The nine Green councillors on Dublin City Council have put together 26 ideas for the reopening of Dublin city centre.
Below is the letter we sent to the city council management. Any further ideas? Drop us an email!
As summer approaches and the demands on our outdoor spaces intensify, we are asking Dublin City Council to urgently adopt a pro-social approach for an outdoor summer.
We want Dublin City Council to take full advantage of the national funding streams available to implement measures which, we believe, will help the city to bounce back from the impact of the COVID crisis in a way that builds back better for a safer, cleaner, greener, more welcoming city.
Litter action plan
The city urgently needs more bins, increased frequency of collections, and an awareness campaign highlighting the need to bring litter home if bins are full. We must:
1. Implement a robust waste management system that actively promotes recycling and composting by providing more bins that facilitate separation at source.
2. Hire additional cleansing staff for peak littering locations and at peak social times, including out of hours emptying of bins, street sweeping etc, and increase visibility of litter and dog wardens.
3. Work with local businesses to ensure they play their part in collecting, encouraging or incentivising the return of waste and reduce their use of single use plastics, including the rapid roll-out of deposit and return schemes which are successfully used at festivals, and encouraging the use of keep cups.
4. Actively promote ‘leave no trace’ / ‘bring it home’ campaigns, especially where bins are full in between collections.
Provision of public toilets
The lack of public toilets in the city means that social gatherings and pro-social use of our public spaces is leading to the anti-social activity of public urination and defecation. The opening of public buildings is a welcome measure but restricted opening hours means this is not a solution for evening gatherings. We want the council to:
5. Provide well managed, environmentally friendly, unisex, accessible toilets in high usage locations across the City, both temporarily and on a permanent basis.
6. Examine the various models available for the provision of public toilets to come up with a range of options that can be rapidly rolled-out at high usage locations. This should include planter urinals, reducing smell and composting waste (as used in Paris), along with chemical free compost toilets which will be familiar to festival-goers.
7. Provide free sanitary products in all public buildings or other toilets provided by the council.
8. Seek guidance from Government on allowing businesses providing takeaway or click-and-collect services to open their toilets to their customers.
Make Dublin a welcoming city
The lack of appropriate planning and infrastructure for an outdoor pandemic summer has put the citizens of this city on a collision course with residents living close to popular open spaces. The council has a responsibility to facilitate the safe, pro-social use of our public spaces and manage the potential for anti-social behaviour with pro-active, pro-social measures. We must:
9. Consult with professional event managers to implement effective crowd management systems at high usage areas and plan for crowd control for both day and night to avoid overconcentration in popular areas.
10. Actively engage with the Gardai to find workable solutions to anti-social behaviour at large gatherings in high usage areas, understanding that moving people along contributes to littering, public urination and other anti-social behaviour.
11. Employ ‘City Ambassadors’ for Dublin to actively promote pro-social behaviour so we can welcome people back into the city with the necessary information on facilities and services available.
12. Employ Night Marshals to monitor after hours usage of public spaces and encourage pro-social behaviour and civic-mindedness.
13. Provide more youth-focused events and activities, working with the DCC sports partnerships, sports clubs and youth organisations.
14. Extend the opening hours of parks with the above measures in place and arrange socially distanced family / cultural events in our parks and outdoor spaces both day and night.
Reallocate public space
Demand exists across the city for significant transformation of public spaces, and national funding streams exist to help us maximise the opportunity available to us while the city is disrupted. We should:
15. Maximise the use of existing public spaces to provide more places for people to gather safely.
16. Provide more public seating in parks, plazas and open spaces to facilitate safe meeting outdoors.
17. Urgently progress key pedestrianisation and active travel projects.
18. Actively facilitate outdoor dining with communal or shared public seating, as found in cities across Europe.
19. Set an ambition of maximum one lane of private vehicle traffic in both directions on every road in the inner city to free up space for reallocation to walking, cycling, public transport and other public usage, and to enforce existing speed limits.
20. Extend the remit of the Recovery Taskforce to include urban villages beyond the canals.
Promote sustainable transport
The Recovery Taskforce outline mentions public transport but not walking and cycling. Consistent with the COVID mobility plan, these should be the primary forms of transport we are trying to support and encourage, particularly to and from high usage areas where parking is limited. We must:
21. Promote and facilitate active travel with better infrastructure and more cycle parking at high usage public spaces.
22. Introduce car-free days across the city throughout the summer to demonstrate the advantages to businesses and citizens.
23. Introduce traffic wardens to protect pedestrian space and monitor anti-social parking.
Provision of seating
Our public realm cannot be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities without the provision of seating. We need:
24. A streamlined system for applying for seating, with all applications safety checked and disability-proofed.
25. A retrospective application process for those businesses who won’t have an outdoor licence and won’t have outdoor space unless we reallocate space this summer.
26. Age-and-disability friendly seating, parklets and rest areas in parks, plazas and other high usage public spaces.
In addition to providing our citizens with the facilities and services to enjoy our city this summer, these measures will support our city’s climate objectives and should be equality-, gender- and disability-proofed, consistent with our broader ambitions for the city.
These requests follow on from our multiple meetings and correspondence recently and over the course of the past year, since the start of the pandemic.
Cllr. Dearbhail Butler
Cllr. Claire Byrne
Cllr. Hazel Chu
Cllr. Caroline Conroy
Cllr. Donna Cooney
Cllr. Janet Horner
Cllr. Darcy Lonergan
Cllr. Carolyn Moore
Cllr. Michael Pidgeon