Week 20 – Working session with Mary-Ann Harris « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

Week 20 – Working session with Mary-Ann Harris

Dublin City Council’s biodiversity officer, Mary-Ann Harris, joined us on Tuesday to help the team see their ‘lacks of…’ projects through the lens of biodiversity. Mary-Ann and the team braved the weather to walk the Market’s area and better understand the types of biodiversity in the area, spot signs of wildlife and find how it could be improved upon. Biodiversity is defined as the measure of a given species in an area. In the Market’s area, we learned there are very few places where species can prosper. A graveyard and an abandoned site provide amongst the richest biodiversity in the area. There are also a number of playgrounds, however these are not connected to other green spaces. This lack of connectivity is a critical issue – it means the animals can’t move from one area to another safely or easily to grow in population. Mary-Ann pointed out to the team that a healthy ecosystem with good connections is more desireable than a fragmented system with specific biodiversity sites. The importance of biodiversity in the City and having meaningful open space for the mental health of citizens also came to light. Walking the Markets area along with Mary-Ann showed how inhospitable the area is to wildlife and the potential biodiversity has to foster a more liveable City.

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