Dublin needs to plan for ’15-minute city’, says Chamber

by Gazette Reporter

Dublin could become a “15-minute” city following the Paris and Barcelona model under ambitious new plans drawn up by businesses in the capital.

Dublin Chamber launched its new urban vision for the city on Monday which advocates the ’15-minute city’ principal as standard for planners.

The business group’s ‘Dublin: A 15-Minute City’ document calls for the concept of ‘hyper-proximity’ to be adopted by planners.

The report points to the success of this approach in other cities including Melbourne, Barcelona and Paris, which seeks to enhance both quality of life and sustainability.

The idea is that, through revamped planning, people would be able to get to work, shops, essential services and leisure facilities in 15 minutes’ walk or cycle from home.

It would see an end to segregating the city into parcels characterised by a single purpose such as office districts, residential areas, shopping zones and entertainment strips.

The chamber says a greater blend of uses would cut commuting, car use, congestion and pollution and make Dublin a healthier, more vibrant city.

The document states: “The core of this concept is mixed development, integrating as many uses as possible within the same space.

“This in many ways counteracts the past century of planning which has focused on separating residential areas from those for retail, employment, manufacturing, and entertainment.”

Dublin Chamber’s vision is that within 15 minutes of active transport from their home, Dublin residents should have access to a key public transport hub.

They should also be connected to their local community via safe and accessible routes, and have access to an open green space as well as shops and services. DC’s Director of Public & International Affairs Aebhric McGibney said: “By adopting the 15 Minute City principle we can significantly enhance the liveability of Dublin.

“Reduced congestion and pollution, enhanced public spaces, thriving local economies and efficient public transport would all improve Dublin’s international reputation and competitiveness.

“As remote working continues into the future the 15 Minute City concept will be pivotal in reimagining the city.”

The Chamber noted that the recent Covid-19 lockdown highlighted the importance of urban planning that is focused on creating liveable, walkable communities.

Spokesman Graeme McQueen said arranging the city in this way could have prevented some of the ghost-town scenes that emerged when workers vanished during the most restrictive periods of lockdown.

“The model that’s been created for Dublin is one where people flush in and out of the city, morning and night, and when they stop, whole areas have no purpose and no life,” he said.

“Our vision is that every corner of the city would be a vibrant community in its own right so that the whole city has a life.”

A full copy of the report is available at www.dublinchamber.ie.

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