Green MEP Ciarán Cuffe has called for Dublin City Council to develop more parks in response to the rising number of apartments in the city. In a recent submission, Cuffe said that parks are invaluable amenities for those living in bustling urban environments, and that all Dublin residents should have a park within walking distance from their home. He also called for more drinking fountains, wilderness areas, and climbable trees in existing parks.
MEP Cuffe said:
“Traditionally, the Council has focused on larger and medium-sized park spaces. However, with more apartment living than ever before, there is a growing need to provide smaller ‘pocket parks’ within walking distance of people’s homes. People should be able to access even small pockets of green space without having to cross major roads.
“For the first time ever, there are over 1.5 million people living in our city. We need to build houses for these people first and foremost, that is without question the top priority. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of local and accessible green spaces for our physical and mental health. The provision of valuable local amenities like pocket parks for apartment dwellers should be a key feature in the Council’s parks strategy.”
MEP Cuffe also raised concerns about the underuse of existing parks, such as the limited pedestrian access and mixed use development surrounding Mountjoy Park. He further warned against the use of glyphosates and other toxic chemicals in parks.
“The provision of sheltered spaces in our parks would help prevent a lull in visitors during winter months. We could have more space for cafés in parks with outdoor seating, and particularly in proximity to playgrounds.”
The questionnaire by Dublin City Council, which closed on 15 September 2023, is part of a public consultation process in the development of a Dublin City Parks and Landscape Strategy.