Reimagining Dublin One Laneways

One of Dublin One’s greatest under-utilised assets is its laneways. A new initiative, the Dublin One Laneways Strategy*, aims to explore ways to transform these laneways into places to live, work, and socialise and provide intersections and pedestrian routes through the Dublin One area.

Lord Mayor Nial Ring said “This is an exciting project that will add significantly to the future proofing of the city centre and the attractiveness of the Dublin One area as a key constituent of a liveable city centre. The recommendations outlined in the Strategy are achievable with the collective support of all stakeholders and as Lord Mayor I fully support this brilliant initiative.”

Four laneways will be focussed on initially and the transformation process, which will begin in early 2019, is in three stages: 

  • Short Term High Impact Low Cost Measures – improvement of physical conditions, including paving, lighting and security.
  • Medium Term Measures – to continue with positive changes – pop up activities/events, opening up closed shopfronts and reactivating dormant spaces.
  • Long Term Measures to transform Dublin One Lanes into Living Streets – extensive refurbishment and good quality residential, commercial and social uses.

Work will begin in early 2019 with the implementation of actions identified for the 4 representative laneways as follows: 

Cole’s Lane  - This under-utilised pedestrianised area would benefit from greater use. Actions - Redesign of public realm to accommodate street market, seating, planting, retractable rain-screen covers and cafes. Opening and extending the adjoining commercial premises to the lane would add significant value and improve footfall.

Talbot Lane – This lane is an undefined shortcut without a desirable destination. Actions - repair the existing sett paving and provide additional public lighting. The addition of new retail opening out to the laneway would increase commercial activity, that could be turned into an indoor galleria in the long-term. Making Marlborough Place an attractive destination is essential for the long term success of Talbot Lane.

Upper Jervis Lane – A long narrow unattractive lane without any other ways on or off. Actions - Repair the existing sett paving, provide additional public lighting and defined curtilage areas for the existing entrance doors will improve the quality of both the laneway and the existing ground floor apartments. New apartment or town house buildings could be infilled along the western lane front. Shortcuts through commercial units onto Capel Street could be a unique commercial opportunity for back-to-front land use.

Byrne’s Lane, Abbey Cottages  A cul-de-sac that requires immediate intervention including a temporary night-time gate to remove current anti-social behaviour. In the long term this laneway should be linked through to Great Strand Street.

Byrne’s Lane – This lane is a solely utilitarian space which functions as a service yard. As the existing inactive ground floor cannot be easily changed, improvements could be achieved using art installations along the facades, on the pavement and overhead.

For details on reimagining Dublin One Laneways go to

Images available on request.


*The Reimagining Dublin One Project, is a shared initiative between Dublin City Council, the American Institute of Architects (Design Assistance Programme) and a diverse community steering group led by Dublintown.