The Green Party was founded forty years ago because environmental issues simply weren’t being given the attention they deserved.

Today, the issues are front and centre, but a Green councillor for our area will always fight to make our city greener and cleaner – a city where climate action and protection of nature go hand in hand.

Below are my ideas on how to do it – you can read my plans on other themes here.

More cleaning staff resources

Dublin has an extreme litter problem – particularly in the core city centre, which sets the example for the wider city. We simply need more people working on the ground to clear it, setting a better example for the city.

In the city council budget, we prioritised extra street cleaning staff, funding over 100 new street cleaning posts, which are currently being recruited. If that works, we should escalate that recruitment to cover areas outside of the immediate centre.

This should be paired with ongoing investment in public bins, new street cleaning equipment, and road sweepers that can cover new, narrow cycle lanes.

Prosecute illegal dumpers

Enforcement in litter and waste is difficult, but new powers were recently enacted, which allow councils to deploy CCTV to catch people dumping. Dublin City Council is tendering for a provider to operate such a system: I would push vigorously for the council to use it in dumping blackspots in Dublin 8, catching both organised illegal dumpers and people putting out bagged household waste inappropriately.

Trees and nature in the city

Bringing more nature into our city is a key priority for me. It’s great for biodiversity and natural drainage, but also brings calmness and beauty to our streets, which can be chaotic, concreted and disconnected from the natural world.

This means big projects and parks, but also smaller interventions, like pocket forests and park. I think projects like the below on Cork Street have worked really well. Similar projects have taken shape outside the Coombe Hospital and are currently underway at Blackpitts. If elected, I would prioritise funding for such work where ever we can find the space.

I would also support more tree planting on our streets, prioritising native species that are suitable for urban environments.

A new small park space on Cork Street and Donore Avenue.

Fight climate change

Preventing runaway climate change is a foundational priority for the Green Party. We set strong targets for carbon reduction and build climate change into all of our political thinking. I chaired the Climate Change Strategic Policy Committee for much of this council, looking at ways in which the council can reduce its direct climate impact and make it easier for Dubliners to cut theirs.

I don’t see climate change as a standalone issue: it is one that we must integrate into our thinking across all policy areas.

Reduce waste and litter

It’s not enough to simply clean up litter, we have to reduce it too. Dublin City Council can do so at its own events, but I would like to further investigate having waste minimisation criteria for concert/event licences, and for businesses who have leases in Dublin City Council parks.

I would seek to improve the network of bins in our city – particularly aimed at areas with chronic dog poop problems – and will support national policy to reduce waste and litter at source.

Push for beautiful design

Public procurement understandably aims to get the lowest cost option for city council projects. But that often leads to ugly, lowest common denominator outcomes. I would seek to push for higher specs and greater thought around integrating beautiful, good design from the get go. Projects like the Francis Street renovation and the Kearn’s Place Bridge show how it can be done.