After a longer than expected build due to Covid lockdowns, the new community park at Bridgefoot Street is being officially opened by Lord Mayor of Dublin Allison Gilliland on Wednesday 4th May. The park, which covers 2 acres, is designed by Dublin 8-based designers Dermot Foley Landscape Architects for Dublin City Council Parks, Biodiversity & Landscape Services, and was developed from a wide-ranging community design process undertaken in 2017.
The park is the second of two flagship amenities provided in the area under The Liberties Greening Strategy, an area-wide environmental programme designed to improve public spaces and streets and increase greening, tree cover and access to amenities in this dense city centre neighbourhood. Nearby Weaver Park opened in 2018. Other existing parks in the area, such as St Audoen’s Park and Peace Garden at Christchurch Place, have also seen significant investment in recent years.
Among Bridgefoot Street Park’s features are a landscape of mounds and sunny terraces; a community garden (with an active community management group rearing to go); a cafe; play areas and informal play features; over 180 trees and a diverse range of wild and naturalistic planting. An ethos of ‘recycle and reuse’ permeates the park. For example, footpaths through the park make use of old paving slabs, bricks and even sections of concrete footpaths, stitched together to form interesting ‘crazy paving’, while the beautiful terrazzo footpaths include fragments of brick and glass excavated from the site, which was a former housing complex.
Wildflower planting fills the park, creating a haven for pollinators. The park is expected to support the growing Inner City Bee Project which has seen beehives installed across Dublin 8. The park is open on its four sides, creating new walkways and connections between Bridgefoot Street and Bonham Street. Bridgefoot Street Park will also be a playful adverture ground for young people, with lots of new play features and sensory elements.
The park forms part of wider rejuvenation of the area around Bridgefoot Street, which has been previously criticised for it’s lack of trees and poor quality public realm. The central median along the street has already been transformed into a colourful tree-lined garden. A new two-way cycle lane is proposed for the street and improvements are being made to adjoining streets. Housing in the area is undergoing significant regeneration. A major 10-year strategy to regenerate Oliver Bond House has commenced, while later this year, a new housing scheme will open at Bonham Street with 57 new homes overlooking the parkland below.
Bridgefoot Street Park is a capital project by Dublin City Council under the Liberties Greening Strategy.