Institute without Boundaries


DCC communities mindamp

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DCC Communities mindmap


City infrastructure mindmap

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City Infrastructure minmap

Layers of DCC activities

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Layers of DCC Activities



DCC services, public realm mindmap

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DCC services, Public Realm mindmap



Street Conversations Report

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Research conducted by The Studio, DCC in the area of study and sorroundings.

Why select a radial route

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Why select a Radial-Camden St-Dick Gleeson

Comments about the route by Dick Gleeson, Dublin City Planning Officer. 


Area of study

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map of area of study

This is the map of the radial route students will be studying.

Dublin: A City of Literature

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A bronze statue of Kavanaugh recalls his poem, Lines Written on a Seat on the Grand Canal, Dublin.

One of the most important aspects of Dublin’s history is its rich literary heritage, with many famous playwrights, authors and poets calling Dublin their homes. This tour features some of Dublin’s favourite writers as well as a spatial connection to the city that inspired them.

A Literary Tour of Dublin

Dublin Background

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Brief History
Dublin, as known as Dubh Linn, Dyfflin, and Baile Atha Cliath, is the capital city of Ireland. It is located within the province of Leinster and is an ancient settlement, having been occupied since prehistoric times. The city was mentioned in Ptolemy’s Geōgraphikē hyphēgēsis (Guide to Geography) circa AD 140 and was originally settled by the Norse (aka the Vikings) in the 9th century. The Norse settlers maintained a prosperous Dublin and achieved one of Europe’s largest trade destinations. Later on, in 1167, the Norse were overtaken by Anglo-Normans from Wales and King Henry II of England affirmed his sovereignty.

Throughout history Dublin has witnessed epic events like the Black Death pandemic (1347-1351) and the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1849), political unrest and more recently economic prosperity followed by recession. In addition, the city is the birthplace to a many legendary literary figures such as Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw and William Butler Yeats.

A concise but detailed history and related links can be found HERE.

Dublin is the capital city of Ireland covering 115 square kilometers of land on the eastern coast of the country. It is bordered by the Irish Sea to the east, a low mountain range to the south and farmlands to the north and west.

Dublin is the most populous city in Ireland. Dublin City Council administers services to 506,211 people while the surrounding Greater Dublin Area is populated by 1.66 million people.

Dublin Region: (green numbered map below) includes Dublin City (1), Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (2) , Fingal (3), and South Dublin (4).

Greater Dublin Area (GDA)

Between 1991 and 2011, Ireland’s population grew by 30% at a rate of 8.1%.  However, the Dublin Region  experienced slower growth at only a 7% growth rate. Different areas within the City also differ in their growth rates. Inner City Dublin has a higher density and has grown by 62% while the rest of Dublin City’s population declined.

Dublin is the economic centre of Ireland. Between 1995 and 2007, Ireland experienced a period of rapid economic growth referred to as the Celtic Tiger. During this period, the Irish economy expanded at an average rate of 9.4% until it fell into recession in 2008. The Celtic Tiger transformed Ireland from one of the European Union’s poorer countries into one of its wealthiest. The country was an attractive place for American investment with the ability to conduct business in English and many US companies decided to set up their headquarters in Ireland.

People from Dublin are referred to as Dubliners. Famous Dubliners include Bono, James Joyce, Sinead O’Connor, and Oscar Wilde.

Ireland has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe at 2.07 children (European average being 1.6) despite overall decline in European fertility rates. High birth rates result in more populous schools and demands on the education system. The relatively young population also means a greater working age population than other EU countries and will alleviate national pressure on social services for the elderly like pensions and healthcare. Dublin City Council has committed to promoting an age-friendly city.

Dublin City households are the smallest in the Greater Dublin Area and have been shrinking since 1991. Interestingly, 30% of the households considered are home to only one person.

Dublin, like many large cities, is home to cultural events like the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival and, more obscurely, the Blog Awards Ireland which happen in October. The longlist for the blog awards is a great directory to learn more about the Irish blogosphere and is conveniently categorized by topic.

Innovation Dublin (@InnovationDub) is an annual event that occurs in mid-October to showcase innovation and creativity, and will take place this year while the IwB students are visiting and studying in Dublin.

Dublin is divided into a northern and southern part by the River Liffey. The northern part of the city is generally considered more low-income, while the south part is regarded as more affluent. Dublin’s postal districts emphasize this division by assigning odd numbers for the north and even for the south.

Landmarks are part of the cityscape of Dublin. They include Trinity College, Guinness Factory, Dublin Castle, Christchurch and O’Connell Bridge, to name but a few.

Dublin boasts more green spaces per square mile than any other European capital city. These green spaces include parks, playing fields, trails, open spaces and ecological management endeavours such as constructed wetlands that help filter run-off from roads into the parks.

Dublin is shares some similar characteristics to many American urban and regional settlements.  Housing is low-density and populations are car-dependent. Continual sprawl presents challenges to provisions of social services, infrastructure, commuting patterns and energy costs.

Transportation in Dublin is possible by road, water, rail and air. Major canals, like the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal, were originally built for both freight and passenger use. On the roads driving, cycling and walking are possible ways to get around. A light rail system exists called Luas (the Gaelic word for speed) which operates on two unconnected lines. Luas offers park+ride and cycle+ride options for its passengers. Dublin’s Iarnród Éireann, or Irish Rail in English, offers connections between the suburbs and Dublin City.  DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a rail line that operates along the coast of Dublin. Cycling in Dublin is also possible with dublinbikes, a program similar to Toronto’s Bixi. Urban cycling is also supported by efforts like the nearly 120km of on-road cycle tracks and PDF maps of cycle tracks and bike lanes.

Sources/Further reading

Dublin-based fashion blog:

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival


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The Institute without Boundaries is a Toronto-based studio that works towards collaborative design action and seeks to achieve social, ecological and economic innovation. To learn more click here.

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