Creating successful urban neighbourhoods to underpin sustainable communities requires the efficient use of land and sustainable densities to enable viable provision of the necessary range of facilities, services and good public transport connections – all of which should be within walking distance of residents and workers and of a high-quality urban design to create places where people will want to live.
The city development plan must ensure that all significant developments can only take place where sufficient schools, public transport, employment opportunities, parks, community facilities and resources (garda, fire services and ambulance provision etc.) are either in place or proposed.
These sustainable density levels for a good urban neighbourhood must also incorporate quality living spaces, amenity areas and green infrastructure, as well as fostering a distinctive sense of place and a safe environment. Public finance restrictions may potentially impact on the ability of state agencies to commit funds for additional health, educational and community services or facilities in an area and may prove the most challenging factor in the delivery of social infrastructure in the short-to-medium term.
The provision of community facilities in tandem with large-scale developments will require careful calibration to ensure that residential schemes in particular remain viable, especially so in the context of the housing supply crisis and government guidance to promote and, where possible, to kick-start large residential projects.
Furthermore, the co-ordinated provision of a range of facilities and services to cater for all, such as schools, care centres, cultural spaces and transport, typically involves a number of agencies and will require an inter-agency response to ensure the timely provision of such social infrastructure. It will also be essential to ensure the optimum use of community facilities and services between neighbourhoods and communities throughout the city.
One of the challenges facing the city is to successfully accommodate people at different stages in their life-cycle, having regard to emerging demographic trends. For example, household size is decreasing and the number of older people is increasing. This indicates that there will be an increasing need for different types of residential accommodation, as an integrated part of a neighbourhood, rather than in spatially segregated areas. This challenge is addressed in greater detail in Chapter 5: Quality Housing.
Dublin City Council strategies especially relevant to good neighbourhood-making include, inter alia, Towards Integration – A City Framework; Social Inclusion Strategy; Childcare Policy; the Play Plan; and the Sports and Recreation Strategy, Dublin
Age Friendly City Strategy and the Children Services Policy Statement, as well as the Social Inclusion Activation Programme and Local Economic and Community Plan. The integrated delivery of these policies, together with the development plan’s policies, is a challenge for the future.