Site Study -Sustainability- « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Site Study -Sustainability-

Before I begin I would first of all like you to take a look at what sustainability is.

The word sustainability is derived from the Latin sustinere (tenere, to hold; sus, up). Dictionaries provide more than ten meanings for sustain, the main ones being to “maintain”, “support”, or “endure”. However, since the 1980s sustainability has been used more in the sense of human sustainability on planet Earth and this has resulted in the most widely quoted definition of sustainability and sustainable development, that of the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations on March 20, 1987: “sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

If we are to look at this as the definition to aid the site study then we can look many different aspects of sustainability and not only those that deal directly with nature and the environment.

I took the approach of walking the site and some of the surrounding area to get a general feel for the area and the people living, working and moving through it. I also did some desk research and got my hands on a very useful document from Dublin City Council. The document is a Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Markets Area and was produced in 2004. It looks at the various different characteristics of the environment;

Human Beings
Flora and Fauna
Landscape (Townscape) and Visual Impact
Traffic (Material Assets)
Cultural Heritage

This Strategic Environmental Assessment was prepared by a Study Team led by RPS McHugh Planning and Environment, Chartered Town Planners, Environmental and Development Consultants, who were also responsible for its management and co-ordination. RPS McHugh Planning and Environment was also responsible for inputs to the SEA, addressing Planning Policy Context, Human Beings, Soil, Water, Air, Climate, Landscape, as well as the Consideration of Alternatives and Interactions. The other members of the Study Team were as follows:-

Robertson & Associates, Environmental Consultants: Fauna and Flora

Byrne-Mullins & Associates, Heritage Consultants: Cultural Heritage

Boreham Consulting Engineers Ltd: Traffic

A very useful part of the report is the baseline which examines what environmental elements exists in the Markets area. Considering the fact that no development has taken place that was proposed this means that this informaion is very suited to work with. Also the fact that no other environmental assessments have been carried out means that we are working with the best possible data.

Human Beings
Data of the Census of Population 1991-2002 were used to clarify the nature of the Population and Employment environment. This was essentially a desk-based exercise which addressed the City DED in which the Plan area is located, as well as the wider City area. In respect of Community Issues, the site was surveyed at various times during the day during the months of October and November 2003, and in particular during early morning when Market activity is at its peak.

Flora and Fauna
A strategic baseline study of the Plan area was carried out in November 2003, and a habitat map for the area was established. The area was divided into 21 zones, and the key ecological elements for each zone were described. Detailed floral and faunal composition surveys were not carried out; however each zone was studied in sufficient detail so as to be able to determine whether or not further ecological work would need to be carried out in advance of future development.

A desk study review of publicly available soil data within the Framework Plan area was undertaken, in order to confirm the general geological character of the area. In addition, the area was surveyed to note its general character, and in particular, the extent of area that would be impacted upon by planned development in this area.

An initial walkover of the site was undertaken to identify any localised surface water features of interest in the context of the proposed development. In addition, a desk study review of existing waterbodies in the area was undertaken. Where possible, published water quality and hydrological data was used to assess the impact of water flows from the development.

A walkover survey was undertaken to review any significant existing noise sources within the Framework Plan area, particularly with reference to the activities of the Markets operation, and the construction of the LUAS Line A alignment. In tandem with this, existing Noise Monitoring Data (where available) was reviewed. This baseline information informed the impact assessment in respect of noise.

Air Quality
Existing levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, particulate matter, lead, carbon monoxide and benzene from the Dublin City Council monitoring network were referenced. These levels are used to assess current air quality conditions in the area, and the potential for air quality impacts from developments in the area.

Landscape (Townscape) and Visual Impact
Townscape refers to the visual aspects, character and heritage of an urban area. It also includes the social, cultural and historic aspects of that area, which are not necessarily easily defined, but are equally affected by development. The assessment is based primarily in reference to detailed on-the ground survey of the Markets area. This examined both the Immediate Urban Context of the area, centred primarily around the existing Fruit and Vegetable Market building, and the Wider Urban Context, which includes the other areas of the designated Framework Plan area.

Traffic (Material Assets)
By means of site survey and desk study review, the assessment covers the various elements of Traffic, comprising pedestrians, cyclists, mobility impaired, public transport, taxis and private/commercial vehicles. The assessment reviews existing facilities within the Framework Plan area that will serve these various modes, as well as Guidelines and proposals of Dublin City Council and other Statutory Agencies which apply to this area.

Cultural Heritage
The Archaeological and Architectural Heritage Assessments comprise the results of a survey and evaluation of selected sites of archaeological and architectural potential within the study area. The work consists of the results of a paper survey which addressed the following principal sources:-

• Record of Monuments & Places for Co. Dublin (Dúchas – The Heritage Service)

• Dublin City Development Plan

• Historic Area Rejuvenation Plan (Dublin Corporation, August 1996)

• Markets Area: Draft Framework Plan (Dublin City Council, November 2002)

• Archaeological Study of the Markets Area, Dublin 7 (I.A.C. Ltd., August 2001).

From my research I discovered that there is 36 Protected Structures in the Markets area and also 21 recorded monuments. Protected Structures can be viewed in Dublin City Councils Record of Protected Structures and recoded monuments can be viewed in RMP (record of monuments and places). The RMP is available in planning authority offices and the National Monuments Archive, Ely Place.

TABLE 4.1.8: Protected Structures Within the Markets Area


181 Beresford Street Stone Warehouses (5-storey) on Beresford Street/Cuckoo Lane
370 96/97 Capel Street Façade of Business Premises including railings
371 98 Capel Street House
372 99-100 Capel Street Houses
373 101 Capel Street House
374 102 Capel Street House
375 105-106 Capel Street Houses
376 107 Capel Street House
377 108-109 Capel Street Shop & Restaurant
378 114-116 Capel Street Shops
379 122 Capel Street Shop
380 129-31 Capel Street Licensed Premises (Slatterys)
381 133-136 Capel Street Commercial Premises
382 140 Capel Street House & Shop
383 153 Capel Street House & Shop
384 166 Capel Street Licensed Premises
385 168 Capel Street Licensed Premises
410 5 Chancery Place Medical Mission
411 Chancery Street Chancery House
915 St. Teresa’s College, George’s Hill Older part of convent fronting onto George’s Hill and part of Cuckoo Lane; chapel, gates, railings, intrinsic stone surround of entrance door north facing on return to George’s Hill.
997 Green Street/Halston Street Courthouse and flanking wall beside eastern elevation of Green Street Courthouse
1011 Halston Street St. Michan’s Church & Presbytery
1012 Halston Street/Cuckoo Lane Former Parish Hall, St. Michan’s Boxing Club: façade, railing and granite plinth wall
1013 Halston Street/Cuckoo Lane (intersection) Stone archway surround and entrance door in single storey commercial structure
1014 Halston Street/Green Street Debtor’s Prison (former Garda Station)
1129 Inns Quay Court of Justice (Four Courts);Public Records Office (part).
1130 1-3 Inns Quay Business Premises
1327 22-24 Mary Street Little House & Shops
1328 26-28 Mary Street Little House & Shops
1329 Mary’s Abbey / Meetinghouse Lane Chapter House of St. Mary’s Abbey (incl. internal room, Chapter House and Passage)
1330 Mary’s Lane Fruit Market
1532 1 Ormond Quay Upper Entire Structure
1533 4/5 Ormond Quay Upper Business Premises
1534 6 Ormond Quay Upper House & Shop
1535 12 Ormond Quay Upper 4 storey Commercial Premises
1536 18/20/21/27 Ormond Quay Upper Business Premises
1537 Cuckoo Lane Stone Setts

TABLE 4.1.7: Recorded Monuments Within the Markets Area




DU018:020048 Capel St., Arran St. East, Mary’s Abbey, Little Mary St., Meetinghouse Lane. Abbey Site
DU018:020050 Four Courts Priory Site
DU018:020064 Inns Quay Chapel Site
DU018:0200127 Mary’s Abbey Watermill Site
DU018:0200150 Mary’s Lane / Halston Street Glasshouse Site
DU018:0200151 Meetinghouse Lane Meeting House
DU018:0200159 Mary’s Lane Chapel Site
DU018:0200235 Mary’s Abbey Watermill Site
DU018:0200236 Inns Quay Watermill Site
DU018:0200266 Capel Street Dwelling Site
DU018:0200367 Meetinghouse Lane Chapter House
DU018:0200379 Green St. / Halston St. Marketplace Site
DU018:0200380 Mary’s Abbey Prison Site
DU018:0200381 Mary’s Abbey / Arran St. East Bridge Site
DU018:0200444 Inns Quay Infirmary Site
DU018:0200459 Inns Quay Quay
DU018:0200482 Ormond Quay Upper/Lower Quay
DU018:0200483 Ormond Square Marketplace Site
DU018:0200566 Ball’s Lane / Halston Street Watercourse Site
DU018:0200589 Morgan Place Watercourse site
DU018:0200590 Morgan Place Building Site

Historic Mapping

Charles Brooking’s map of 1728 shows a recognisable street pattern although old names for the streets continue to be used. Most of the street frontages are now occupied by properties. John Rocque’s map of 1756 is the first map that allows detailed comparisons with the modern street plan. It shows the Ormond Market as a rectangular layout of streets between Upper Ormond Quay, Charles Street and Arran Street. A short street between it and Pill Lane is identified as the Fish Market. The block between Cow Lane (Greek Street), Mary’s Lane, Boot L

The maps of the Wide Streets Commissioners from the late 18th and early 19th century show the older street lines being changed to their present form. The 1795 map shows the River Bradogue still flowing above ground on the site of the present Fruit & Vegetable Market.

The Ordnance Survey maps of 1847 and 1866 and 1908 show the general area is heavily built up with properties occupying the frontages of all the streets and lanes. Many of the buildings and properties indicated on these maps can easily be identified on present day maps of the area, particularly that of 1908 which shows the present Fruit & Vegetable Market of 1892 and Fish Market of 1897.

In addition to this work I also looked at Dublin City Councils Biodiversity Report. I also looked at historic mapping for the area including the old tram maps for Dublin, medieval maps, river maps and biodiversity maps.

From my personal experience of walking the site and talking to people in the area I found a mixture of different things. Firstyly it appeared to me that there was no visible signs of waste recycling. I came across a lot of large waste bins but there was sign of any recycling except for the odd brown & green bin that perhaps could have been used for recycling.

The image above shows organic waste but there does not appear to be any visible mechanism inplace for this matter to be recycled or composted. One possible suggestion that came from Mark Bennett, Dublin City Council Green Business Officer was to introduce biodigestors to the area. Alternatively the material could be used for composting and given back to the community for planting in the area. From the site study it is evident that there is a serious lack of nature in the area and perhaps if local business worked with the local community in taking on small local projects it may improve relations and also the environment.

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