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Sustainable, Mixed Communities Dublin Docklands Case Study Peter Coyne Dublin Docklands 520 ha total 92 ha in 3 Planning Schemes Population 18,500 (1997) – 50,000 (target 2012) Poolbeg Dublin Docklands Self financing project Social, economic and physical regeneration

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Sustainable, Mixed Communities

Dublin Docklands Case Study

Peter Coyne

dublin docklands
Dublin Docklands

520 ha total

92 ha in 3 Planning Schemes

Population 18,500 (1997) – 50,000 (target 2012)


dublin docklands3
Dublin Docklands

Self financing project

Social, economic and physical regeneration


Dublin Docklands

1.8 million m2 of Planning Scheme development (including 8,800 apartments) of which some 600,000 m2 on Authority’s land

regeneration issue
Regeneration Issue
  • Context:
    • Rapid national economic growth from low base
    • High unemployment (c.60%) Low educational performance
    • Poor location brand
    • Poor local amenity
    • Infrastructure deficit
    • Emergence of edge of city business locations and greenfield development
  • Problem:
    • Development likely to occur slowly in fragmented and unsustainable format
    • Unlikely to provide high quality economic expansion space for capital city
    • Unlikely to lead to socio-economic development
    • Peripheral development threatening city sustainability



Executive Board


Community Liaison Committee


master plan dublin docklands
Master Plan – Dublin Docklands
  • First priority of Authority upon establishment
  • Extensive consultation process
  • Text based document with associated maps
    • Social and Economic Framework
    • International Financial Services Centre
    • Land Use
    • Transportation and Infrastructure
    • Civic Design Framework
    • Implementation Plan
  • Authored by Council of Authority, Reviewed by City Council and Approved by Minister for Environment
importance of vision the plan
Importance of Vision – The Plan

The Master Plan:

  • Declares a new future for the place
  • Creates “hope” value in property
  • Gives transparency of public intention to local communities
  • Gives solution ownership to stakeholders and communities involved in plan development
  • Provides a context (statutory or otherwise) for development planning decision-making
  • Provides a clear context and agenda for public infrastructure investment
  • Editions 1997 – 2003 – 2008 (in preparation)
regeneration objective
Regeneration Objective

Objective (initial):

  • Change location risk profile (vision, infrastructure and environment)
  • Encourage property market to begin to function (tax incentives)
  • Ensure robust planning framework to facilitate future sustainable outcomes related to vision of “world class city (centre) quarter”
  • Ensure early community wins, shared vision / trust and strategic direction
regeneration objective10
Regeneration Objective

Objective (initial):

  • Change location risk profile (vision, infrastructure and environment)
  • Encourage property market to begin to function (tax incentives)
  • Ensure robust planning framework to facilitate future sustainable outcomes related to vision of “world class city (centre) quarter”
  • Ensure early community wins, shared vision / trust and strategic direction

Tipping Point

  • 4 to 5 years in, development becomes inevitable
  • Tax incentives withdrawn
  • Objective re-focussed on sustainability, legacy, sense of place, consolidation of community development and educational successes, community and city integration
ddda 2005

Strategic priorities

Key strategic projects 2005 onwards

DDDA 2005


Create Landmarks and Architectural Legacy


Create a Sense of Place


Fulfil Docklands Socio - Economic Potential


Maintain roll out of physical development


Provide Quality of life to Docklands Residents

  • Deliver Custom House Quay.
  • Deliver U2 Tower @ Britain Quay.
  • Direct investment in public landmark projects
  • Secure NCC
  • Complete PAC
  • Complete Campshires / BJ Marine
  • Deliver Linear Park
  • Secure Macken Street Bridge
  • Deliver Forbes Street Footbridge
  • Secure University/Colleges
  • Secure District Shopping Centre @ Point
  • Secure enhanced entry point at Poolbeg
  • Secure iconic art piece
  • High accessibility/quality Childs play
  • Public Parks
  • Access to the arts
  • Street Planting
  • Local Shopping
  • Public Transportation
  • Clean Streets
  • Libraries
  • High quality – High achieving Schools
  • Visitor Parking
  • Swimming, sports and gymnasium.
  • Sense of neighbourhood/

community and safety on the streets.

  • Innovative Family Living apartment development.
  • Area lighting.

Target Planning,

Infrastructure and area marketing support.

  • Drive e-society and e-learning
  • Secure local schools for a new generation
  • Harness enthusiasm, creativity and confidence of a new generation
  • Community dimensions to Arts and Festival projects.
  • Ensure effective social & affordable provision – innovative methodologies – pragmatic policies – quality operations.
  • Ensure key community infrastructure in sustainable management
  • Modern standards of access to sport and recreation secured.
  • Procure key social infrastructure in amenity and health
  • Physical branding of Area
  • Marketing brand for Docklands
  • Put Custom house quay on map
  • Sweat expo centre for impact
  • Arts& Culture intervention strategy (operational & physical)
  • More campshire cafes
  • Gateways and linkages
  • Big footfall leisure projects stadium/arena
  • Enhanced Point Depot
  • River Regeneration
  • Complete GCH
  • Deliver Britain Quay/revise PS
  • Enable GCD
  • Enable Spencer Dock & North Lotts.
  • Secure transportation


      • Rail
      • Bus
    • CPO lands hindering development.
    • Ensure North Lotts roads and infrastructure.
socio economic constructs
Socio-economic Constructs
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Social/Civic Infrastructure
  • Community Development
  • Housing

Third Level Education

  • Third Level Scholarship Programme
  • Young Person Self Development Programme
  • Docklands Alumni

Stimulate Parental Commitment

Facilitate Mature/Second Time Learners

  • Parents in Education Certificate Course
  • Active Citizenship Certificate Course
  • Life Centre Evening Classes for Adults
  • Third Level Scholarships for Mature Students

Working for Life

  • Local Labour Charter
  • School Jobs Placement Programme
  • Introduction to Financial Services
  • Apprenticeship Programme
  • Enterprise Development Programme

Vocational Training

  • Community Training Workshop

Community Support and Development

  • Youth Worker’s Forum
  • Young Peoples’ Forum
  • Active Citizenship training
  • Community Development Project Initiatives
  • Splashweek
  • Senior Citizens Talent Showcase
  • Docklands Talent Contest
  • Docklands Young Persons Talent Contest
  • Annual Social Regeneration Conference
  • Sports Scholarships

Special Initiatives

  • Community of Educational Services
  • Docklands Schools – European Parliament Debate
  • New Schools’ Development Programme
  • Docklands – the Learning Hub
  • Africa Project
  • Community Trust

Pre-Primary Education

  • Pre-Primary Education Facility

Primary and Secondary Level Initiatives

  • School Principals’ Forum
  • Interregional School Principals’ Development Programme
  • Teacher’s Conference
  • Docklands Schools IT Hub
  • Docklands Schools Annual Year Book
  • Docklands Schools’ Festival in aid of “People in Need”
  • Sports Academies
    • Soccer Academy
    • Gaelic Football and Hurling Academy
    • Boxing Academy
    • Dance, Drama and Singing
  • Hand in Hand Programme
  • Comer “Whole School Development Plan”
  • Comer Kids Leadership Programme
  • Motor Skills Programme
  • Schools Drama Programme
  • Schools Music Development Programme
  • Schools Photographic Initiative
  • One World Programme and Insight into Crime Programme (Pilot)
  • Schools French Classes
  • Twinning of Parish in Seville Place with Eu, France
  • Psychological Assessments
  • Circletime – Student Behavioural Management Programme
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Teacher Dyslexia Development Programme
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention Management
  • Schools Incentive Attendance and Attitude Programme
  • After Schools Study Programme
  • Discovering University
  • Literacy Programme
    • Life Centre
    • School Libraries
  • In Schools Projects
education issues
Education - Issues
  • Low teacher morale – high turnover
  • Low pupil self esteem
  • Low retention rates
  • Low junior (35%80%)& leaving (10%60%) cert’ rates
  • Low 3rd level (1%10%) rates
  • Low home support
  • Low parental finance

School Principals’ Forum The “client” in education

24 Principals from primary and secondary schools

  • Assembly
  • Joint visits to other inner cities
  • Psychometric assessments/ Hub
  • Teachers Conference
  • Programmes
education programmes part
Education Programmes (part)
  • Scholarships
  • Principal and teacher training & personal development
  • Whole School programmes:
    • Comer – Yale University
    • Emotional Intelligence
  • Drama Schools
  • After school study
  • Eu twinning

New College development

School development Refurbishment

social civic infrastructure
Social / Civic Infrastructure
  • Community Infrastructure Grants – c. €8m to date on 250 projects
  • Community Infrastructure Audits 1997, 2004, 2008.
  • Public Realm / Play space
employment programmes
Employment Programmes
  • Local Labour Charter
  • Community Training Workshops
  • Apprenticeship Programme
  • Schools Job Placement Programme
  • Young Persons Self Development.
  • Enterprise development Programme
community development
Community Development
  • Annual Social Regeneration Conference
  • Active Citizenship Programme
  • Young Persons Forum
  • Community Infrastructure Grants
  • Docklands Community Trust
  • Community Arts and Sports programmes
  • Docklands Housing Trust
  • Docklands Newsletter


Affordable – sold at cost (clawback)

Social: Housing Associations

  • 20% Social and Affordable
  • High density mixed-tenure environment
  • No obvious physical tenure differentiation
  • Family Living

Master Plan Objectives



“The achievement of the new principles of urban development and social integration seem to be blocked, more than anything else by the self perception that Ireland is so attached to extensive development, and so divided between competing interests, that although we can create a dynamic economy, we cannot make quality, sustainable, socially cohesive cities and towns”.

  • Housing in Ireland – Performance and Policy, (NESC, 2004)
housing key issues
Housing - Key Issues
  • Social Development – Social Integration
  • Quality of Life – Sustainable Communities
  • Operational Management
social development integration
Social Development / Integration

Why social / affordable? (Master Plan 1997)

  • Medium term bridging arrangement for the local community during a period of rising house prices and socio–economic development.
  • To achieve mixed socio-economic profile without self sustaining neighbourhoods of disadvantage.
social development integration25
Social Development / Integration

What is physical integration of social and market housing?

  • Tenure invisible (ideal but practically difficult)
  • Building by building (how Docklands Authority do it)
  • Area by area (How it used to be done)
social development integration26
Social Development / Integration

What is integration of differing socio-economic groups?

Sharing the same street, local shopping, neighbourhood facilities and public transport

social development integration27
Social Development / Integration

What is integration of differing socio-economic groups?

Acid Test:

Children across socio-economic spectrum play together (play space and social amenity development)


Children across socio-economic spectrum go to same schools (School and education development programme)

Adults take their cultural reference points across socio-economic spectrum (Arts strategy).

housing quality of life
Housing - Quality of Life
  • Demographics of Households.
  • Density and Height.
  • Family friendly built environment.
  • Social Infrastructure.
  • Sense of resident community and mutual accountability.
housing quality of life demographics of households
Housing - Quality of LifeDemographics of Households
  • Planning Scheme policies re >25% to be >80m2.
  • Normal child population in social housing but families in less than 5% of market apartments
  • Paradigm: If you have the choice then live a single life in the City and start a family in the suburbs.
  • Target Paradigm: The City is clean, safe, well connected and has every amenity to allow us bring up our children there.
housing quality of life density and height
Housing - Quality of LifeDensity and Height
  • Sustainability of services, social infrastructure and amenities in a locality requires high density population. “..dense compact forms of development make public transport and other infrastructure more viable in addition to savings in land and energy”..Cities for a Small Country (Rodgers, 2000)
  • Densities of 247 apartments/hectare creates 7-8 storey perimeter blocks or higher discontinuous forms.
  • Family friendliness achievable with considered design, close proximity of open space and good local social infrastructure.
housing quality of life family friendly built environment
Housing - Quality of LifeFamily friendly built environment
  • Secure private communal gardens.
  • Integral provision of overseen childsplay for under twelves (Childs Play in Inner City Apartment Developments)
  • Close local play for older children – Parks
  • Large and safe balconies to bring outdoors indoors
  • Lifts capable of handling families and buggies
  • Easy and safe bin waste disposal
  • Storage for family junk
  • Safe, well lit streets and spaces in neighbourhood
family friendly high density built environment
Family friendly high density built environment

Hanover Quay – mixed tenure with social ground/first duplex apartments

housing quality of life social infrastructure
Housing - Quality of LifeSocial Infrastructure
  • Childs play in pocket parks and kick-about pitches.
  • Public parks and green spaces.
  • Local and district retail.
  • Medical/health centres.
  • Leisure/swimming centre, libraries and crèches.
  • Schools.

Housing - Quality of LifeSense of community and mutual accountability

Docklands Housing Trust

  • Registered Social Landlord
  • Dominant docklands social landlord in future
  • Start-up by Docklands Authority
  • Self financing not-for-profit company
  • Community and business board members
  • Resident election to board

Mission Statement

We will develop Dublin Docklands into a world-class city quarter - a paragon of sustainable inner city regeneration - one in which the whole community enjoys the highest standards of access to education, employment, housing and social amenity and which delivers a major contribution to the social and economic prosperity of Dublin and the whole of Ireland

learning points
Learning Points
  • Big change needs big vision
  • Shared vision and public policy re-alignment
  • Change needs drive and leadership
  • Consult, Listen, React – Don’t abrogate
  • Don’t impose the wisdom of the suits on the needy – Resource local leadership
  • Social norms = Social rules, The Rules can be changed
  • Prioritise the next generation
  • Design for a better future
  • If the right thing is blocked by the law – change the law
  • Housing and environment – If proper management is too expensive it’s still cheaper