The City Edge project is a joint initiative led by Dublin City Council (DCC) and South Dublin County Council (SDCC) to create a new urban area at the western edge of Dublin city. It is a non-statutory plan with aims to regenerate the region within the next 50 years.

The initiative covers 700 hectares and will reach areas including the Naas Road, Ballymount and Park West. The Councils have stated that the plan “has potential for 40,000 new homes and 75,000 jobs that would contribute €13 billion gross value added a year to the economy”. It is set to be one of the biggest regeneration opportunities in Europe.

The announcement released by the DCC and the SDCC acknowledged the importance of the area for Dublin’s economy, as it holds 1,500 businesses which employ 25,000 workers, however, they wish to extract greater opportunities from the region’s prospects.

“City Edge is identified in national and regional policy as a part of Dublin that has the potential to be much more intensely used. Located at the western edge of Dublin City, within the M50 and only 15 minutes from the City Centre, this large brownfield land bank is the logical ‘next step’ in the sustainable growth of Dublin”, said the Councils.

Schemes to boost employment and economy include new urban industry workspaces, innovation spaces, local services and high density office employment. Relocating existing businesses to the area will also be considered.

Sustainability is a primary focus of the project, and future developments will undertake an approach that will seek to improve climate change, habitat loss and the sustainable management of water. Recommendations from Environmental and EU Habitat Screenings suggest that the use of green corridors, blue corridors and parks can achieve this. The City Edge Project has also committed to 50% green cover of the intended area.

New public transport routes have been proposed to improve links between the western region and the City Centre, such as a new heavy rail station at Kylemore to be used as a major interchange, a new Luas stop on the Naas Road to interchange with BusConnects, and a possible New Luas to Kimmage along Calmount Road.

Street designs are to prioritise pedestrian use and cycle routes will be introduced along the Grand Canal, as well as blueways through parks. Their purpose is to “improve transport choice, reduce carbon emissions and improve health and well-being while encouraging community interaction and vibrancy”, according to the plan’s summary.

However, the statement by the DCC and the SDCC have stated that there are “sizable infrastructure deficits” which must be amended by the coordination of state agencies and upfront investment. They also believe that the project can only be achieved through strong governance and sustained political and economic support.

The preparation of draft amendments to the Dublin City and South Dublin County Development Plans to provide a statutory basis for more localised policies will be the next steps in carrying out the plan, concluded the report.

Ella Waddington – Assistant News Editor