New plan announced for Dublin to become a '15 minute city'

Dublin Chamber of Commerce wants the capital to become a "15 minute city" as part of an ambitious new urban vision.

The business group says instead of designated office, residential and shopping zones, residents would be able to work, shop and have leisure facilities within minutes of their home.

The organisation says through revamped planning, the model would cut car use and congestion and make Dublin a more liveable city.

It says there needs to be diverse housing options and access to safe cycle route, local public transport, local health facilities, parks and shops.

The chamber is highlighting the success of the 'hyper-proximity' approach in other cities such as Melbourne, Barcelona and Paris.

The Chamber says the recent lockdown highlighted the importance of urban planning that is focused on creating liveable, walkable communities in which people can live and access most of their daily needs within a 15 minute walk or cycle.

Director of Public and International Affairs Aebhric McGibney said: "Reduced congestion and pollution, enhanced public spaces, thriving local economies and efficient public transport would all improve Dublin’s international reputation and competitiveness.”

Compared to this time last year, trade has nosed dived to 60 per cent due to international tourists staying away and office workers continuing to be home based according to a Dublin City Council survey.

Decreased footfall

The numbers vary, with parts of the northside back to normal, while Baggot St in the south city is at just 20 per cent of what it should be.

The Council has provided tables and chair space with extended footpaths outside city centre restaurants and cafes to encourage activity and also trialed the pedestrianisation of a number of streets in the Grafton St area over four weekends.

Graeme McQueen, Dublin Chamber spokesman, added that businesses need all the help they can get.

"Businesses in the city centre really need the help. Numbers are still down on where they would have been pre-Covid.

"The big challenge is particularly through the week. Mid-week is really, really quiet between Monday and Thursday. This allows people to have the confidence to go back into the city centre.

"Get families back in, get people back in shopping - that's going to help the businesses, that's going to save jobs and livelihoods”.