Making The Liberties Cleaner and Greener

A major programme of investment by Dublin City Council is underway to improve the quality of streets and public spaces in The Liberties. The Council adopted The Liberties Greening Strategy in 2014 setting out a series of projects to renew historic streetscapes and develop new public spaces; to increase tree cover and provide new parks and amenities; and to improve the quality of the environment through measures such as Sustainable Urban Drainage systems (SUDs) and the installation of energy efficient street lighting.  You can find out more about some of the projects currently in train below.

Thomas Street Renewal

Since 2014 Dublin City Council has progressed a major renewal of Thomas Street and James Street – the main thoroughfare through The Liberties. Pavement and street surfaces have been renewed, almost 60 new heritage lighting columns are being installed, and crossings, bus and traffic infrastructure have been improved. Over 90 decorative tree planters and troughs now ‘green’ the route from High Street to the fountain at James Street. The new planters and street lighting have been grant assisted by Fáilte Ireland under its Dubline capital investment fund. In addition, an ongoing programme of shopfront and building improvements is revitalising one of the most historic streetscapes in the city.

Weaver Park

Weaver Park is the first new purpose-built park to be developed in The Liberties since St Patrick’s Park in the early 20th century. The new park is locate on Cork Street, adjoining The Tenters, and its name reflects the historic trade of weaving that once dominated this part of the city. The park is a flagship project of The Liberties Greening Strategy and its design involved extensive local community engagement and participation. Officially opened in October 2017, the park includes active and passive play areas, planted areas, integrated skateboard-friendly features and a performance space.

Francis Street

Francis Street is one of Dublin’s oldest thoroughfares, and is best known today as Dublin’s Art & Antiques Quarter. The street is lined with small shops and businesses but also has a diverse community living on the street and in the adjoining areas.

A public realm improvement of Francis Street is now proposed that will revitalise the street,  introducing new wider high-quality stone paving, new street light and soft landscaping to the street, and better manage and organise car parking and loading for businesses. Developed by Ait Urbanism + Landscape for Dublin City Council, the plans envisaged two threshold spaces to the front of the street’s premier landmarks: The Iveagh Market and St Nicholas de Myra Church. Work on the scheme will commence in summer 2019 with an expected duration of 9-12 months.

Bridgefoot Street Park

A new park at Bridgefoot Street is the second flagship project of The Liberties Greening Strategy. The planned park will see a currently vacant site, previously occupied by housing, transformed into an amenity area for the considerable community living in the area. A design team led by Dermot Foley Landscape Architects has been appointed and a design process, involving extensive community engagement, was undertaken in Spring 2017. The park is expected to be developed in 2019.

Newmarket

Newmarket View
The historic marketplace of Newmarket is undergoing dramatic change, rapidly becoming a new destination for visitors to the area. Long appreciates for its regular markets, the arrival of Teeling Whiskey Distillery in 2015 added a new dimension to the square, and has spurred redevelopment of vacant sites and former industrial sheds. Dublin City Council, together with Urban Agency architects, now propose to radically redesign Newmarket and its adjoining streets, creating a pedestrianised space at the heart of the square and improving pavements, street lighting, street planting and other features. The project received planning permission in Summer 2017 and is now subject to detailed design. Meanwhile a number of privately-owned sites around the public space have begun to redevelop as apartments, offices and leisure uses.

Crane Street and Sugar House Lane

Despite its size, Crane Street is one of the busiest pedestrian routes in the area, forming as it does the main approach to The Guinness Storehouse – Ireland’s biggest visitor attraction. The Storehouse welcomed over 1.7m visitors in 2017 but for most it was a less than ideal approach.  Crane Street and Sugar House Lane have now been transformed, with wider pavements, retaining historic kerbs and setts and creating an attractive new setting for one of the area’s most iconic photo-ops – the Guinness Gate. Parking and heavy vehicles have been removed and the route now has a clear pedestrian focus. The route will also be ‘greened’ with new planters and trees on School Street.

St Audoen’s Park & Grounds

The historic churches of St Audoen’s on High Street are notable landmarks at the entrance to The Liberties. The complex includes St Audoen’s Church of Ireland (the city’s oldest surviving parish church dating from 1190), the 19thC Roman Catholic Church, now a focus for the city’s Polish community, and the famous steps and gate through a remaining section of Dublin’s 12th century city wall. The grounds of these churches and the adjoining parks have been substantially remodeled; improving entrances, enhancing circulation and views into the park, adding new planting and lighting. The park also includes a new sensory children’s play area, a number of retained archaeological features such as paving excavated during works, and a small memorial to children who lost their lives in the events of Easter 1916. The park will reopen in January 2019.

Dolphin’s Barn Village Improvement Scheme

A series of public realm improvements are now being consider to revive the commercial area of Dolphin’s Barn. A redesign of the crossroads of Dolphin’s Barn and South Circular Road is proposed including widened pavements, the creation of new public spaces, tree planting and greening, improved street furniture, improved crossings and greater pedestrian priority. The project received its planning permission in 2018 and is earmarked for 2020. In addition to streetworks, an initiative to improve shopfronts and commercial premises is underway.

 

Meath Street

Meath Street – The Liberties famous market street – is proposed for a revamp that will create wider pavements and create space on the street for stalls and market life. The project, led by Haslem & Co Architects, began with initial public consultations in October 2019. The project will be advanced in 2019 although it is likely to be 2-3 years before work starts.