A City of Neighbourhoods

The essence of a city is its people, yet the essence of these people is not a unified force but a heterogeneous dynamic which shifts meaning as one moves between groups or localities. The planning of a city must take this variety of cultures into account if it is to be at all successful.

One of the principal influences behind the planning efforts of the past decade in Dublin is a belief in the importance of the communities and the establishment and protection of separate and definable local character areas that serve these communities. This formed the foundation of Dublin City Council’s area-based Integrated Area Plans and more specifically its Local Area Action Plans.

These outline documents seek to promote this diversity and personality of locale through the development of a network of local cells defined by architectural character, street pattern, local communities, and existing and potential functions. As well as endorsing local identity, such a network can incorporate all the advantages of spatial, area-based planning approaches, and can constitute a framework for the delivery of many public sector services.

Furthermore the City Council, through its Community Development Section, works to encourage local people and communities to get involved in all issues that affect their area. A team of development workers operates throughout the city to encourage and assist local people in playing a strong role in developing responses to the social and economic issues of their communities. The Council’s commitment to working in the community on a local level is reflected in the establishment of a series of regional offices throughout the city. These regional offices are created as 'one stop shops', catering for all City Council services in each area.

Likewise the authorities managing the redevelopment of special project areas such as Docklands and Ballymun are committed to working closely with the long-established communities of their respective areas. They realise that the success of their ambitious projects rests crucially on involving the community from the outset and creating a meaningful dialogue with them. Such critical input manifests itself in a myriad of ways such as employment opportunities and training schemes, as well as the provision of a percentage of new housing for locals at affordable rates. In the case of Ballymun the project’s raison d’etre is the re-establishent of the community and improvement of its facilities.

Posted by Reflecting City Team on 08/28 at 11:37 PM
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