PROJECT: Dublin Docklands

The Urban Regeneration of Dublins Docklands and redundant port areas has witnessed rapid and unprecedented growth. An entire section of the city has been transformed using public and private investment into an international financial and corporate hub. It has redefined the role of the inner city and is now a key player in the national economy.


  • In the 1930s Dublin Corporation and the Irish Government set out to tackle the city’s housing problem through rehousing families to the suburbs. The clearance schemes worsened the problem of urban dereliction.
  • The growth of suburbanisation from the 1960s onwards led to the rapid physical, social and economis decay of the inner city.
  • The Docklands suffered acutely from the impact of late twentieth century technological and economic change causing massive reductions in port employment.
  • The population of the docklands was halved between 1900 and 1980s.
  • Chronic skill shortages within the local population for non manual positions resulted in high unemployment.
  • 1981 census- 24% of inner city unemployed. Overall result was widespread poverty and intolerable housing conditions.


  • Increase tax revenue and tackle problems within the national economy. Rejuvenation in partnership with private sector.
  • The efficient use of public investment in infrastructural facilities.
  • Create a new maritime city quarter with a strong economic and social base, with both the new and more established communities actively contributing to a shared future.
  • Reintegrate the river as an essential element in the urban environment.
  • Restore the historically significant yet decaying part of the urban core.
  • Reconnect the Docklands to the centre of the city.


  • 14 million euro was allocated to Dublin Corporation (1982).
  • An 11 hectare land bank north of Custom House Quay was nationalised for housing development.
  • A 526 hectare site, east of the central business district, was transformed by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (1997).
  • Availability of a skilled workforce and a strong talent pool.


  • Government incentives encouraged private enterprise to set up in the Docklands. A 10% corporation tax rate was established for certified companies setting up in the area.
  • Heavy industry dependent zones in high risk locations such as Grand Canal Docks and East Point, benefited from tax incentives to entice private developers to venture to the area.
  • Promote the development of the cultural and creative industries to attract a significant number of visitors to the Docklands.
  • Support local businesses to contribute to the diversification of employment oppurtunity within the area and mobilise skills.
  • The derelict, industrial wasteland has been transformed into a 400 million euo development.
  • A masterplan is created every 5 years to outline the strategy for the social, economic and physical regeneration of the area.


  • The Irish Financial Services Centre (1987) was developed into a global financial hub. It has re-integrated the Docklands with the city with major companies such as Google, Citibank, Commerzbank and Summitomo.
  • New Cultural attractions such as The Music Venue, The Convention Centre and The Grand Canal Theatre has enhanced the Docklands as a compelling destination for visitors.
  • The East Link Toll Bridge (1984), the Dublin Port Tunnel (2006) and an extended Luas line to Point Square (2009) has relieved surface road congestion to and from Dublin Port.
  • Investment of 6.2 million in a range of educational programmes to enable children to participate in the regeneration of the Docklands.


  • The population has grown from 17,500 (1997) to 27,000 (2013).
  • 11,000 new homes have been created of which 2200 (20%) are social and affordable.
  • Docklands residents are now a younger, educated population, the majority is 65% between 25-44 years.
  • Dublin, as the capital city, generates almost half the national Gross Domestic Product.
  • The collapse of the banking sector, combined with a major downturn in the Irish economy had a profound effect on the development sector and on the regeneration programme within the Docklands.


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