Walking Dublin App which identifies and provides mobile information on sites of cultural, historic and
tourism interest.
4.3 Archaeology
Awareness & Appreciation of Archaeology (Community Archaeology)
Current trends in archaeology include community archaeology, culture, recreation and amenity, as
well as graveyards and genealogy. The current development plan seeks to promote awareness and
access to the city‟s archaeological heritage (Policy FC63) and this has been implemented through a
series of measures including projects under the City Heritage Plan, lecture series, conferences and
data collection.
However, there is potential for greater interpretation and promotion of archaeological heritage on an
area-basis to local community and visitors, linking into community and tourism initiatives as per the
approach in the Docklands SDZ Planning Scheme (Objective BH7: To interpret and promote the
archaeological resource of the area to the local community and visitors). Embracing the concept of
community archaeology, one option could be to engage in educational and community archaeological
projects, such as a road show on historic graveyards in the city.
The current plan recognises the tourism potential of the historic sites and character areas within the
canal area, relating to Zones of Archaeological Interest, for example the Medieval City (Section There is also an opportunity to develop the river, canals and maritime waterbodies as a
heritage resource in tandem with a recreational amenity. Similarly, there is the potential to link
archaeological and / or heritage sites with public open space and public realm initiatives, especially in
the medieval core, where appropriate, subject to best conservation practice.
Viking & Medieval Dublin
The current Development Plan seeks to promote the international significance of Viking and Medieval
Dublin (Policy FC66). This has been achieved to date primarily through millennium events, lecture
series, conference and publications. There has been no investigation of key medieval sites, a factor
which can be largely attributed to the economic crisis, a lack of development and restricted funding.
Similarly, there has been a lack of progress on Policy FC66 under the Irish National Strategic
Archaeological Research (INSTAR) initiative. Thus, whilst the broad thrust of this policy remains
relevant, it may need to be up-dated in terms of the relevance of INSTAR and / or other potential
options to explore, manage and promote the Old City.
Notwithstanding the above, considerable progress has been under the current Development Plan in
terms of promoting the heritage of the old city, most notably in terms of the wayfinding system which
plays an important role in linking areas of cultural tourism, signage and branding of character areas
such as Thomas Street and the Liberties, as well as the „Dubline‟ Project, a Dublin Discovery Trail
which extends from College Green to Kilmainham, incorporating the medieval city, and represents a
collaborative project involving FГЎilte Ireland, OPW and the City Council.
Churches & Graveyards
Dublin‟s network of parish churches and graveyards represents an important aspect of the city‟s
history and character, each church providing a sense of place and the graveyards also providing a
valuable opportunity for amenity and biodiversity in the city.
The challenges relating to historic churches and graveyards were identified in the Issues Paper
(2009) for the current Development Plan, namely, the lack of clarity regarding the curtilage and
attendant grounds of churches listed on the Record of Protected Structures (RPS); the often
conflicting interests of recreational amenity / open space with conservation objectives for graveyards;
the re-use and maintenance of deconsecrated churches; and conserving the significance of
vulnerable graveyard sites. It was also noted that graveyards can provide an important historical
resource and can be a major attraction for visitors, which aligns with the newly emerging interest in
graveyards and genealogy.
The above challenges are addressed in „Policy FC65: To preserve known burial grounds and disused
graveyards‟ and a related objective which seeks „to resolve management, conservation and access
issues to these sites of heritage significance‟ (FCO51), of the current Development Plan.
With regard to implementation, the Historic Graveyard Advisory Group remains to be set up, although
considerable progress has been made with good internal practices established between Parks
Department & the Archaeology Office in terms of landscape management and protecting the heritage
significance of vulnerable sites. In terms of access and genealogical interpretation, work has been
undertaken for Finglas Graveyard including signage and on-line data on the graves, whilst a survey of
Ballybough Jewish Cemetry has also been undertaken. Policy FC65 & Objective FCO51 are still
relevant, although the last section of the latter should be omitted as it does not relate to the
graveyards etc (Columbarian Walls).
The Conservation Plan for St. Luke‟s in the Coombe which was prepared to promote best practice reuse of churches and graveyards, and with the intention of providing an educational and cultural
resource to the adjoining school, has yet to be implemented. Objective FCO45 refers in general to the
preparation and implementation of conservation plans, but does not specify particular sites.
Industrial Heritage
Protection of the city‟s industrial heritage remains a challenge as identified at the time of preparation
of the current development plan.
The term industrial heritage covers everything from the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing and
processing into usable forms or finished products, public utilities, transport, communications and
energy production and in some instances may also include military, maritime and institutional
functions. From c. 1750 onwards numerous large-scale industries developed in Dublin, which had a
profound effect on the city‟s economy and society, and which contributed greatly to the physical
character of today‟s city, manifesting in the city‟s rail, canal, military and maritime fabric, as well as
plants and structures such as brewing industries and mill buildings. However, with the exception of
the Guinness Brewery Complex, the city‟s industrial heritage is largely unknown and undervalued.
A particular challenge is safeguarding industrial buildings or structures which are not listed for
protection or in active use, and preventing dereliction and loss of historic fabric. The National
Monuments Acts protect sites and monuments up to 1700 AD, but not thereafter. Given that industrial
heritage can often lack high architectural quality or significance, it is generally under-represented on
the Record of Protected Structures (RPS). The Issues Paper for the current Development Plan also
identified these matters, which were addressed by means of the current Plan policies, namely Policy
FC68 which seeks to implement the relevant recommendations of the Dublin City Industrial Heritage
Record (DCIHR) and Objective FC053 to include industrial heritage sites on the Record of Protected
Structures (RPS). The National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) will advise on appropriate
industrial structures for inclusion on the RPS.
Policy FC58 provides support for the DCIHR for the purposes of development management and is
referred to in planning conditions. However, the information and inventory details are generally
inaccessible and under-utilised, available only by appointment with the Conservation Section. It is
considered that the DICHR should be made more widely accessible as a webtool.
Objective FCO53 relating to the Old Mill at Rowerstown Lane, has not yet been undertaken. However,
the Regional and National rated DCIHR sites are to be reviewed against the RPS in 2014-15 as part
of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH). The objective could be up-dated in this
A further concern is that objectives under the current plan relating to industrial heritage are very site
specific and do not take account of the data available in-house (for example in relation to Objective
FCO53 Kilmainham Mill).
Potential Projects for Lifetime of Next Development Plan
Practical targets which could be considered for completion over the course of the next development
plan are set out below. These projects relate primarily to understanding, conserving and tackling the
renewal of the medieval city with a focus on conservation plans for key sites and a capital works
programme for the city walls. There is also an emphasis on making archaeology more widely
accessible through initiatives on historic graveyards, community archaeology projects and easily
access to archaeological research data sets.
Implement aspects of the City Walls Conservation Plan
Implement Conservation Plan for St Luke‟s Graveyard
Implement Feasibility Study for St Thomas Abbey (Earl Street South)
Convene a multi-disciplinary group for the management of the city‟s graveyards
Develop and make accessible GIS / Archaeology as a webtool
Develop the Dublin City Industrial Heritage Record (DCIHR) as a webtool.
Initiate educational and community archaeology projects
Policies, Objectives & Development Standards
The City Archaeologist considers that in general the current Development Plan is weaker than its
predecessor in relation to the protection of the archaeological heritage. It is considered that the
policies and objectives more limited in their application for development management purposes. It is
recommended that the Department of the Arts, Heritage and Gaelteacht (DAGH) Guidelines should
inform the policies of the new Development Plan and that policies be reviewed and revised to accord
with the National Monuments Acts, the Planning & Development Acts and European Best-Practice.
Section 17.11 which sets out a series of development standards for archaeological sites and zones of
archaeological interest, is considered most useful is terms of development management and it is
recommended that this be retained with minor amendments.
5.0 Summary of Main Strategic Issues
The key issues and challenges pertaining to the built heritage may be distilled into the following
recommendations and strategic questions as a summary overview, which could form the basis of the
Pre-Draft Issues Paper for consultation on this topic.
ACAs – Priority Areas
Georgian Core – Vibrancy, Revitalisation & Protection of Fabric
Residential Typologies for Historic Properties
Contemporary Architecture
Cultural Tourism – Potential Projects
World Heritage Nomination (WHO)
Centenary of Commemorations
Collaboration with Cultural Partners
Community Archaeology
Celebrate Industrial Heritage
Churches & Graveyards
How can we encourage residential use back into the South Georgian Core?
How best to encourage appropriate mews lane development in the North Georgian Core?
Should there be greater flexibility in the zoning objectives and development standards for the Z8
Georgian Conservation Areas?
How can we promote modern living in historic buildings and „living over the shop‟ in the city?
What would be the advantages, if any, of a World Heritage Designation for Dublin?
How best to create linkages and greater appreciation between the built heritage and other cultural
forms such as the city‟s social or literary history?
Does contemporary architecture have a place in historic settings?
Should we celebrate and protect outstanding examples of 20 Century Architecture?
How can we make archaeological information more accessible to the community and
What type of community archaeology projects would you like to see in the city or your
How should former churches and disused graveyards be used?
How should we value and celebrate the city‟s industrial heritage?
What type of conservation, archaeology or heritage projects would you like to see prioritised over
the course of the next development plan?
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Creating Sustainable Neighbourhoods
2.1 People
2.2 Timing
2.3 Social Audits
2.4 Accessibility
2.5 Safety
2.6 Supporting Infrastructure
2.7 Supporting Communities & Social Inclusion
3.0 Key questions
1.0 Introduction
A successful neighbourhood is one that is sustainable, providing not just places to live or work, but
also allows ease of access to a range of facilities including education, leisure and recreation, health
and healthcare facilities. In setting out policies and objectives for Dublin, the City Council is required
to plan for social infrastructure and sustainable communities.
The Regional Planning Guidelines also require the Local Authority to examine issues of social
inclusion in preparing a Development Plan, on the basis of an inclusive life-cycle approach, i.e. giving
consideration to children, people of work age, older people and people with disabilities.
Achieving sustainable communities is both the goal and the challenge the City faces.
2.0 Creating Sustainable Neighbourhoods
2.1 People
People are the basic necessity for lively, engaged communities, and for sustaining a diverse and wide
range of community facilities. Having sufficient numbers of people to join local sports teams, support
local shops, keep schools open is a simple yet fundamental concept. The city centre witnessed the
collapse of many of its amenities when people „fled‟ to the suburbs during the latter half of the 20
century, and today many of those same suburbs are now suffering similar difficulties due to changing
demographics and declining populations. At the core of the City Development Plan is the need to
consolidate the city, to maximize the use of scare urban land, and most importantly to promote a
density of development to ensure an adequate population to support key community infrastructure.
Therefore, the development of underutilized and vacant sites with appropriately dense schemes must
remain a key priority of the City Council, which will also ensure that the Development Plan remains n
keeping with National and Regional planning policies.
2.2 Timing
Providing the right resources at the right time and in the right place is a requisite for a successful
community. Where new neighbourhoods are emerging on the outskirts of the city, such as in
Pelletstown and Belmayne, an important challenge is to ensure than an appropriate range and level of
new community facilities are provided in tandem with the growing population. Within the city core, the
Docklands community is also growing quickly. The City Council has prepared a Local Area Plan or a
Strategic Development Zone Planning Scheme for each of these areas, identifying the location and
nature of community facilities required and putting in place appropriate phasing mechanisms to
ensure that these facilities are provided in parallel with tranches of development.
Elsewhere within the city, social housing regeneration plans and Local Area Plans provide
assessments of existing communities, their capacities to allow for increased development
opportunities, and gaps which may exist in existing social and community infrastructure. Continued
investment in the regeneration of existing disadvantaged urban areas, to help deliver sustainable
communities has remained a key focus of the National Spatial Strategy Update and Outlook Report
2010, and is a key priority for the City.
2.3 Social Audits
The 2011-2017 Dublin City Development Plan introduced for the first time the requirement for Social
Audits. All large scale residential and/or mixed-use schemes (typically 200 units or 20,000sq.m. and
above) must now be accompanied by a Community Infrastructure Statement comprising an audit of
existing facilities in the area. The audit must show how the proposal will contribute to the range of
supporting community infrastructure and how it will deliver a key social infrastructure element, such as
childcare facilities, community centres, shops, parks and play space, cultural space (as defined in the
Glossary of Terms and Phrases in the Development Plan). It must also be accompanied by an
assessment of the capacity of local schools to accommodate the proposed development.
2.4 Accessibility
Accessibility within the public realm, to parks, open spaces, buildings, programmes and services is
important for a community to be sustainable. Policies and objectives which focus on accessibility
cover a broad range of topics, including access to good quality public transport to enable people to
reach amenities and facilities easily and in a timely manner, a quality public domain that is welcoming
and easy to move about in for children, older people and those with disabilities; and also ensuring that
those who may be marginalised feel empowered to use various spaces and places.
Putting in place appropriate, integrated land use and transportation policies as well as engaging and
encouraging citizens to use community resources are important elements for consideration.
In recent years the city has carried out a mobility impaired and disabled audit of facilities, on the back
of which numerous improvements have been carried out. However, it is acknowledged that much
more can be done to improve physical access to both the built and the outdoor environments and this
should remain a priority for the City Council.
2.5 Safety
Safe environments tend to be those which are well used, well designed, with good lighting and
passive surveillance. Creating opportunities within communities which maximize opportunities for
meeting and greeting helps people feel safer in their environment. Encouraging more people to walk
or cycle rather than drive encourages „street talk‟. Designing public spaces that are safe and inviting,
with quality materials, good planting and appropriate signage encourage people to use the space. The
City Council will seek to ensure that all new proposals design out crime and design for maximum
The City Council also plays a key role in engaging with local communities to help eradicate anti-social
behavior through work with local residents groups and various Joint Policing Committees. Measures
such as tackling litter and graffiti can play a significant role in how people perceive an area and how
safe they feel. Promoting safety to generate maximum use of existing spaces is a key objective.
2.6 Supporting Infrastructure
The First Schedule, Part III(1) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), sets out
services and facilities that are considered necessary for the community and which may be indicated in
the Development Plan, including:
(a) Hospitals and other healthcare facilities;
(b) Centres of the social, economic, recreational, cultural, environmental, or general
development of the community;
(c) Facilities for the elderly and for persons with disabilities;
(d) Places of public worship and meeting halls;
(e) Recreational facilities and open spaces, including caravan and camping parks, sports
grounds and playgrounds;
(f) Shopping and banking facilities.
Key Issues for consideration:
Healthcare Facilities
The provision of adequate healthcare facilities is a priority of the Government‟s Capital Spending
Programme, including provision for specialist hospitals in the form of a new National Children‟s
Hospital and the National Project for Radiation Oncology. Priority is also given to primary care
centres, step down and long-term facilities and community care facilities such as day care centres for
older people.
In recent years the HSE have been actively evaluating the Dublin City in terms of primary care
provision, identifying where gaps exist and rolling out a programme of primary care centers within the
city, including:
Works are on site for the new primary care centre at Grangegorman to be completed 2015,
- Planning permission has been granted for a primary care centre at the old Mountain View
Court site at Summerhill.
One area where an identified need has been noted is for the communities of Drumcondra, Whitehall,
Santry, Marino and Fairview.
The issue of providing community care facilities and day care facilities for older people is a major
concern with ageing populations.
Question: Should the Development Plan designate lands specifically for this purpose?
The provision of childcare facilities in suitable locations is fundamental. For new development areas
and large schemes, the City Council will have regard to the Dublin City Childcare Committee and their
identification of areas that are either under-provided or over-provided. In large new schemes of over
75 units, a new childcare facility is required unless it is clearly proven that such a facility is not
2.6.3 Play Facilities
In 1989 Ireland signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which “recognizes
the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the
age of the child and to participate freely in the cultural life and the arts”.
The National Children‟s Strategy (2000) sets out the rights of children in Ireland. It seeks to address
the many ways in which we can improve children‟s lives. One of these is children‟s access to play
opportunities. It states:
1. Children will have access to play, sport, recreation and cultural activities to enrich their
experience of childhood (Ch5, Group 1, Objective D);
2. Children will benefit from and contribute to vibrant local communities (Ch 5, Group 3,
objective M)
3. Children will benefit from a built and natural environment, which supports their physical and
emotional wellbeing (Ch 5, Group 3, Objective N).
Dublin City Council currently maintains c. 100 playgrounds around the city, some in parks and some
in housing complexes. New play spaces continue to be rolled out, such as at Merrion Square Park.
Question: Are there enough playgrounds in the right locations? and are they up to standard? Are
there areas with serious deficiencies in play space provision?
But it is not just playgrounds that are important. Dublin City‟s play plan, „Play here, Play there, Play
everywhere‟ (May 2012) aims to provide inclusive and accessible play opportunities for children and
young people of all ages, abilities and ethnic origin through adopting a city-wide coordinated
approach. One of the key principles adopted in this plan is that children and young people have a
right to be seen, to be heard and to play in public spaces in the city. Play is essential to the healthy
development of children and young people – not just their physical development, but their social and
cognitive development too. The plan encourages families and communities to support children and
young people to play outdoors and to take actions in supporting the use of local environments.
To encourage the idea of optimizing use of our outdoor spaces, the City Council has operated a
Summer Play programme – providing free outdoor play activities for children, and young people, from
traditional street games to gardening and play in natural landscapes. In 2014 over 1,200 children
partook in the council‟s programmes.
Community Centres
Community centers, youth centres, outreach centres, day-care centres all play a key role in providing
hubs for community activity. In recent years Dublin City Council has provided new community centres
at Donore Avenue and Bluebell and has refurbished many existing centres.
A key issue the city faces is maximising use of existing facilities that are underutilised. For example,
school halls and parish halls are key community resources, but many are underutilised and underresourced. Exploring options to maximize the use of these spaces for the gain of the entire
community, for example through appropriate insurance schemes, construction of necessary
extensions, etc. should be a priority. Only through such collaboration and joined-up thinking can
resources be truly sustainable.
The City Council actively engages with the Department of Education and Skills at the outset of the
preparation of plans for the developing areas, for example in Local Area Plans and Strategic
Development Zones. In each case, the Department assesses the needs for additional school places
having regard to the capacity of the existing schools and the anticipated population growth. This
approach ensures that the delivery of schools is commensurate with the emerging communities. In
delivering any new school facilities the issues of accessibility out-of-hours is also a consideration.
Dublin City Council is extremely well served in terms of third level education. Significant
developments achieved in recent years include the expansion of St. Patrick‟s College, Drumcondra
and the emerging DIT Grangegorman campus, which will see the consolidation of dispersed DIT
colleges on one site+.
Libraries provide a wonder resource, not just for education, but for the wider communities they serve.
DCCs document „What is the stars? - A development plan for Dublin City Public Libraries 2012-2016‟
set out clear strategic direction for the sustainable development of Dublin City Council‟s public library
and archive services over the five year period from 2012 to 2016 .The plan is a requirement under the
2001 Local Government Act, and a range of thematic objectives are set out . These include providing
diverse resources for citizens to enable them to maximise their potential, to participate in decision
making, to access education and to contribute to the cultural life of the city. Research is also
encouraged as is the improvement and development of ICT services.
As part of this plan, some significant improvements have recently been made to library facilities.
Ballyfermot Library has been extensively refurbished and reopened in late 2013. It now includes new
facilities including an art room for children‟s workshops and a lecture room with audio-visual facilities.
It also contains resources for students of the adjoining Ballyfermot College of Education. Kevin Street
Library, which dates from 1904, is the subject of an ongoing refurbishment and conservation project
due for completion in 2015. In addition to repairs and conservation work, works will include increased
public space for study, exhibitions and community group, as well as a children‟s library
A key objective of Dublin City Council is to create a new dynamic cultural quarter in the city at Parnell
Square. At the hub of this new quarter will be a new City library offering exhibition spaces,
conference facilities, and recreational areas. There will also be learning suites and digital creation
zones, an innovation hub with spaces for meeting and co-working, and spaces for young people‟s
learning and recreation. The StoryHouse will be the heart of the literary life of the City, displaying and
celebrating collections of Irish literature, and Dublin‟s status as a UNESCO City of Literature.
Facilities for Older People
With many DEDs within the City faced with ageing populations, there is a growing demand to provide
accommodation and other facilities for older persons. Dublin City Council is currently upgrading a
number of its own senior citizen housing complexes to appropriate standards, and promotes the
provision of new accommodation for older people through the involvement of voluntary and cooperative housing associations.
Question: Does the development plan deliver enough in providing for older persons?
Dublin City Council is the lead statutory authority for homelessness in the Dublin Region, and
coordinates both the statutory management group and homeless consultative forum. The City Council
in collaboration with a range of statutory and non-governmental organizations continues to implement
the statutory Homeless Action Plan which provides for a range of services for prevention of
homelessness to supporting those who are sleeping rough.
Reducing and ultimately eliminating homelessness is a key objective of the Homeless Action Plan.
With current estimates by one charity citing 158 rough sleepers in any one night, it is clear that much
needs to be done and urgently. Reducing homelessness within our communities is vital in the creation
of sustainable neighbourhoods. (Note: the issue of homelessness is also dealt with in the Housing
Background Paper).
2.6.9 Other
Other community activities and provisions which have proved successful in recent years have
included the expansion of allotments within the city and the provision of outdoor gyms in parks. These
measures provide free/ cheap activities, which engage the community and aid essential community
interaction, giving places identify and making them feel safer.
2.7 Supporting Communities / Social inclusion
The promotion of inclusive neighbourhoods which cater for all age groups, all abilities, and all ethnic
and cultural groups is a key priority of the City Council. People‟s inability to engage within their
community may be linked to lack of money or resources, or it may be due to certain discriminations, or
not having the confidence to participate. In the 2011 Census, 17.2% (88,000 persons) of Dublin City‟s
population was made up of non-Irish nationals, an increase of 14,049 persons since 2006. Providing
for and facilitating minority groupings is a key consideration in providing a sustainable city.
Overcoming social exclusion is the aim of the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2017, the
objectives of which inform the Dublin City Corporate Plan. To help build strong networks and create
viable inclusive and sustainable communities the City Council provides a range of services and
provisions, including the work of the community development officers, the work of the Social Inclusion
Unit and the Office of Integration.
Community Development
The Council‟s community development workers help and assist communities and residents groups to
build their capacity, to identify their needs and development appropriate plans. Staff are involved in a
large range of projects annually including family fun days, resident associations, local festivals, Lets
Walk and Talk, Passport for Leisure, etc. Support is also given to the community through grants (in
2014, 934 grants were provided).
Social Inclusion
Dublin City‟s Social Inclusion Unit was set up in 2000. It works to promote social inclusion through
measures such as social inclusion week, social inclusion magazine, engagement with community
groups and the development of Dublin as Age Friendly City.
The `Dublin Age Friendly City Programme‟ was established in February 2013 making Dublin the first
capital city in the world to adopt a city-wide, age-friendly approach. An inter-agency planning alliance
was established to oversee the implementation of the initiative at city level, and on the 10 Sept 2014
the Dublin Age Friendly City Strategy 2014-2019 was launched. It s a 5-year plan to improve the
quality of lives for people over the age of 55. Local alliances are also being established in each of the
5 local authority administrative areas, with each local alliance delivering Age Friendly Action Plans.
Work has begun to make the city centre more age-friendly. The Dublin City Business Improvement
District (BID) has allied with the Age Friendly Business recognition scheme to help make the city more
welcoming for older persons.
The City Council has also taken a proactive and leadership role at city level to respond to new
migration and its impact on the city. The Office for Integration was set up in 2006 as a strategic unit
with the responsibility to facilitate understanding and commitment to diversity, integration and
inclusion across the Council and to build relationships with civil society in areas such as education,
public services, business, faith, culture, communities, etc. The office has developed strong
relationships with international bodies allowing for the exchange and benefit of experience abroad.
Recent programmes and events which the City have engaged in include the DELI project (Diversity in
the Economy and Local Integration) which aims to foster more efficient local policies in support of
migrant-owned SMEs and migrant entrepreneurship, involvement in the now annual Dublin Chinese
New Year Festive, and the One City One People Campaign This latter campaign focused on the city's
immigrant population to promote inclusion, integration and to combat racism and discrimination.
Included in this campaign was a migrant voter‟s registration promotion drive in advance of the Local
and European elections in May. Facilitating participation in the political life of the city is a key element
in promoting and supporting the integration of ethnic minorities in the life of the city.
Other engagement programmes which the City is involved with include the EU TURAS project, which
aims to empower citizens to create sustainable and resilient urban areas. TURAS - Transitioning
towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability (www.turas-cities.eu) is led by a partnership between
University College Dublin and Dublin City Council. The goal is to meet the demands from
communities and individuals for more inclusivity in planning and developing joint strategies for
adaptation to climate change and further global challenges, such as loss of natural resources and
uncontrolled urban sprawl. In this way Dublin and other European cities and urban regions will be
enabled to take the measures required to improve urban resilience.
Travelling Community
It is Council policy to recognize the separate identity, culture, tradition and history of the Travelling
people and to reduce the levels of disadvantage that Travellers experience. Tackling Traveller
disadvantage issues are addressed at Inter Agency and Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative
Committee levels. Culturally appropriate Traveller group housing schemes, halting sites or a
combination of both are designed and provided in consultation with prospective Traveller tenants.
Translating relevant and appropriate social inclusion measures into policies and objectives for the
Development Plan is an important task. There is a need to ensure that the outdoor and built
environment is accessible to all; that local neighbourhoods provide facilities that cater for people from
cradle to grave; and that local communities feel empowered to get involved in the plan making
process both for the City and at local level, expressing the needs and desires of the community to
make places work better.
Participation in Decision Making Process
The process for preparing the development plan, as set out in the Planning and Development Acts,
allows individuals and organisations to make comments and representations on the content of the
new Draft Development Plan. The recent Local Government Reform Act 2014 has introduced new
provisions relating to community development and public engagement, including the creation of a
Public Participation Network (PPN) and the development of Local Economic and Community Plans
(LECPs). These new measures should assist in bringing forward a broad range of ideas, experience
and suggestions to the Development Plan preparation process.
The goal of the Public Participation Network (PPN) is to allow individuals and groups to take an active
formal role in relevant policy making including the City‟s Strategic Policy Committees, the Joint
Policing Committee, and the new Local Community Development Committee (LCDC). The LCDC will
be responsible for the development of the community element of the Local Economic and Community
Plan for the City. The PPN will be the main link through which the local authority connects with the
community, voluntary and environmental sectors.
Further Information Required
Databases are already in use for the active management of City Council community facilities, parks
and play spaces, as well as schools (Department of Education) and childcare facilities (Dublin City
Childcare Committee). There is a need to compile an audit of other facilities and spaces, which are or
could be made available for public use. This could form part of a more comprehensive city-wide land
use survey.
Questions for Consideration
Does the City currently provide adequate facilities to cater for residents from cradle to grave, and to
allow people to fully participate in society and local communities? If not, what are the major gaps, and
how should they be addressed?
3.0 Key Questions
a) What range and scale of community facilities are required at the local and neighbourhood
level, and what measures are required to render such facilities economically viable?
b) What policies are required to ensure that the City becomes a universally accessible city?
c) Are educational needs being adequately addressed within the City?
d) How can the Development Plan best facilitate the provision of childcare facilities in the right
e) How can the Development Plan facilitate the appropriate provision of healthcare and elderly
care facilities in the City?
Should existing community centers including school and parish halls be made more widely
accessible? How can this be achieved?
g) Are the needs of the vulnerable and minority groups adequately met in local communities?
Are new policies and objectives required?
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