Dublin is changing and is likely to develop over the next 50 years in a linear economic corridor Belfast to Waterford. Dublin City Centre needs to plan for change, for prestige, pleasure & leisure, for profit/prosperity.
Planning for change
- Plan to say yes not no.
- The reality of demographics in Ireland is that 2/3 of the population will live on the east coast within 50 years.
- The other cities in Ireland are not cities as defined by the EU which is a base figure of 300,000 residents. None of the other cities in Ireland have the capacity to grow to that level within 50 years.
- The east coast linear (Belfast-Dublin-Waterford) economic corridor city is evolving despite politicians in all parties’ hostility to its development.
- It is being decided by the market and the demographics. 2/3 of the population will live within 50km of Dublin City Centre.
- 75% of all tax revenues are generated within 35km of Dublin City Centre now.
- The face of failure is a Doughnut City (a hollowed out city centre) and decreasing rates base in Central Business District leading to catastrophic urban decline.
Planning for prestige, pleasure & leisure
- City Centre is the centre of Ireland. Dublin City Council should consider giving away the outer areas of Dublin City Council to other local authorities and create a new federal/national capital area funded by National Government.
- This national ‘federal’ capital will offer:-
- Quality – living and public space,
- Choice – entertainment, shopping, leisure, culture
- All to attract talent and foreign direct investment.
Planning for profit & prosperity
Plan for car access for shoppers and deliveries. Don’t build the Eastern Bypass in Dublin Bay as proposed, build tunnels under the city centre.
- Rotterdam and Amsterdam deliver a calm pedestrian zone in their city centres because underneath their city centres, they have hot traffic routes for cars and deliveries. They have invested in this underground infrastructure for many years to deliver a calm City Centre on the surface.
- Plan to remove most buses to outside City Centre.
- Develop a City Centre mobility plan – Light Rail, cycle lanes, bus on the surface. Cars and deliveries underneath.
- Plan and build a footfall/pedestrianised City Centre with clear pleasant pedestrian routes between main focal points.
- Plan for large retail floor plates (Dawson Street/Westmoreland Street/O’Connell Street)
- Dress streets – farm footfall (Pedestrians are walking wallets – window displays should attract them into shops. Sign boards creating visual obstruction should be removed.)
- Plan for a City Centre that makes money. It is and should be an economic engine as well as a nice place to live.
Having it all
- The role of Dublin City will in the future be different than at present.
- Ratepayers must define Dublin City Centre.
- Ratepayers must sharpen up thinking on Dublin City Centre, customers and the reality of demographics despite some political or public service hostility to reality.
- Dublin region will develop as sprawl or neighbourhoods but the present model will not last.
- Dublin City Centre (not Dublin) is the centre of Ireland and we must lobby for National Capital Area status.
- City Centre Retailing must be Quality, Choice, Exclusivity, and Boutique City.
- Sub city transportation system – (cars, lorries, deliveries, construction vehicles).
- Surface City Centre transportation system – (walking, cycling, Light Rail, buses).
- Calm pedestrian zones and linkages.
- Big floor retailing (Dawson Street, Westmoreland Street, O’Connell Street).
- Boutique retailing in secondary streets.
- City Centre as a National Capital Area.