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Dublin: The 15 Minute City

Dublin’s distinct communities, urban villages, and Georgian core are intrinsic to the city’s unique feel and atmosphere. However, Dublin needs ambitious and
progressive planning to become a world leader as a smart and sustainable city.
By creating a 15 Minute City 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. Such a vision, if carried out successfully, could
prove transformative for Dublin and enhance not only the lives of its residents
and local economy, but its attractiveness as a place to do business.

THE 15 MINUTE CITY

The 15 Minute City is an ambitious urban planning concept focusing on community planning, the local economy, and the liveability of a city. Creating a 15 Minute City is about designing walkable communities in which people can live and access most of their daily needs within 15 minutes of active transport, i.e. walking or cycling. These places should have diverse housing options and access to: safe cycle routes and local public transport, local health facilities, parks, shops, and other local infrastructure.

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. This traditional way of planning has been a key driver behind modern planning problems, such as urban sprawl and car-dependent communities. The concept of ‘hyper-proximity’ – of creating spaces and enhancing both their liveability and sustainability – is now being seen in many ambitious planning projects across the world: Melbourne’s ‘20 minute neighbourhoods’, Barcelona’s ‘Superblocks’, East London’s ‘Every One, Every Day’, and of course Paris’s ‘15 Minute City’.

Dublin Chamber argues that the 15 Minute City is a guiding principle that must now be adopted by planners and local and national government to improve the liveability of our cities. In previous submissions relating to Development Plans, Local Area Plans and Strategic Development Zones, the Chamber has emphasised the need for long-term planning and joined-up thinking in the Dublin region, with a particular focus on the need for increased urban density, enhanced public transport, and investment in public realm. Drawing on our long history of campaigning on these interlinked issues, and in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, Dublin Chamber is proposing the concept of a 15 Minute City to enhance the liveability of Dublin. Cooperation between local government, communities, and industry can deliver the changes needed to create a 15 Minute City in Dublin.

Successful elements of the 15 Minute City concept can be found throughout Dublin and many aspects of the vision are already reflected in the local authorities’ development plans. Dublin Chamber’s ambition to have a 15 Minute City in Dublin will complement current and future development plans and will provide a new lens through which both planners and residents can identify the infrastructure and facilities which their communities need.

Both the ‘Superblocks’ project in Barcelona and the ‘15 Minute City’ project in Paris were developed and championed by the cities’ Mayors. Dublin Chamber has previously called for the establishment of a directly elected Mayor for all of Dublin. Local government plays a vital role in urban planning for the city and the Chamber has previously called for more joined up thinking and collaboration across the four local authorities. The establishment of the office of a directly elected Mayor could greatly benefit this collaboration and would be significantly beneficial in achieving cross-city visionary projects, such as the 15 Minute City.

Read the full Document HERE.

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