Dublin City Council, in partnership with other organisations and local authorities in the region, has been working to improve all aspects of our environment. Over the last number of years, many projects have been completed or undertaken.
The Climate Change Strategy for Dublin City 2008 – 2012 builds on existing environmental policies whilst recognising the potential implications of climate change as one of the key drivers of change within our community. The Strategy was reviewed in 2009, and the City Council is currently preparing a new Climate Change Strategy for Dublin City.
Dublin has worked with the other 11 local authorities in the Eastern River Basin District (ERBD) to produce the ERBD 2009 – 2015 River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures. This Plan describes the actions to ensure the necessary protection of our waters over the coming years. It sets out how the aims and objectives of improving and protecting water quality and ecology in the waters of each river basin district could be achieved, by means of a Programme of Measures.
Catchment Flood Risk and Management (CFRAM) Studies are being undertaken by the Office of Public Works (OPW), in consultation with the Dublin Local Authorities for the Rivers Liffey, Santry, Poddle and Camac, as well as the city coastal zones. The associated latest available flood maps for all of these will be incorporated into the Dublin City Development Plan Strategic Flood Risk Assessment.
The Greater Dublin Strategic Drainage Study delivered an overview of the performance of the drainage infrastructure in the city’s catchments and proposed infrastructural improvement works to facilitate the anticipated future growth in the catchment to 2031. Irish Water, with the support of Dublin City Council, now manages the major and minor capital works for foul and combined (surface and foul) and sewer networks.
A number of flood protection works have been implemented and schemes have been constructed, are being constructed, or are at an advanced feasibility stage, to protect the city to a 1:100-year return period event from river flooding and 1:200year event for coastal flooding. These include the Tolka flood alleviation works, Spencer Dock works, Lower Dodder flood alleviation works, Clanmoyle scheme on Wad river, Merrion Gates and Marine Drive. The South Campshires scheme from Butt Bridge to Cardiff Lane started construction in November 2014.
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) are being integrated into new and, where possible, existing developments. There is close co-operation with the OPW, Met Éireann and other bodies in providing new flood alleviation services, and new tidal and rainfall warning systems are in place. Other recent improvements include:
- Delivery of separate surface water infrastructure to serve the new Grangegorman campus, thus reducing storm-water discharges to the local combined sewer network.
- Implementation of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) Programme, thus reducing blockages in sewers.
- Continued programme of re-lining of public sewers to provide structural rehabilitation and extend the life of the pipeline.
- Completed hand-over of new drainage infrastructure serving Ballymun Regeneration area.
- New wastewater pumping station currently being commissioned in North Docklands area to facilitate new development.
In 2013 Dublin City Council adopted a major emergency plan which sets out coordinated systems for effectively responding to emergency situations. This also focuses on risk assessment and management, planning and recovery. The types of emergency situations that can potentially arise relate to severe weather, industrial accidents, or a major fire or transport incident, for example.
In April 2016, Dublin City Council approved a new Litter Management Plan for the city for the period 2016 – 2018.
Waste management is an integral requirement essential in the promotion of sustainable development, enhancing good public health and the protection of the environment. A review of the Waste Plan for the Dublin Region 2005 – 2010 highlighted a number of key achievements as set out below:
- Waste generation per capita reduced from 410kg to 330kg
- Household recycling rate increased from 27% to 44%
- Kerbside organic waste collected from households increased from 2,382 tonnes to 36,223 tonnes
- Construction of a regional Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) to process 100,000 tonnes of dry recyclables per annum, and Licensing was secured for a Waste to Energy Facility on the Poolbeg Peninsula.
Dublin City Council has adopted a number of new policies to help manage environmental noise exposure throughout the city and has co-operated with the three Dublin County Councils to produce a combined Noise Action Plan, which covers the period from 2013 to 2018 and sets out the measures for the management of environmental noise. Eight parks within Dublin City have been designated by the Minister for Environment as ‘Quiet Areas’.
Dublin City Council continues to manage and operate, on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities, an air pollution monitoring network and makes available the resulting measurements to the public.
A number of projects have shown initiative in aiming to both reduce energy consumption and emissions and make new build developments more sustainable. These include the ‘Green Way’, the Sustainable Energy Communities Programme, the Green IFSC energy initiative, ‘Emerge’ communication platform, ‘Think Energy’ energy awareness campaign, and ‘Ecar’ car-pooling scheme.
The Dublin District Heating System (DDHS) is currently being progressed by Dublin City Council, initially focusing on the Dublin Docklands strategic development zone (SDZ) and the Poolbeg peninsula. The Dublin Waste to Energy Plant and other industrial facilities have been identified as potential and initial sources of waste heat within the local docklands area. Elements of the DDHS have been installed within the north docklands area, and within the new Liffey Tunnel which facilitates the roll out of district heating network both north and south of the river Liffey. During the lifetime of the plan, DCC shall work to ensure the successful implementation of this critically important piece of infrastructure which will make Dublin city a more sustainable and energy efficient city, less dependent on imported and fossil fuels, more competitive and environmentally clean, thus attracting foreign direct investment, and aiming to be an effective leader in managing climate change.