Dublin’s Docklands Neighborhood- the City’s Internationa Finance Centre set in a Quality Urban Environment

The Docklands/North Wall started to take shape in the 1990s and has continued to grow and expand since.¬† The Docklands is a revitalization of Dublin’s historic port and has become the City’s premiere business hub and International Financial Services Centre. I like the urban and public realm design of the South Strand are better than the North Wall district. Developers seem to have built the North Wall with limited thought to the pedestrian experience and creating quality public places. The Docklands neighborhood in general has done a good job creating quality waterfront trails and recreational spaces on both sides of the Liffey along the Hanover Quay and canals. The Roya Canal Linear Park is the best designed public park.

The Docklands also hosts many neighborhood amenities including  several grocery stores & drugstores and other essential stores. Plenty of entertainment options here as well (i.e. theaters, live music, cineplex, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs). Docklands, however, lacks the boutique stores more common in the Center City and hosts few museums or art galleries. This is a place designed well for the young professional and perhaps some empty nesters looking to feel young but certainly not a very family friendly neighborhood.

Click here to view my Docklands Album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great waterfront parks and recreational trails here along Liffey, Hanover Quay and the canal).
* Decent public plaza space (i.e. Royal Canal Linear Park, Pearse Square, Elizabeth O’Farrell Park, Central Square).
* Some of the cities most cutting edge modern architecture is located here. Also some stunning bridges crossing the Liffey.
* Infill generally is designed to a high urban form.
* Excellent dedicated bike lanes along the waterfront and on the bridges.
* Comfortable pedestrian environment with wide sidewalks and well designed streetscaping. Also well served by two streetcar lines.
* Solid retail amenities including plenty of groceries, drug stores, banks and other basic neighborhood amenities.
* Several theaters, a cineplex and plenty of restaurants and bars. Also several live music venues as well.
* Hosts the Dublin Convention Center.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Almost all of the historic docklands fabric has been erased. What does remain is in the western edge of the district but this is quickly be replaced.
* Some of the earlier in-fill (90s and 2000s) is rather bland.
* Tree canopy is a bit limited.
* Lacks boutiques, bookstores, clothing stores, and gift shops. Those are located further west in the Center City.
* Really no museums or art galleries here.