What to do with Dublin’s Quays

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    • #711491

      They are a feature that defines our city centre and have been the focus for its development since the 9th century. So surely they are worth a bit of discussion….

      Recent years (as in the last 20) have seen some big developments:

        Temple Bar and Docklands rejuvenation
        Reconstruction of previously derelict stretches
        New bridges
        The Boardwalks
        The Port Tunnel, HGV ban and 30km limit to sections

      So what big ideas are out there to rejuvenate the quays and truely bring the river back to the heart of city life. I’m spurred by a recent website I discovered http://www.urbannexusinitiative.com/ looking at approaches to design on the quays. Our friends at DCC have also had an objective in various development plans for over 10 years to develop a strategy or framework for the River Liffey and its environs but it has yet to make an appearance. So what can be done to create an better environment along the river and improve the aesthetic, functioning and value of the quays to the city…

    • #817613

      I precociously started this thread in 2003…aah halycon days of money and development and cranes and Seanie Fitz. Perhaps some comments still have relevance.


    • #817614

      One change which I noticed today is Batchelors’ Walk which has started to attract a fair few cafes and restaurants after a long period of empty units. Its quite bustling as far as anywhere in the city centre could be at the moment. The 4 setpiece buildings at the junction with O’Connell Street are a car crash as always but further along things look a little more refined.

    • #817615

      Well it seems I am talking to no one these days on Archiseek….ver have all de flowers gone Marlene? :eh: :eh:

      For anyone interested, the Urban Nexus XXI Century Liffey exhibition is now on at darcspace gallery on North Great Georges Street. It is WELL worth the look….some great analysis and a really keen eye for the detail and functioning of the quays. And they are looking for inputs so get down and leave a comment.

      Sterling work!

    • #817616

      Maybe its because one currency = migration or heads down thumbs up.
      The Irish architecture is like beer its filtered.

    • #817617

      Maybe, but I am continually amazed at how the architecture profession in Ireland (what’s left of it to be sure) has nothing to say for itself. No ideas on how to move us forward. No commentary on the big urban issues of the day. Nothing but retrenchment and a “who’s in, who’s out” debate. Given the high level of intellectual and qualitative training that architects received (they are after all in college much longer than other mortals) one would wonder why they don’t have more to say for themselves.

    • #817618

      I’ve asked myself that q before. As a lawyer I can’t turn on the radio without a member of my profession bashing on about something. Architects on the otherhand….

      Although somebody was on Newstalk today doing a decent job.

      Why aren’t architects drawing attention to the many problems in Dublin. DCC gets away with murder but you rarely see or hear much coverage.

    • #817619

      Progress on a vision for Dublin’s quays according to this morning’s Irish Times. This sounds very positive and I look forward to seeing what the team come up with. However, I cant help but wonder at the recent spate of streetworks on the quays these last few months. Both Aston/Wellington Quays and Upper Ormonde Quay/a bit of Batchelors Walk have been repaved but with little consideration of improved public space on these busy pedestrian quays. The cynic in me says its Roads Dept retrenchment to ensure that any designs on the quays by Planning Dept or City Architects are contained. That would be a great shame really.

      Liffey corridor traffic plan to prioritise walkers and cyclists
      FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

      A radical rearrangement of traffic on the Liffey quays in Dublin is in prospect following the completion next spring of a major study aiming to maximise facilities for cyclists and pedestrians while maintaining priority for buses.

      The study, commissioned by Dublin City Council in association with the National Roads Authority, is looking at the Liffey corridor from Phoenix Park to the O2, including streets parallel to the quays.

      Options being examined by consultants AECOM and Roughan O’Donovan include taking traffic off the north quays, limiting one side of the river to buses and cyclists and reversing traffic flows.

      “The overall purpose of the scheme is to maximise facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, including mobility-impaired facilities, while maintaining priority for buses,” a spokesman for the city council told The Irish Times.

      “The consultants will take into account all possible measures for the provision of cycleways and the improvement of facilities for all modes [of transport, including] reassignment of road space.”

      Segregated cycle lanes, wider footpaths and optimising cycle, pedestrian and bus “wait times” at junctions, physical segregation of bus lanes, contra-flow bus lanes, junction priorities and turning bans are all being considered.


      The consultants will also examine possible extensions to the Liffey boardwalk along the north quays, according to one source; it now terminates at Grattan Bridge (Capel Street).

      “This all sounds like good news,” said former minister of state for planning and avid cyclist Ciarán Cuffe, who noted that Danish cycling guru Mikael Colville-Andersen, from Copenhagen, was involved in the Liffey corridor study.

      Mr Colville-Andersen is founder of Copenhagenize Consulting, which advises on “planning, traffic and communications” throughout the EU.

      The ongoing http://www.urbannexusinitiative.com which got a great airing at a recent City intersections debate is progressing I understand to the point of proposing design solutions for the Quays (following up on the excellent analysis that it undertook). I’m looking forward to that too. Some things I would like to see include:

        Wider pavements and the creation of a few public spaces
        Repaving and smart “historic” lighting on the city’s bridges
        An Art Deco revamp for Butt Bridge reusing the last of the 1930s standards found on College Street
        Tree planting
        Removal of the flagpoles and the crappy incidental lighting on the quay wall side of streets
        Wider pedestrian crossings
    • #817620

      The chaps behind Urban Nexus Initiative currently have an exhibition of their final report – ‘A Boulevard of Rooms & Corridors’ on view for the next 3 weeks at DarcSpace on North Great Georges Street and following that, moving to Dublin Civic Trust on Castle Street.


      The exhibition is stimulating and it has to be said lovely to look at with plenty of insightful analysis and clever graphs of this most undervalued of Dublin’s corridors and routes. The final report includes detailed designs for a series of key public spaces along the Liffey including a re-imagined ‘room’ for O’Connell Bridge, a new civic space to the front of the Custom House, a series of smaller incidental spaces at Batchelors Walk, Burgh Quay and Wood Quay and the creation of a green boulevard from the Phoenix Park to Docklands.

      The exhibition was launched by the Dublin City Lord Mayor, although sadly few of the staff of Dublin City Council managed to attend to show their support. The future for the Urban Nexus Initiative is to feed into a proposed Liffey LAP perhaps this year…perhaps next year.

      While the attendance on Wednesday was good, I sensed a rather weary mood from attendees that despite all the fantastic ideas out there about how to create a beautiful and vibrant city centre (many of them done for nothing – such as this report – or on the cheap), nothing will get beyond the dead hand of Wood Quay and its myriad of ‘managers’. Sadly I fear that the lads excellent opus will simply fill a space on someone’s shelf.

      The exhibition is well worth a look!

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