‘The Liberties Greening Strategy’
Áit U + L were commissioned by Dublin City Council to prepare a Greening Strategy for ‘The Liberties’ area of Dublin’s Inner City. The urban development of the Liberties stretches back to the mediaeval period when monasteries were established and suburbs developed outside of the City Walls. The Liberties has through history always been a gritty industrial area and today is a patchwork of social disadvantage represented by social housing complexes and a new more affluent community attracted by living close to the city centre. At the time of the study, the Liberties was devoid of any high quality public green spaces, a legacy of centuries of poor planning; 93% of the surface area was covered by buildings or hard surfaces.
The Greening Strategy proposed to create new urban parks on the sites of two demolished flat complexes. The parks focus is for all of the communities and to provide for a range of recreational and social activities not catered for. The strategy also set out measures to regenerate heritage green spaces associated with deconsecrated church yards, improvement to local open spaces and the remaking of a market square at Newmarket.
The strategy has a strong Green Infrastructure focus and a range of measures are put forward to improve habitat and biodiversity and improve water management through innovative rain gardens and storm-water tree pits. An accompanying Green Infrastructure Benefits report measuring the impacts of the strategy was also prepared. The development of Weaver Park on Cork Street, designed by Áit U + L, was constructed and opened in 2017 and was a direct outcome of the ‘The Liberties Greening’ Strategy.