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Dublin has the potential to become a 15-minute city

Dublin city centre could become a 15-minute neighbourhood, according to a new report written by Hassell for the Irish Institutional Property. 

A 15-minute neighbourhood is defined as a place where everyone can access essential destinations and amenities within a relatively short walk or bike ride from home. 

With a focus on Ireland, the researchers looked at public perceptions of the required conditions for a 15-minute neighbourhood. 

Across six types of amenities, the researchers found that: 

  • People value access to places selling fresh food, leisure destinations, and public transport most of all. Places to work rank bottom.
  • In Ireland, those who are over 55 prefer leisure destinations offering retail and hospitality, while 18-34-year-olds want recreational facilities.
  • In Ireland, a third of the population would actually prefer to be within 5 minutes of a transport stop.

people walking on street heading towards church

Overall, our findings suggest that the realisation of the 15-minute city is more complicated than simply putting everything within a 15-minute walking range of everyone. Some destinations might need to be closer together, while others can be further apart. People’s needs also vary throughout their lives, and therefore the city must be flexible to supply services in accordance with societal change.

 Camilla Siggaard Andersen, Senior Researcher at Hassell said: ‘Dublin has long dominated as the nation’s urban centre, with Cork second, and Limerick, Galway, and Waterford serving important regional roles. With a new National Planning Framework, the Irish Government aims to curb the continued sprawl around these cities in favour of a more compact, sustainable urban form.

‘The 15-minute city has the potential to be the people-centred version of this political agenda, ensuring that the benefits of living closer together are unlocked for everyone.

‘Through examining local planning documents, population survey data, and stakeholder interviews, ​the report maps out the key opportunities and challenges ahead. These range from addressing a historic lack of investment in urban infrastructure to capitalising on existing natural amenities.

‘Most urgently, the Irish public planning sector needs to have an honest, informed, and engaging conversation about the urban future with both the citizens and the private development sector.’

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