NOT SO GREEN: Dublin City Council’s plans for College Green attacked for stripping away nature and natural features

Published by Ian Carey on

September 9th 2016

College Green is one of the most iconic streets in Dublin featuring Trinity College’s Front Gate, the old Irish Parliament Building and a number of highly decorative former bank buildings.

Recent plans to make Dublin’s College Green a pedestrian zone were broadly welcomed but now it has come in for criticism for what is being seen as plans to ‘grey’ the area.

Academics and planners at a recent conference described the plans to remove the trees and replace it with a fully paved pedestrian plaza as “old fashioned thinking”.

Earlier this week the Irish Times reported that Dr Marcus Collier of the UCD School of Geography described the plans as a ‘”mistake”.

He said the emphasis on paving and removing trees as “old fashioned thinking which dates from the 1970s when we thought modern cities would be all concrete and steel”.

He added: “We now know they need to be much greener than that – for economic, sustainability and biodiversity reasons.”

Dr Collier pointed out that issues such as climate change, flooding, drainage to rivers, and biodiversity mean that we must take a different approach to the development of our cities. It was also claimed that green spaces are more economically viable and promote employment while ‘grey’ areas need substantial capital reinvestment.

The conference was organised by Dublin City Council and the international organisation TURAS – Towards Urban Resilience and Sustainability.

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Ian Carey

Ian is the editor of the Green News. He works as Communications Manger with the Irish Environmental Network.