Hassell Talks

Closer, together: can Ireland warm to an urban future?

February 10, 2022

Cities around the world are committing themselves to creating compact, amenity-rich neighbourhoods as they tackle the challenges of climate change, urban sprawl and wellbeing.

Ireland’s cities, with their history, natural amenities and passionate residents seem more ready-made than most to embrace an agenda of compact growth. But despite national planning frameworks in place, local governments, private developers and stakeholders are encountering ongoing challenges of their own in bringing ​15-minute cities” to fruition.

“If we’re going to get people to accept the idea that it’s good to live in a smaller home in the city centre, we have to make sure that the experience outside the front door of their smaller home is really wonderful,” explains City of Dublin Architect, Ali Grehan.

In this episode of Hassell Talks, Senior Researcher Camilla Siggaard Andersen speaks to the people behind the push for compact, urban growth in Ireland: the property developers, city architects, academics and researchers, who want to move beyond a common assumption that compact growth can only come from sacrifice. 

As Hassell’s Close to Home” report shows, 15-minute cities provide opportunities for more convenient living, more equitable communities and more sustainable development, saving resources and reducing emissions because of higher density. 

Could this be a new era of urbanism, for Ireland?

Our thanks to Brian MoranAli GrehanPat Farrell and Niamh Moore Cherry for sharing their insights with us.

This episode was produced by Camilla Siggaard Andersen and Prue Vincent with support from One Fine Play.

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