Dublin City Council should develop more ‘pocket parks’, says Green Party MEP

Some space used for parking should be reclaimed for residents, Ciarán Cuffe says

Dublin City Council should develop more “pocket parks” around the city in response to the growing number of apartments, a Green Party MEP has said.

Ciarán Cuffe said there was very little outside space for residents, perhaps only a small balcony, if they were lucky.

“I think we need to think again about the kind of green spaces that should be made available. And these small pocket parks, handkerchief parks, I think are a very practical way of responding to this new need,” he told Newstalk Breakfast.

When asked whether the developer or the council should fund such parks, Mr Cuffe said that sometimes the developer could make the land available or sometimes it might be the local authority.


He also said some of the space used for parking should be reclaimed.

“In some cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, we’ve seen the local authority take back some space and make it available to families and children, rather than simply the dead space that’s only used for parking.

“I think there’s a lot of other things we should think about as well. I’ve suggested very simple things like making available more bins within our parks, making available water fountains because I think there is a need for that as well.

Mr Cuffe agreed to a suggestion that there needed to be a change in attitude towards public areas by the local authority and pointed out that, frequently, green areas were closed because of a fear of antisocial behaviour.

“We’re realising the importance of the small amounts of green space and the public realm that we have. I think with a rise in immigration of people coming from Central Europe and elsewhere, many of those who have come to Ireland have – dare I say it – I think, a more enlightened approach to how we manage space in our towns and cities.

“We’re seeing cafes being put in our parks, which was unthinkable a while ago,” Mr Cuffe said.

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a reporter