Choosing a working area in the City « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Choosing a working area in the City

The River

I wanted to choose an area that encompassed the river because I see the river is the central core of the city – for the reasons set out in a separate blog posting Sat 4th December, scroll below.


So I set out to map what kind of natural surveillance existed on the north river front at night to understand the safety aspect of this area by examining opening times of commercial units which creates natural footfall. This showed that there was limited activity there in the evenings as few units are open until midnight and there is a radical reduction after midnight.

Commercial activity North Quay open until midnight between Chancery place to Bersford Place:

Commercial activity with opening times after midnight all week- between Chancery place to Bersford Place:

Unified area with opportunity

However while the river is a unifying artery for the city as a whole, to choose a focused area in which to work, the latitude of the river would not enable a focused input into a distinct community or area. So I have selected a section of the river with a relevant hinterland.

The area has boundaries as follows:

South – Inns Quay to Ormond Quay
East -Jervis Street to Dominick St.
North – Bolton Street to North King Street
West – Church Street


• The area is very much an ‘in between’ area
o It is bounded by the Henry Street retail core and Smithfield but there is no natural linkage between them though much potential
o It is on the route from city centre to planned Grangegorman Campus

• It has many dead spaces at night with lack of natural surveillance

• The Luas runs through it and cars go through it but apart from Capel St., it has little pedestrian activity.

• The luas and traffic flow people THROUGH it but not so many linger in it
• It contains two main residential pockets
o social housing flat complex (Chancery House) with typically long-time residents of Dublin and
o new apartment complexes corner Church St, King Street
• The residential pockets are not combined in with commercial pockets.
• There are dead pockets with almost no residential or commercial activity
• The legal quarter and the fruit markets create very different atmospheres and attract two very different types of daytime workers
• It contains a student population – DIT Bolton Street
• Many people we spoke to stated that the Northside needed more attention
• Many people mentioned Smithfield but I think some of Smithfield’s issues have to do with this area not linking it up.

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