• 22 Aug 2023

RIAI Expresses Concerns over Lack of Vision for Dublin City

The RIAI has expressed concern over the lack of an overall vison for the City and citizens of Dublin.

As Ireland’s population continues to grow, the capital city has growing demands and complex needs to create a vibrant, safe, sustainable and inclusive city in which people can live, work, learn and visit.  

There is no doubt that Dublin needs more homes – new apartments, new own-door dwellings, new duplex dwellings and houses, as well as working with what we have, with the adaptation and re-use of existing buildings. Architects are keen to play their part in working to solve the housing crisis with creative and innovative designs. 

However, for the City to fully thrive, it also needs the social, economic and cultural assets that are essential to support growing communities in their day-to-day lives. This includes high-quality well-designed amenities such as libraries, schools and community centres, playgrounds and parks – places that support communities. These are places where people can come together and where visitors can engage with a welcoming and well-designed Dublin. 

Dublin City has many historic and contemporary buildings and places which our people and overseas visitors appreciate and enjoy. We need to ensure that these are protected, enhanced and promoted. Also, we must strive for improvement, identifying issues and problem areas and finding creative sustainable solutions so we create a city that really delivers for all. 

To deliver for our communities and our future citizens, Dublin City Council must have a clear vision based on quality that is developed with the input of the public, residents, businesses, and elected representatives which sets a long-term ambition for the City.

There are pockets of the City where new communities and neighbourhoods have developed really well, and where existing communities and neighbourhoods have consolidated, but this is piecemeal and is not replicated across the City as a whole. Any well-designed city requires a vision and strategic thinking to ensure it is planned, designed, built, managed and maintained in a holistic and integrated way in order to deliver for our communities and create a city that is future-proofed and enjoyable for all citizens. 

The RIAI is gravely concerned at the current lack of a vision and coherent strategy from DCC. Our citizens are losing out and are not happy. A new vision plan and strategy must be found and agreed, otherwise it will have a serious impact on our ability to attract tourists, overseas visitors and investment. We know that our citizens and visitors want vibrant and liveable cities and employers want high-quality places where their employees can lead full lives. We need to make this a reality. 

The RIAI is concerned about actions that Dublin City Council have taken around key strategic projects that are of significant public and civic interest. DCC should appoint high-quality design teams for significant public projects to be included from the outset and retained until project finalisation. This fosters meaningful public conversations with community stakeholders, public trust and confidence that contributes to building identity, attracting investment, and delivering on a long-term vision for Dublin as a great city, a great place to live, and a great place to visit. 

The RIAI believes our capital city needs a clear agreed strategy, not only for now but for the next 30-50 years; we need a long-term vision of where we want to be and the structures in place so that we can achieve it. 

The RIAI and our Members are committed to working with Dublin City Council to create an environment which delivers high-quality and well-designed long-term value for the people of Dublin City, and a sustainable liveable city for future generations. 

Charlotte Sheridan, RIAI President

Irish Times Article