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Study Visits to Sites in Dublin

URBACT Summer University propose to its participants four study visits to conclude the Dublin experience: Meeting House Square, Dublin Bike to Work Scheme, Dublin Food Cooperative, and Northside Partnership. 

Meeting House Square

Public space, urban framework plan and new tourism plan Central square situated in the Temple Bar neighbourhood, Meeting House Square is surrounded by vibrant cultural organisations. The nature of the Irish weather convinced the Temple Bar Cultural Trust that Meeting House Square needed to become more than just an "outdoor room". In 2004, Seán Harrington Architects created a retractable canopy roof that would actually 'complete' the square. Seven years later, at a cost of €2.4 million, the twentieth anniversary of Temple Bar's regeneration was marked with the installation of four 21m high 'umbrellas', creating the first retractable cover of its type in Ireland.

Seán Harrington will guide you across the Temple Bar neighbourhood, showing you its design of the square but he will also explain you the Temple Bar Framework plan its architects practice created to oversee the regeneration of the area as Dublin's cultural quarter. This plan shaped the development of the neighbourhood for 10 years (2004-2014), while identifying 20 key areas that could be improved, including: improvements to the public domain, access to information, proposals to increase footfall to the West End, and introduction of temporary workspaces for artists.

The current project of Seán Harrington Architects is to design a new cultural trail (for June 2014), the Dubline, tourism plan based on public space, that will be the “highway” that directs the visitor on a journey through place, culture and time. It is undergoing, and will be designed to connect dome of the city’s most famous attractions, unlock some of the city’s hidden gems and provide an opportunity to share Dublin’s stories with visitors through the people.

More info about the Meeting House Square, the Temple Bar Framework Plan and the Dubline.

New Year Day 2012 At Meeting House Squar by infomatique, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  infomatique 

Dublin Bike to Work Scheme

Sustainable transportation, social entrepreneurship and the future of waste. Through this visit, you’ll discover the new “Dublin Bike to Work Scheme”, get the occasion to learn about Dublinbikes and meet the people of the Rothar community bike shop. You’ll get answers to all your questions thanks to Devyn, LEADS certified guide that will take you through all those projects.

This year Copenhagenize published their index of the top bicycle friendly cities in the world. Cities are judged on their efforts towards re-establishing the bicycle as a feasible, accepted, and practical form of transport. Criteria include: Advocacy, Bicycle Culture, Bicycle Facilities & Infrastructure, Bike Share Programme, Gender Split, Modal Share For Bicycles, Perception of Safety, Politics, Social Acceptance, Urban Planning & Traffic Calming. As expected European cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen are at the top of the list, but there are new emerging bicycle cities like Dublin on the list. Dublin has seen rapid growth of bicycle culture and is creating safe infrastructure for cyclists. For example, Dublin operates one of the most successful bike share schemes in the world (Dublinbikes), since 2009. To increase the safety and appeal of cycling in the city, Dublin has also implemented a 30 km/h speed zone on all streets within the city centre. An interesting new politic is the “Bike To Work Scheme”, a government initiative offering tax free bikes for cycling to work, with benefits for the employee and the employer.

Devyn, LEADS certified guide, will have a speech about this Scheme and the Dublinbikes, but also introduce you to the Rothar bike community, and let you discover it : Rothar is a community bike shop which takes donations of unwanted bikes, sells revamped bikes and provides bike repairs. Through these sustainable business activities, they generate resources to reinvest in creating jobs and employment opportunities (with socially disabled people among others), promoting a cycling culture and sustainable transportation, donating revamped bikes to schools and vulnerable groups, contributing to meeting waste reduction targets. Until now, they have donated 500 bikes to community organisations and formed people thanks to the« build/fix your own bike » project. They also offer training for community groups and cycling classes and help companies to implement the « Bike to Work scheme ». In 2009, they won the Social Entrepreneurs Award and in 2012 the Arthur Guinness Fund, among others.

More info on Dublinbikes, Rothar bikes and the “Bike To Work Scheme”.

Dublin bikes by Daniel Dudek-Corrigan, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  Daniel Dudek-Corrigan 

Dublin Food Cooperative

Sustainable food and consumption, and low carbon transition by buying and eating local and fair-trade During this visit, you will discover a pioneer of organic and local food cooperative in Dublin: the Dublin Food Cooperative. Together, in 1983, a group of friends formed a buying group to save money by bulk purchasing vegetarian wholefoods and other sustainable living products.

Within a short time, this embryonic co-operative had moved toward trading weekly from a hired hall for more than two decades. For now, Dublin Food Co-op is a vibrant community of +/- 900 share-holders, that goes far beyond food. True to the co-operative tradition, they offer an alternative to the profit-oriented business model: surplus funds are used wholly to benefit members by reducing prices and improving services and facilities. The Co-op is 100% owned and controlled by its consumer members, and consider itself as a real democracy in the city.

Pauric Cannon, member of the Co-op since a very long time, will make you discover the way the cooperative works, how it develops, what problems they faced, what helped them to grow until now, and what are the current management questions.

More info here.

IMG_5743 Dublin, Newmarket, Food Co-op by Stipo team, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Stipo team 

Dublin Docks

The area of the old docks is currently undergoing a large amount of development. This big urban regeneration project (22,8 ha) results of the Dublin Dockland Development Authority act (1997). In 25 years, the Docklands has become an established business hub employing over 40,000 people, a home to a population of 26,703 (up 53% since 1997), a destination for business and cultural tourism, and a generator of financial returns to the state in the form of both significant corporate and personal tax receipts.

Indeed, the development of the docks includes waterside apartments, offices, retail space, parks and public spaces, local amenities for leisure activities, “Convention Centre Dublin”, hotels, shopping centers, museum and more. The project was also a good opportunity to develop new metro lines and new train stations in the area.

John O’Hara, Senior Planner with Dublin City Council, will act as a guide to explain and show you this huge urban regeneration project, walking around and visiting some special places.

More info here

The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) in th by infomatique, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  infomatique