Docklands Area

Social and Community Development

Social sustainability is central to the regeneration strategy for Docklands. The regeneration of Docklands is about people, it is not just physical and economic aspects. Dublin City Council will actively pursue a community and social development agenda, re-integrating and connecting the Docklands communities to its range of services and expertise across all sectors. Docklands presents an opportunity to create an exemplary model of good neighbourhoods and successful placemaking.


  • To ensure a holistic approach to housing that will achieve successful integration of residents, neighbours and the wider community (see also Chapter 5 – Quality Housing) ­
  • To promote the expansion of the Docklands’ residential population, cater for life-cycle requirements of the existing population and provide recreational facilities for children across a range of ages (see also Chapter 5 – Quality housing, Chapter 10 – Green Infrastructure, Open Space and Recreation, and Chapter 12 – Sustainable Communities and Neighbourhoods) ­
  • To provide for residential choice with schemes conducive to family living, longterm rental and home-ownership
  • To achieve successful interaction between the SDZ scheme and surrounding streets and public realm to retain and foster a strong sense of neighbourhood within communities ­
  • To ensure that residential developments optimise the unique Docklands character in terms of visual context, maritime location, heritage assets and community identity ­
  • To provide physical, social and amenity infrastructure in tandem with new housing ­
  • To safeguard residential amenity and to ensure appropriate transition in scale, the design of new development shall have regard to the context, setting and amenity of existing housing within the SDZ and wider Docklands area (see Chapter 16 – Development Standards) ­
  • To ensure that all proposals for residential development meet the obligations under Part V and Dublin City Council’s housing strategy. The City Council will pro-actively seek the delivery of social housing units on site within the Docklands area, where appropriate having regard to the range of options for delivery of social housing available to applicants under Part V; the need to counteract undue segregation in housing between persons of different social backgrounds; whether the proposal would constitute the best use of resources to ensure an adequate supply of housing and the financial implications for the Council in its functions as a housing authority; as well as government policy on the provision of social housing ­
  • To recognise the important role of approved housing bodies in social housing provision and that the voluntary and co-operative model can achieve mixed tenure communities through the provision of housing for market sale, private and social rental
  • To promote a programme of support housing in conjunction with housing agencies (see also Appendix 3 - Housing Strategy) ­
  • To encourage ‘own front doors’ and defensible open space as far as practicable ­
  • To explore opportunities to address the social housing legacy issues associated with partially implemented Section 25 Certificates under the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), 1997 Act. Any potential options will be explored having regard to the objectives of the North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme, Dublin City Council’s Housing Strategy, legislative provisions to facilitate transition from the Section 25 planning process and government policy on social housing provision.


  • To encourage local employment, where the appropriate skills are available, on all construction projects in the Docklands area ­
  • To maximise the employment generating opportunities of the support services sector including the local enterprise office under Dublin City Council, as well as enterprise activity with a range of key skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers as part of the overall economic regeneration of the Docklands area
  • To maximise educational opportunities and access to employment for local residents in the Docklands area ­
  • To promote a local schools job placement programme ­
  • To promote a Docklands local employment steering group with relevant stakeholders to facilitate an employment strategy to enable enhanced employment access ­
  • To explore new opportunities for local employment in conjunction with the construction sector, corporate sector and other key stakeholders through the Community and Social Development Plan for the Docklands area ­
  • To monitor progress on educational attainment and local employment levels in the Docklands area.

Education ­

  • To conduct a special review with the Department of Education and Skills (DES) to assess the need to enhance or develop new educational facilities in the neighbourhood to service the growing population of the SDZ and the wider Docklands area ­
  • To give consideration to the re-building or up-grading of the St Laurence O’Toole School as the locally preferred option, subject to feasibility studies, in the event that additional school capacity is deemed necessary ­
  • To liaise with the Department of Education and Skills (DES) in supporting the important services provided by existing schools in the Docklands area, especially in relation to the pivotal role of schools in community development ­
  • To investigate the potential to develop synergies with the Department of Education and Skills (DES) in recognition of the key role of education in social regeneration and to seek to continue the educational programmes or similar appropriate programmes, as pioneered by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA), having regard to the fact that as a local authority or development agency, Dublin City Council has no statutory educational remit ­
  • To promote the delivery of educational programmes for the local community in conjunction with third-level institutions, for example the National College of Ireland (NCI), Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) ­
  • To promote local community access to third-level plus education, enterprise training and skills development in collaboration with key stakeholders and to investigate the potential for a coordinated approach with consideration also to an umbrella Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programme for the Docklands area.


  • To pro-actively engage and re-integrate the Docklands community with the full spectrum of Dublin City Council services, with particular regard to the Council’s community services which include children and young people, community development, social inclusion and interculturalism, community and voluntary, as well as public private partnerships of socio-economic interests ­
  • To develop a community and social development plan for the Docklands area in close collaboration with the community and to explore the potential for initiatives with corporate stakeholders through a structured corporate social responsibility programme (CSR) ­
  • To ensure co-ordination between the various statutory and non-statutory providers of social services and social programmes in the Docklands area. Dublin City Council as Development agency for the SDZ Area will fulfil this coordinating role to continue the important work of social regeneration in the wider Docklands area ­
  • To ensure that social and community facilities, in particular educational facilities, are provided in tandem with residential development, having regard to the over-arching social audit of community infrastructure to be undertaken by Dublin City Council for the entire Docklands Area and the supporting social audits and community infrastructure statements to accompany proposals for large scale developments (200 Units/20,000 sq. m mixed-use) ­
  • To ensure that social infrastructure is inclusive, caters for the needs of all the community, is accessible and available to all sectors including the existing community of the historic neighbourhoods and the emerging residential and working communities that have a mixed international profile, and represents the optimum use value of public investment ­
  • To promote community, cultural and recreational development on the peninsula site in accordance with the planning scheme objectives for city block 19 ­
  • To recognise culture as a vehicle for social inclusion and community integration in Docklands ­
  • To develop an inclusive strategy for culture in the Docklands area based on the findings of the cultural audit ‘The Docking Station’ (2013) which was undertaken through engagement with the cultural, community and corporate stakeholders in Docklands and to ensure that the cultural strategy reflects social regeneration objectives to facilitate the building of a best practice dance theatre with state of the art facilities to complete part of the cultural and heritage provision of providing such amenities. ­
  • Social infrastructure and community facilities to be provided in accordance with the infrastructure schedule as set out on Appendix 4 of the North Lotts and Grand Canal Planning Scheme and to seek national funding sources through NAMA/Government where appropriate, in recognition of the need to continue the important work of social regeneration in the Docklands area. ­
  • That all new developments in the Docklands area, North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock and Poolbeg West will provide for a minimum of 5% allocation of space in the development to be used for social, cultural, creative and artistic purposes.


Dublin’s economic performance is essential to the success and competitiveness of the national economy. As the engine of the national economy, Dublin needs to develop a sufficient critical mass to compete at an international level. The Docklands area has the potential to fulfil this strategic role as a global economic hub.

Continuing the approach of the Docklands 2008 Master Plan – that the successful development of Docklands is driven by the objective of Docklands as a great place to do business, work and visit – the guiding principles below focus on the direct and indirect sectors that drive economic activity and support a vibrant urban environment in Docklands:


  • To promote the Docklands as a location for sustainable businesses, and to encourage contact with the Local Enterprise Office, under Dublin City Council
  • To support the marine economy, in particular the shipping services sector and cruise tourism ­
  • To promote the Docklands as a location for sustainable tourism including cultural, recreational and business tourism ­
  • To promote the development of retail use to serve the existing residential community, new residents and visitors ­
  • To promote the development of sufficient retail facilities to serve the needs of the population living, working and visiting the Docklands Area ­
  • To work with the Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) to exploit event and business opportunities.


  • To develop and champion a maritime heritage strategy to attract visitors to the Docklands Area (see also Chapter 11 – Culture and Heritage) ­
  • To seek to ensure the River Liffey is navigable between the East Link Bridge and Samuel Beckett Bridge, working in conjunction with Dublin Port Company and Waterways Ireland ­
  • To develop strategies to animate the waterbodies and the campshires, in partnership with Dublin Port Company and Waterways Ireland ­
  • To ensure that any development on the campshires does not limit the potential for water-based activities ­
  • To support and liaise with Waterways Ireland to restore Camden Lock for water-based activity ­
  • To support and liaise with NAMA and Waterways Ireland to secure the sustainable development of city block 19.


  • To maintain and enhance the Docklands brand and marketability as an attractive prime location for investment and as a vibrant living place, by developing and promoting a marketing strategy for Docklands, in conjunction with key stakeholders ­
  • To continue to develop Docklands as a distinct recognisable urban quarter with its unique Docklands identity ­
  • To promote Docklands for international events, in particular water-based leisure, recreational and cultural activities, as well as corporate economic activity ­
  • To promote collaboration among and between the corporate, community and cultural sectors through networking events and to exploit the potential for soft supports and e-communication such as a Docklands app.


Issues such as movement, land-use, urban design and flood risk management are important environmental matters for the Docklands area. In terms of movement, the significant potential of walking and cycling is recognised and future initiatives will focus on sustainable modes of travel and greater integration with the wider city transport network. On land-use, a balanced mixed-use approach is critical to achieving good place-making and a high-quality public realm, with a residential component key to creating a sense of place and community. Meanwhile, flood prevention and management will play an increasingly important role in terms of new infrastructure provision, flood-resilient design and maintenance regimes to prevent the occurrence of flooding in the Docklands area.


  • To support sustainable transport initiatives which facilitate pleasant, accessible and easy movement to, from and within the Docklands area ­
  • To develop an integrated transport strategy for the entire Docklands area and to pro-actively promotion sustainable smarter travel ­
  • To recognise and promote the potential for walking and cycling in the Docklands Area (see also Chapter 8 – Movement and Transport). ­
  • To allow for the extension of the Luas, the eastern bypass and southern port access route (in accordance with NTA Transport Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016 – 2035) and provision of regular bus service from the city to the Docklands area including out to the Poolbeg Peninsula. ­     
  • To develop a cycle and walkway along the waterfront around the Docklands, around the Poolbeg Peninsula and linking the City with the South Bull Wall.

Land-Use/Urban Design

  • To continue to secure the distribution of residential use throughout the Docklands area by requiring an appropriate residential/commercial land-use mix on key development sites ­
  • To ensure that the public realm in the Docklands area operates as a connected network of social spaces and creates a unique sense of place ­
  • To use street furniture, informal spaces, pocket parks, civic spaces and the spaces between buildings and to promote opportunities for increased interaction and mobility within the Docklands
  • ­To integrate the public realm, streets and routes of Docklands with the surrounding city ­ To support the extension of the Royal Canal Linear Park to Newcomen Bridge.

Flood Risk

  • To promote and support initiatives that address flood risk in the entire Docklands area
  • To maintain and improve infrastructure to reduce and manage the risk of flooding in the entire Docklands area.


  • The Government’s designation of the SDZ reflects a keen awareness of the strategic importance of this area. However, it is acknowledged that to facilitate the continued socio-economic regeneration of the wider Docklands area, there is a need to address areas beyond the SDZ Boundary ­
  • To prepare local environmental improvement plans (LEIPs) for the established villages in the Docklands area: East Wall, North Strand, Sherriff Street/North Wall, City Quay/Westland Row and Ringsend/Irishtown (See Chapter 4 – Shape and Structure of the City) ­
  • To prepare an LAP/SDZ for the wider Docklands area or part thereof which relates to strategic brownfield sites with significant development capacity – such as the remainder of the North Wall area, the CIE lands to the north of Sheriff Street and the Poolbeg Peninsula. The prioritisation of any such LAP(s)/SDZ shall be determined in accordance with the Schedule of LAPs to deliver the core strategy and/or in accordance with any future SDZ designation by government (see Chapter 2 – Vision and Core Strategy).