The survey asked a series of questions around attitudes to business, priorities for the area and perceptions of streets and public spaces.
Questions were asked around people’s perception of the area as a place to shop (and visit) and do business.
A majority of respondents had a positive view of The Liberties as a place for business. When asked to rate factors that might affect their choice of The Liberties as a place in which to shop or do business:
- The location and convenience of the area (23%) and individuality of the retail offer (23%) came out on top as first choices for respondents, followed by the accessibility of the area by walking, cycling and public transport (21%).
- Location and convenience was also the most popular second choice of respondents (25%).
- The quality of streets and public spaces (13%) and the quality and attractiveness of shops, shopfronts and premises (6%) was also noted. Only 1% of respondents cited car access and parking as their primary issue.
When asked what they considered to be the biggest challenge to the success of businesses in the area:
- The quality of the area, cleanliness and perceptions of safety were cited at the first choice by 34% of respondents.
- Levels of rent also featured highly (27%), followed by the quality of shops and the need to better maintain and upgrade buildings in the area (13%).
- The quality of the area and the quality of shops, shopfronts and premises were also the two most popular second choices at 21%.
The survey sought views on the pace of development and level of investment in the area over the last number of years.
- A significant portion of respondents agreed that parks and amenities had improved in the area (75%), while a majority also agreed that the quality and look of streets had improved (56%). The cleanliness of the area remains a an issue for people, with just under half (49%) agreeing that the area was clean and attractive.
- Majorities of respondents did not consider that new student housing (66%) and hotel developments (53%) has been beneficial to the area. There was an overwhelming view that further housing was needed in the area (85% agreeing or strongly agreeing).
- 69% of respondents agreed that the range of businesses in The Liberties had improved in recent years, while 64% felt that the quality of shops, shopfronts and streetscapes had improved.
Respondents were presented with a series of priorities for The Liberties and asked to rank them by preference.
- In terms of first preference, respondents rated tackling antisocial behaviour (33%), reducing car traffic in the area (16%), improving cleaning and maintenance of streets (15%) and improving cycleways and cycling infrastructure (11%) most highly.
- These four options also rated highest for people’s second preference, with improving cleaning and maintenance of streets (21%) attracting most support.
Respondents could also specify ‘other’ priorities and a wider variety of comments were made ranging from types of development in the area, vacancy, the condition of streets and public spaces and the need for civic and community spaces.
And finally, the survey asked for views on street atmosphere and perceptions of safety etc.
- The overwhelming number of respondents felt safe in The Liberties during the day (82%), although less so in the evening or night (42%).
- Visible drug and alcohol abuse on streets was considered to be an issue by 82% of respondents. 74% of respondents were concerned about people sleeping rough or begging on streets.
- Vandalism of property was noted by 58% of respondents.
- Perhaps reflecting the largely residential makeup of respondents, issues of crime affecting businesses and An Garda responsiveness to business registered largely neutral responses.
The Liberties Local Views Survey was conducted online during the month of December 2021. A total of 107 responses were received with 81 respondents saying they lived in the area, 13 both living and working in the area, 5 working or operating a business in the area and 8 as occasional visitors.
A big thank you to everyone who took part!