Back to the Streets of Dublin! #URBACT2013

Segolene Pruvot

By Segolene Pruvot, on September 19th, 2013

> Read Segolene Pruvot's articles

The three nice days of the full of the URBACT Summer University 2013 were made of hard and intensive work with fantastic people and great learning. They passed off like a one day.

After wonderful farewell party in a relax and funny atmosphere at Guinness Storehouse,  on the sunny Saturday morning participants set off on study visits.

Four Site Visits on a Sunny Saturday Morning in Dublin

On a Sunny Saturday morning, the Summer University participants enjoyed the opportunity to walk and discover more of Dublin recent urban planning and development projects. Four site visits were proposed: 

  • A Visit to Meeting House Square
  • To Dublin Food Cooperative
  • A Tour of Dublin Bike to Work Scheme
  • A Tour of Dublin docks.

Experienced guides, architects, stakeholders in the projects took the participants through all those projects. There were wonderful possibility to discover real experience of Dublin city planning.

Dublin Docklands Tour: A Fascinating Sustainable Development Project

The most popular visit was the Docklands tour. as most participants were urban planners discover one of Dublin’s regeneration flagship projects was a must!

The area is currently undergoing a large amount of development. John O’Hara, Deputy City Planning Officer of Dublin City Council introduced the Dublin Docklands area and the vision for  its future. He took us around this huge urban regeneration project.

According to him, Dublin docks are good example of cities sustainable planning.

The main focus is on environmental social and economic issues. The main aim of project is to guarantee high quality of life for citizens. Future plans are focused on promoting of green economy, on development of marine economy (marine service, cruise tourism etc.) and cultural aspects.

We also  had the oppurtunity to walk around and visit some special places of this great area. Many thanks to John O‘Hara for valuable time to discover Dublin!

Meeting House Square: Cultural Activities and Community Involvement

Another very popular tour was the one around Meeting House Square – the heart of outdoor cultural activity in Dublin.

The tour was focussed on public space in Dublin city centre. Seán Harrington, an architect very involved in his city, led participants through Temple Bar area and its main cultural sites and all the way to a temporary community garden. 

One very interesting initiative is that of covering an outdoor square designed for concerts, cinema screening and theatre – that suffered from the unstable weather conditions in Dublin – with giant umbrellas. The architects developped tailored umbrellas that can be opened when the rain falls and close when the weather is good to let everyone enjoy the outdoor area.

Dublin Bike to Work: A Very Successful Scheme

Dublin operates one of the most successful bike share schemes in the world. The Bike To Work Scheme, a government initiative offering tax free bikes for cycling to work, with benefits for the employee and the employer. 

To increase the safety and appeal of cycling in the city, Dublin has also implemented a 30 km/h speed zone on all streets within the city centre. 

During the tour participants also got to know more about the Dublinbikes and to visit the Rothar community bike shop.

Dublin Food Cooperative

This cooperative is a first initiator of organic and local food cooperative in the city. The main aim of Dublin Food Co-op activity is to provide sustainable food, to stimulate sustainable consumption and low carbon transition by buying and eating local and fair-trade.

During this visit participants had the chance to discover how the cooperative works, how this activity was developed and what problems they faced, what helped them to grow until now, and what are the current management questions.




As a whole after after three days of work on an imaginary city, the site visits got participants back to earth on real projects implemented in Dublin. Back to the streets, with the head full of new ideas and tools!

On behalf of participants many thanks to nice guides of study tours! You were wonderful!


by Ieva Andriulaityte, Association of Local Authorities in LithuaniaURBACT National Dissemination Point in Lithuania and Ségolène Pruvot

More on the URBACT Summer University on the Summer University Website and more photos on URBACT FLICKR Channel and other social media channels (Facebook and Twitter)

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