Thu, Mar 30, 2023
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Trees! Dublin needs more trees. More particularly, the north inner city needs a lot more trees. We are the least green area in the entire city and the entire country. And Dublin as a whole city underperforms for tree coverage compared to other European cities (e.g. Dublin has 6% tree coverage whereas London has 21%).
Trees are great for a whole range of reasons - they provide shade in summer, shield from high winds, give drainage and prevent flooding and clean the air so we can all breathe a bit easier. They also help us manage our stress and anxiety levels and connect us to nature. People living in places that lack trees and green spaces tend to have higher rates of respiratory illnesses and poorer physical and mental health.
Trees are also an essential part of becoming a carbon neutral city. At certain times of the day and at certain times of year, Dublin’s trees are actually pulling in more carbon than our buildings, transport and infrastructure are creating! We need to develop this lung of the city so it can do even more work for us.
There are some exciting greening projects underway at the moment, particularly in the North Inner City. We have both a Stoneybatter and an North East Inner City (NEIC) greening strategy. Over the past few years, these strategies have resulted in a 40% increase in the tree coverage of the inner city - an amazing result thanks to the hard work of our parks department. Unlike other parts of the city, we do not have the luxury of space to develop big parklands and play spaces. But we can do a lot in terms of pocket parks, converting parking spaces to tree pits and reclaiming patches of concrete for greening all around the city.
Full details of the works planned in 2023 for the north inner city are below. Some of the highlights include:
I am particularly pleased to see progress in relation to Elizabeth Street and East Wall where I have been working with the residents over the past couple of years to bring forward ideas and enhance the greening of their area.
There will also be a consultation on the East Wall Recreation Centre coming soon. The parks department have assured me that they will cast the net widely during this consultation to gather ideas and plans for the wider greening of East Wall. I will continue to push for ambitious greening in East Wall. Last November, 26 trees were felled because of ill health and road works - this is a really unfortunate backward step for an area with so little greening so the works here are urgently needed in my opinion.
Some media about recent greening initiatives: https://dublinpeople.com/news/northsideeast/articles/2023/03/23/wasteland-inner-city-set-to-be-greened-under-council-plan/
If you have any ideas for other greening projects you would like to see in the inner city, please do get in touch! I would love to work with you on ideas and projects you have!