Dublin Chamber envisages a 15-minute post-Covid city

New emphasis on having all Dublin citizens’ needs within short distance

Dame Street vision by Dublin Chamber

Dame Street vision by Dublin Chamber


A vision of car-free streets and what Dublin could potentially look like, post-Covid, has been launched by Dublin Chamber.

The “15-minute city” planning vision for Dublin is focused on creating liveable, walkable communities in which people can live and access most of their daily needs within 15 minutes of active transport, such as walking or cycling.

The Chamber said the Covid-19 lockdown highlighted the importance of urban planning that is focused on creating liveable, walkable communities

The vision includes diverse housing options and access to safe cycle routes and local public transport, local health facilities, parks, shops, and other local infrastructure.

Looking at the benefits of the 15-minute city principle, the Chamber’s report outlines a core of mixed developments, integrating as many uses as possible within the same space. “This in many ways counteracts the past century of planning which has focused on separating residential areas from those for retail, employment, manufacturing, and entertainment.”

The Chamber contends community development in Dublin has often taken place on an ad hoc basis. The 15-minute city concept seeks to ensure that planners and local authorities look at the needs of a local community in terms of what facilities or infrastructure are in place, which are not, and how shortfalls can be addressed.

Dublin Chamber’s vision is that within 15 minutes of active transport from their home, Dublin residents should:

  • Have access to a key public transport hub to commute around the city to access work or higher-level services;
  • Be connected to their local community through safe, accessible, and well-connected footpaths and cycle paths;
  • Have access to an open green space and high quality public realm;
  • Have facilities and services that promote local living and a local economy.

It has called for consideration of the guiding principles of hyper-proximity and the 15-minute city vision in the upcoming reviews of the four local authority Development Plans. Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, South Dublin County Council, and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

It wants to see a pilot programme set up, similar to those used in Melbourne, Australia, in one community in each of four local authorities.

It also wants a review of the “Sustainable Urban Housing: Design standards for new apartments” document to ensure that access to communal amenity space and pedestrian first policy is placed at the core of design.

According to Dublin Chamber’s director of public and international affairs Aebhric McGibney, by adopting the 15-minute city principle, “we can significantly enhance the liveability of Dublin.

“Reduced congestion and pollution, enhanced public spaces, thriving local economies and efficient public transport would all improve Dublin’s international reputation and competitiveness” he said.

“Such a vision, if carried out successfully, could prove transformative for Dublin and enhance not only the lives of its residents and local economy, but its attractiveness as a place in which to do business. As remote working continues into the future the 15-minute city concept will be pivotal in reimagining the city.”