A lack of public seating across the city has been slammed across social media, as yet another public bench has been removed from the capital.
Many took to Twitter to air their fury that more seating is being removed from the capital, rather than installed, after images circulated of a bench that had been removed from beside Houston Luas Stop in late April.
The quest for public seating been an on-going battle in the city for some time, with anger over the lack of seating being vented online Twitter for several months.
Another pierce of public seating removed in Dublin. This time at Heuston Luas Stop. Soon it will be impossible to sit down in Dublin for free. Not how we’ll make a #BetterDublin pic.twitter.com/ivZn4JkBhU— Kevin Baker (@__kbaker__) April 30, 2019
Dubliners have referenced a struggle with having to purchase a coffee or food in exchange for somewhere to sit in a majority city.
Kevin O’Farrell wrote: “Where has all the public seating in Dublin City gone? There’s hardly anywhere left with obligation to buy an unneeded coffee etc. And it’s not as if there isn’t enough space to put benches.”
Similarly, Eimhear O Dalaigh called for seating to encourage socialising in the city. “We need more public seating in Dublin, not less. Wouldn’t it be lovely to bump into a friend on for O’Connell Street and sit down for a five-minute chat?”
We need more public seating in Dublin, not less. Wouldn’t it be lovely to bump into a friend on for O’Connell Street and sit down for a five minute chat? Come on Dublin city council, give us more seats! The homeless crisis is a separate issue and more benches won’t make it worse.— Eimhear O Dalaigh (@OEimhear) March 1, 2019
Others have also referenced that the lack of seating in the city is an exclusionary issue.
Clare Cronin of the Irish Disability Federation telling Dublin Gazette that whilst it may seem like a small thing, public seating can be necessary to those that struggle with mobility, including those with disabilities and the elderly.
“Anyone who doesn’t understand the importance of public seating is someone who has never broken a leg, suffered fatigue or been short of money to sit in a street café. They’re certainly not in the 13.4% of the population living with a disability.
“In the Disability Federation of Ireland, we recognise that such seemingly small things can contribute in a major way to making cities more liveable and inclusive.
“We need to re-examine how we design cities and be more inclusive in who we design them for,. Local authorities and the councillors elected on the 24th of May have control over planning and so can greatly improve the lives of people with disabilities. ” Cronin said.
When contacted about a lack of seating in the capital, Dublin City Council said that they are aware of the need for rest space in the city, but there is a ‘finite amount’ of space available in the city.
“The City Council is very aware of the need for lingering and rest space in order to deliver an age and accessibility friendly city.
“However, there is a finite amount of space available in a historic city like Dublin and that space is in high demand for movement, utilities, street furniture, lighting, bins, bus stops, bike parking… [and] so, the city must continue to function.
“For this reason, we also seek to deliver seating and space through the private developments happening in the city also, so that this private space is publicly accessible and benefits the city and its users.
“Dublin City Council in all its policy and projects endeavours to find space for public seating where possible. All Public Realm Schemes proposed and delivered in recent years have seating included. All projects are designed in line with the Principle of Universal Design.”
There is a shocking lack of public seating (including in private shopping centres) in Dublin. If you want to sit, you need to buy something in a café—a seemingly trivial thing, but it excludes poorer & older people from participating in Third Space activities.— Henry Roberts (@crepeseason) December 21, 2018
The council also listed a number of new seating spaces being redeveloped across the city at present, including seating around South King Street, Cows Lane in Temple Bar, George’s Street, Thomas Street and Clanbrassil Street.
Public seating projects have also been proposed Temple Bar Square, Wolfe Tone Square, Liffey Street Upper and Lower, which the council say will also deliver seating for the public.