6.1 Introduction

Dublin must develop as a dynamic city region with sufficient critical mass in order to compete at an international level and fulfil its role as the national gateway and key economic driver of growth for the Greater Dublin region and the country as a whole. As the capital city, it is vital that Dublin continues to grow and operate on an international scale while at the same time providing for the needs of its residents, workers and visitors alike.

The Dublin metropolitan area is a significant urban centre in the wider European and global context in a variety of ways. Not just commercial and inward investors, but skilled young workers from across the EU and wider afield find the city attractive. In order to remain a competitive and enterprising city, we must monitor the economic progress of the city, to identify challenges and opportunities, and to benchmark ourselves against other cities internationally. Significant improvements in the urban environment such as new spaces and parks, cleaner streets, improved apartment housing, new arts and cultural facilities, and an increasingly open and multi-cultural city at ease with its diversity, have made the city more attractive and competitive.

Sustainable economic development and enterprise and employment generation is one of the three elements of the core strategy, and a successful city economy both relies on and contributes to the other two core elements, i.e. a compact, quality, green, connected city; and sustainable neighbourhoods and communities.

There is increasing recognition that ‘quality of place’ is crucial to the economic success of the city, in attracting FDI, attracting and retaining key scarce talent, tourists, and residents. A ‘Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland’ from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (2014), recognised the key role of Dublin, and set out three ‘differentiators’ to give the city an international competitive edge: (a) an internationally competitive location for talent attraction, (b) placemaking: a vibrant capital city, enhancing the city as a place to live, invest, grow a business, and nurture innovation, (c) a connected world-leading research and innovation system. Other differentiators include our demographics, education and skills, as well as our taxation regime.

Sustainable development has economic, social and environmental components. Development plan economic policies are also closely interlinked and mutually dependent on all the other plan policies such as retail and other services, housing, arts and culture, movement, infrastructure and recreation. The consolidation and strengthening of the inner city is set out in the core strategy.

Innovation in all its dimensions will continue as the central driver of wealth creation, economic progress and prosperity in the coming decades. Competitive cities embed innovation across all fields of activity including enterprise, education, tourism, public policy and civic engagement. Qualities such as openness, diversity of people and global links all spur innovation.

Values of equality, diversity, and openness in the city provide significant international economic competitiveness benefits for the city in attracting and retaining key scarce talent, and the companies that rely on them, and in attracting tourists and international students.