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Ross O’ Ceallaigh Leeds Beckett Univeristy

Productive Dublin Strategy and Design Guide

MA Urban Design 14/15 Advanced Urban Design Project


“While green space is often viewed as something nice to have, Green Infrastructure implies something that we must have.” (Benedict and McMahon 2006, p2). The report begins with a short Introduction to the study. The study area is outlined, followed by key Aims, Research Question, Methodologies and an outline of the study’s structure. Section 2 is Literature Review of Green Infrastructure and it’s application for climate change adaptation in cities. Urban Agriculture is the focus of this project and receives special attention. In particlar, the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) (Viljoen 2005) concept is disscussed. The literature review is followed by a number of Case Studies in Section 3 which focus on city-wide green systems in order to understand how spaces can be connected on a large scale. The second half of the section is devoted to small scale Urban Agriculture interventions. The fourth section provides a historical analysis of Dublin with a brief review of the history of Urban Agriculture in the city. Dublin City as it exists today is presented along with a review of policies and plans relevent to this project. Section 5 tests the CPULs concept on the urban area of Dublin, and extrapolates strategies for the cityregion and inner city. Section 6 provides an outline of nine Typologies of spaces within the city centre. These Typologies have been chosen as a neat way of categorising spaces in order to prompt effective design interventions. Section 7 provides Design Guidance for how the CPUL strategy can be implemented on a site by site basis. A real example of each Typology is chosen to demonstrate suitable interventions. Finally, Section 8 concludes the study, followed by the Bibliography. The sources of images (figures) are listed in the Bibliography.


Section Section Section Section Section Section Section Section

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Introduction Literature Review Case Studies Dublin Testing Concepts Typologies Design Guidance Conclusion

1 5 15 29 39 51 65 91

Section 1

Introduction The short Introduction Section will provide a brief context for the project. The study site will be outlined, along with the the four main aims of the report. The main research questions and methodologies used are discussed. The argument of why this topic should be researched is made and the chapter finishes with a outline of the structure of the study.



Fig. 1.1 Dublin is on the East coast of Ireland. Fig. 1.2 Location of City Centre. Fig. 1.3 Study Area, between the Royal and Grand Canals

Context Dublin, much like Manchester and London, grew from a dense city centre to a sprawling metropolis of 1.4 million people. The urban area engulfs oncerural villages and extends even into neighbouring counties. This project takes the Inner City Centre as the study area, which is typically considered to be the area within the Grand Canal and Royal Canal. The administrative boundary of Dublin City Council extends beyond this point but for the sake of keeping the study to a mangeable size, the area shown in figure 1.3 has been chosen, although the whole urban area will be considered in Section 5. The hope is that the methods used in this project can be easily extended to the rest of the city, and to other cities.

Aims • To explore how Urban Agriculture can be used to combat climate change and make cities more resilient. • To test the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (Viljoen 2005) concept on a real city. • To create Typologies of spaces to aid design decisions. • To create a strategy and design guide for the implementation of Urban Agriculture in Dublin City Centre.

Fig. 1.1

Fig. 1.3


Fig. 1.2

1. Introduction

Research Questions

Why Research This?

• How can Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture be used for Climate Change adaptation? • How can Urban Agriculture be integrated into Dublin City Centre? • Is the Continuous Productive Urban Agriculture (CPULs) concept worth implementing? • How can the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes concept be implemented in a real city?

The current scientific consensus is that anthropogenic climate change is real and a serious threat to the planet (Anderegg et al, 2010). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that surface temperatures could rise by more than 2oC in this century (IPCC, 2014). There is ample research illustrating that Green Infrastructure should be systematically incorporated into urban climate change adaptation (Byrne & Yang, 2009; Gill et al, 2007).

Research Methodology

Structure of the Study

Desktop research was conducted for sections 2, 3, 4 and 7. This included analysis of books and academic articles relevent to Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture, and examples of Urban Agriculture projects around the world.

Section 2: Literature Review of Green Infrastructure and it’s application for climate change adaptation in cities. Urban Agriculture is the focus of this project and receives special attention. In particular, the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) concept is disscussed.

Observation over three years of living in the city, coupled with specific site visits played an important role in analysis.

Section 3 : Four Case Studies are presented which focus on city-wide green systems in order to understand how spaces can be connected on a large scale. The second half of the section is devoted to small scale Urban Agriculture interventions.

In order to identify Typologies (Section 6), qualitative analysis of public spaces was conducted. Finally, the concepts discovered through desktop research are tested through design, by applying them to the study area.

Section 4: Historical analysis of Dublin with a brief review of the history of Urban Agriculture in the city. Dublin City as it exists today is presented along with a review of policies and plans relevent to this project. Section 5: The CPULs concept is tested on the urban area of Dublin. Strategies are developed for the city-region and inner city. Section 6: Outline of nine Typologies of spaces within the city centre. These Typologies have been chosen as a neat way of categorising spaces in order to prompt effective design interventions. Section 7: Design Guidance for how the CPUL strategy can be implemented on a site by site basis. A real example of each Typology is chosen to demonstrate suitable interventions. Section 8: Conclusion of the study, followed by the Bibliography. The sources of images (figures) are listed in the Bibliography.


Section 2

Literature Review Green Infrastructure Urban Agriculture This study is largely concerned with Urban Agriculture. However, to examine Urban Agriculture in isolation would be to ignore its inherent multifunctionality and connection with the wider world of Green Infrastructure. With that in mind, this Section begins with a review of Green Infrastructure and its importance in Climate Change adaptation. Then, Urban Agriculture will be discussed and narrowed further to the concept of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) (Viljoen 2005). The idea of linking green spaces together (Greenways, Green Corridors, etc.) is a core part of the CPULs concept, and so is discussed in detail.


Green Infrastructure (GI) Introduction The word Infrastructure implies that GI be planned holistically and proactively, much like a transportation network (Walmsley, 2006). Closely linked with GI, is the concept of Ecosystem Services, which the NPPF defines as, “benefits people obtain from ecosystems, such as food, water, flood and disease control and recreation”. For instance ecosystem services in Ireland have been valued at over 2.6 Billion euro per annum (Comhar, 2010). However, GI also places emphasis on stewardship and enhancement of nature; “There is a need to proactively develop Green Infrastructures and ecological connectivity and address fragmentation, which will have the dual function of enhancing biodiversity and improving resilience and adaptation to climate change” (Comhar, 2010).

Fig. 2.1 Green Infrastructure has been proven to provide economic, social and evironmental benefits to cities; such as increased land values and improved mental health.

Green Infrastructure can be defined as “ interconnected network of natural areas and other open spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clean air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife. Used in this context, green infrastructure is the ecological framework for environmental, social and economic health - in short, our natural life-support system” (Benedict and McMahon, 2006).

Reducing CO2 through Green Infrastructure Trees and plants sequester carbon dioxide via photosynthesis. In the greenest cities, GI can substantially contribute to reductions in atmospheric CO2. For instance, in the Chinese city of Haikou, GI is responsible for offsetting 22.45% of the city’s carbon emissions (Chen, 2015). However, Haikou is currently an outlier. Total urban greenery in China is only responsible for 1.3% of total carbon sequestration by all vegetation (Chen, 2015). This indicates that rural ecosystems, such as forests, hold more promise for removing large amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. However, urban trees have indirect effects. Trees planted close to buildings provide shade to building faces. This reduces the need for air conditioning on sunny days, which can be four times as effective at reducing atmospheric carbon compared to sequestration (Akbari, 2001). For instance, it is estimated (for the USA) that reductions in the Urban Heat Island effect could potentially reduce air conditioning by 20%, thus saving $10 billion yearly. Akbari (2001) outlines the cumulative effects of urban tree planting. Plant enough trees, and there will be city-wide effects to energy use and microclimate. If every city plants trees, then there will be macro-level changes in energy use and global climate (Akbari, 2001).

Fig. 2.1


2. Literature Review Fig. 2.2 Dublin’s Urban Heat Island; The city centre in 3.5 degrees celcius hotter than the countryside in this example.

“Urban and suburban areas have long been observed to have heat islands, a ‘reverse oasis’ where air and surface temperatures are hotter than in their rural surroundings.” (Gartland 2008)

Combatting the Urban Heat Island Effect The Urban Heat Island effect has been long documented, with temperatures in urban areas up to 7oC higher compared to surrounding rural areas (Carter et al, 2015). This effect is caused by impermeable surfaces reducing moisture, dark materials, canyon-like urban forms, slower wind speeds and pollution (Gartland 2008). The number of extreme heat events is rising; for instance the 2003 European heat wave caused the death of 14,802 people in France, mostly in urban areas (UNEP, 2004). Under “business as usual” projections, urban areas are due to get even hotter (Carter et al, 2015). Trees and green spaces are central to cooling cities, and reducing mortality rates due to heat (Norton et al, 2015). For instance, a 20% increase in green cover in Glasgow could reduce surface temperature by 2oC (Emmanuel & Loconsole, 2015). Reductions on the scale of a 10% increase in green space equalling a 1oC reduction in temperature have been found for Melbourne (Coutts & Harris, 2013). Tree cover, particularly of broadleaf trees, provides shade, thereby reducing surface temperatures (Norton et al, 2015). However, Norton et al. (2015) make the point that a continuous dense canopy will actually act to trap heat, so a variety of tree types is preferable. Trees also engage in evapotranspiration, which leads to further cooling (Norton et al, 2015). The use of porous surfaces and Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, rather than stormwater pipes, keeps moisture at the surface, thus increasing evapotranspiration (Norton et al, 2015). Parks and green spaces of all sizes are necessary to act as islands of cool in a boiling city (Carter et al, 2015; Brown et al, 2015). “…increasing green space, especially in densely built-up areas is considered to be a valuable adaptation response” (Carter et al, 2015).

Fig. 2.2

Studies have shown that parks have cooler air temperatures than the surrounding urban environment (Bowler et al, 2010; Vanos et al., 2012). Depending on prevailing winds, this cool air can blow over the urban environment and reduce temperatures downwind (Yokohari et al, 2001). Brown et al. (2015) make the important point that urban parks should be ‘shaded green spaces’, rather than just ‘green spaces’, to maximise benefits. Despite the universal appeal of urban greening, attention must be paid to local climates. In a study of five cities in different climatic zones, Brown et al (2015) found that in seasonal climates, like Toronto, parks should incorporate coniferous and deciduous trees with open green spaces (Brown et al, 2015).


Urban Agriculture (UA) “Urban agriculture is an industry that produces, processes and markets food and fuel, largely in response to the daily demand of consumers within a town, city or metropolis, on land and water dispersed throughout the urban and peri-urban area, applying intensive production methods using and reusing natural resources and urban wastes, to yield a diversity of crops and livestock.” (Smit et al. 1996) Context: Industrial Agriculture Although estimates differ, one study calculated that food and catering account for 22% of a household’s total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK (Druckman and Jackson, 2010). This makes industrial food production a major contributor to climate change. The industrial agriculture model makes use of chemical inputs to increase yields, which can be harmful to the environment and humans (Paxton, 2005). The international import/export market means that produce is bought and sold internationally in seemingly irrational ways. For instance, in 1997, the UK imported 126 million litres of milk and exported 270 million litres of milk (Paxton, 2005). Tea leaves, bananas, lamb and corn circle around the globe, using far more energy in transport than the food actually provides (Viljoen, 2005). Ecosystem destruction and specialised farming of crop varieties means the loss of flora and fauna (Paxton, 2005). The use of pesticides is estimated to cause the death or illness of up to one million people annually, mostly in developing countries (Paxton, 2005). Furthermore, overprocessed and packaged foods are of low nutritional value, contributing to heart disease, diabetes and other ‘diseases of civilisation’ (Paxton, 2005). In order to reduce emissions, support health and be sustainable, food must become local again (Howe and Wheeler, 1999; Viljoen, 2005).

Precedents Urban agriculture is not new. The very first cities on earth had agriculture built-in to feed the population (Isendahl and Smith, 2013). For instance, ancient Maya and Aztec cities were low-density, agrarian settlements (Isendahl and Smith, 2013). “Maya and Aztec urbanism can be described as ‘‘sustainable’’ in that cities often flourished for many centuries, even millennia” (Isendahl and Smith, 2013, p133). In many Western industrialised countries, home food growing may be associated with times of hardship, such as the “Dig for Victory” campaign during WWII (figures 2.3 and 2.4) (Middleton, 1941). However, in many cities, urban agriculture makes a considerable contribution to daily food: • 800 million people worldwide (8% of population) are engaged in urban agriculture (Smit et al, 1996) • Singapore is fully self-reliant in meat and produces 25% of its veg needs (Smit et al, 1996) • Bamako, Mali is self-sufficient in vegetables and produces half the chickens it consumes (Smit et al, 1996) • 65% of Moscow families are involved in food production (Smit et al, 1996) • Hong Kong produces 45% of vegetables on 5-6% of urban land. (Howe and Wheeler, 1999)

Fig. 2.3

UA Growing in Europe The future of Urban Agriculture looks promising in Europe. The number of people growing food for personal consumption in EU15 countries increased markedly (though unevenly) between 2003 and 2007, from 9.6% to 15.5% of the total population (See figure 2.5) (Church et al, 2015). Although these statistics aren’t specifically for urban growers, they are still illuminating. Austrians have the greenest fingers, with 25% of the population engaged in food growing of some kind (Church et al, 2015). Ireland is at the bottom of the list, with only 5% of its small population growing their own (Church et al, 2015). Across most of Western Europe, the increase in food growing is largely associated with the need for low income families to supplement their bought foods (Church et al, 2015). The exception is in the UK, where the doubling of the number of growers was associated with older middle class people (Church et al, 2015). Fig. 2.4


2. Literature Review Fig. 2.5 Percentage change in number of households growing food in EU15 countries (Church et al, 2015). Fig. 2.6 Food can be grown on the balcony of city apartments. Fig. 2.7 Allotment farming. Fig. 2.8 Using upcycled materials to grow food. Fig. 2.9 Food growing can be accommodated in small places using creative design. Fig. 2.10 Public vegetable planting in Todmorden, UK. Fig. 2.11 Urban livestock is common in many developing countries.

Environmental Benefits The most obvious environmental benefit from urban agriculture is the reduction in food miles. Urban areas will never produce all the food they need but a signifant proportion would reduce carbon emissions from transport in a meaningful way (Viljoen, 2005). For instance, Viljoen (2005) estimates that London could produce 25% - 30% of its food needs from Urban Agriculture. Similar benefits regarding reducing temperatures, as discussed in the previous section, can be expected for Urban Agriculture, particularly if tree planting is integrated. Urban Agriculture tends to be organic, with the use of pesticides not allowed in cities, and because of environmental respect of growers (Girardet, 2008). Stanley (2002) suggests that if all agriculture in the UK was conducted organically, it would result in a saving of 40 million tonnes of carbon per year. This equals a 22% reduction in total UK emissions, more than twice the reduction promised under the Kyoto protocol (Stanley, 2002).

Fig. 2.5

Benefits to Growers

Fig. 2.9

Fig. 2.6

Fig. 2.7

Kortright and Wakefield (2011) found that, “growing food contributes to food security at all income levels by encouraging a more nutritious diet. The sustainability of household food sourcing and gardeners’ overall health and well-being also increased with food production”. Numerous authors have also noted that gardening and food growing improve quality of life and happiness (Kortright and Wakefield, 2011; Church et al, 2015; Middle et al, 2014; Viljoen, 2005).

Fig. 2.10

Fig. 2.8

Fig. 2.11


Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) Concept (Viljoen 2005) The driver of the Productive Dublin Strategy is the concept of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) (Viljoen, 2005; 2014). The main crux of the concept is the development of swathes of agricultural land in urban and peri-urban areas. The benefits of this have already been highlighted, in terms of reducing food miles and increasing much needed green space. Importantly, these productive sites will be multifunctional; for recreation, flood alleviation, biodiversity and walking routes. What makes this concept unique is the application of a spatial dimension. These landscapes will be continuous, linking existing green spaces, interweaving with the built form and relating to the surrounding rural area. This dimension is important for the movement of wildlife, promoting walking and cycling, and for connecting once-separated areas of a city.

“Depending on their individual settings and the urban fragment used, CPULs will read as parks or urban forests, green lungs or wilderness, axes of movement and journey, or places for reflection, cultural gathering and social play” (Viljoen, 2005, p11). The raison d’etre of CPULs is to grow produce and raise livestock for local consumption. In general, the urban productive land will be run commercially for retail in the city, either direct to consumer, or via existing supermarkets. This is a practical way of reducing the embodied energy of our food. Urban agriculture will likely never be able to produce 100% of food needs. Food will still need to be brought into the city, but in a more focused, needsoriented way.

Fig. 2.13

Fig. 2.12

As Green Infrastructure should be, CPULs will be multifunctional. They will be environmentally productive, by reducing emissions, cleaning air and promoting biodiversity. CPULs will be sociologically productive, by involving educational and leisure activities and promoting better nutrition and shopping habits. Finally, they will be economically productive, by keeping money in the local economy and dispersing it away from large agro-industrial companies.


Fig. 2.14

Fig. 2.15

2. Literature Review Fig. 2.12 The CPUL concept simplified into 4 steps. Fig. 2.13 A conceptual diagram of what a CPUL may look like, running through spaces and streets, and serving local residents. Fig. 2.14 A CPUL plan for Brighton showing movement from the countryside, through small spaces, into the city centre. Fig. 2.15 A pilot project in Brighton showing how one street can be transformed into a small “shard” of a larger CPUL. Fig. 2.16 A theoretical design for a CPUL in Southwark, London by Viljoen (2005)

Designing CPULs (Viljoen 2005) 1) Spaciousness There is no qualitative judgement on big or small space. This quality merely influences a spaces designation for certain activities and users. Size, and sense of size, can be manipulated through design. “Integration into interconnecting urban routes enhances the significance of individual open space within any urban network. To be able to walk continuously onwards from an open urban space extends the space beyond itself and into a very fine and slow layer of inner city movement” (Viljoen 2005, p110). Stimuli can come from many sources in the space but the best are from the natural environment, vegetation undergoing seasonal change, water, wind, sun, rain, etc. “...a visually stimulating place is more likely to be judged as being appropriately sized” (Viljoen 2005). 2) Occupation Occupation tends to be measured in quantitative terms, such as visitor numbers, or annual turnover. Viljoen (2005) suggests that qualitative criteria should be included, such as education, health benefits, community benefits, and personal enrichment. By focusing this way, urban spaces will develop strong “local interactions”. Attracting a large variety of occupants is as important as attracting large numbers of them. In reality, occupants are more concerned with being able to integrate and participate in a space, than with its size and location. 3) Ecology CPULs can satisfy people’s desire to be in nature, otherwise known as Biophilia. Quietness, both acoustic and visual, is important. They can provide respite from noise pollution, such as traffic. Air quality is better in green spaces, and this is improved in spaces that offer air circulation and vegetation. Quality of soil is fundamental to biodiversity.

Fig. 2.16


Why Connect Spaces Together? Introduction The terms Greenway, Ecological Corridor and Green Corridor tend to be used interchangeably in the literature so for the purpose of this discussion, the phrase Green Corridor will be used to mean: any linear landscape route which links green spaces together. Green Corridors are not a new idea, with Frederik Law Olmstead coining the term parkway in 1865 and designing interconnected park systems, such as Boston’s Emerald Necklace (Frink and Searns 1993). As Krummenacher et al. (2008) quips, “...greenways are increasingly seen as the amenity no twenty-first century metropolitan area can do without”. Why is this concept still so pervasive 150 years after its inception?

Ecology Green Corridors have long been cited to be axes of movement for wildlife (Smith and Hellmund 1993; Kohut et al 2009; Frink and Searns 1993). Mammals require uninterupted landscapes to avoid conflict with humans (and cars) and to preserve “ecological integrity in human-dominated landscapes” (Smith and Hellmund 1993, pxi). Kohut et al (2009) found that birds make use of Green Corridors as stop-over habitats when migrating. This adds credence to the idea of “green fingers” or “green wedges” which permeate from the countryside into the urban fabric.

“Urban greenways are proven strategies to counter ecological fragmentation and improve urban sustainability” (Teng et al 2011, p1) Economy For decades, the “proximate principle” has been used as economic justification for green space planning; that properties close to green spaces have higher market values (Krummenacher 2008). As previously mentioned, the linear structure of Green Corridors means that there are more properties nearby which enjoy higher market values. “Other things being equal, home buyers are willing to pay more for a house that is closer to a greenway than one that is more distant.” (Campbell and Munroe 2007, p134). In contrast, Jane Jacobs claims that the social and economic benefits of parks are only found when the underlying urban structure is also condusive to a good social and economic life: “Conventionally neighbourhood parks or park-like open spaces are considered boons conferred on the deprived populations of cities. let us turn this thought around and consider city parks deprived places that need the boon of life and appreciation conferred on them” (Jacobs 1961, p99).

Recreation and Health Green Corridors can act much like parks (or provide direct links to parks) by providing green space for physical activities such as walking, cycling and playing, and passive recreation such as sitting and relaxing in nature (Frink and Searns 1993). Their linear structure means there is a significant “edge effect”, meaning that many more people have close access a green space compared to traditional parks (figure 2.17) (Krummenacher 2008). There is debate about whether access to Green Corridors results in healthier lifestyles or whether it simply facilitates existing activities. In a before-andafter study, West and Shores (2015) found that the opening of a Green Corridor had no effect on the physical activity levels of nearby residents. However, it is possible that there is simply a delay effect between having access to a Green Corridor and a change in behaviour towards more physical activity. Perhaps a demand for green space must exist already. Krummenacher (2008, p23) posits that: “The rise of regional greenways is also a response to changing recreational patterns. More people are adopting active lifestyles involving hiking, jogging, bicycling, inline skating, and cross-country skiing.”


Fig. 2.17 A simple example of the “edge effect” of linear parks. A square green space has 6 buildings facing directly onto it, whereas a linear space of equal surface area has 14 propoerties directly overlooking it.

Fig. 2.17

2. Literature Review Fig.2.18 The Kirkstall Valley “Green Wedge” as it appears on an aerial photo. Fig. 2.19 - 2.23 The actual pedestrian experience of the Valley is car-dominated, vandalised and detatched from the river.

How are CPULs Different to Greenways? There are a number of peri-urban and suburban Greenways in County Dublin, and more are being planned. Essentially Greenways are cycling and walking routes that are separate from motor traffic, usually linking existing green spaces. They are a fantastic asset to the Greater Dublin Area, but CPULs are about pushing them past the one dimensional view of transport. With land at a premium, spaces must be as multi-functional as possible. By linking them together, the benefits are compounded (Landscape Insitute 2013). The distinction beteen CPULs and Greenways is obvious when comparing their definitions: “Key features of CPUL are outdoor spaces for food growing, leisure, movement and commerce shared by people, natural habitats, nonvehicular circulation routes and ecological corridors” (Viljoen and Bohn 2014).

“Greenways are communication routes reserved exclusively for non-motorised journeys, developed in an integrated manner which enhances both the environment and quality of life of the surrounding area. These routes should meet satisfactory standards of width, gradient and surface condition to ensure that they are both userfriendly and low-risk for users of all abilities.” (European Greenways Association 2000).

Fig. 2.18

From Concept to Reality

Fig. 2.19

A review of current literature suggests that the concept of Green Corridors is worth pursuing. However, this assumes that these green links are well designed and holistically implemented. Many cities have strategies for green corridors which look impressive in plan form but which actually make for a very poor pedestrian experience. An example is the Kirkstall Valley in Leeds, which appears as a lush green river route on an aerial photo, but is actually disconnected, vandalised and car-dominated in reality (figures 218 - 2.23).

Fig. 2.21


Fig. 2.20

Fig. 2.22

Fig. 2.23

This section has reviewed relevent literature and argues that Green Infrastructure, and in particular Urban Agriculture, is key to adapting cities to Climate Change. The spatial organisation of GI, as interconnected Green Corridors (which is at the centre of the CPULs concept) hold promise for the effective delivery of these principles. However, Green Corridors and CPULs must be designed at all scales, to ensure the desired user experience. The next chapter will review Case Studies of how these principles have been applied in real cities.


Section 3

Fig. 3.1

Case Studies For this section, four case studies have been selected in order to understand how concepts have been applied in reality. Because CPULs don’t exist yet, the focus of these studies are on interconnected green networks, urban agriculture and multifunctional landscapes. Hamburg and Helsinki have city-wide green corridor systems; the Hamburg Green Network Plan and Helsinki Green Fingers. The DOTT07 project in Middlesbrough presents a novel way of implementing urban agriculture into an urban centre. Finally, the Boston South West Corridor Park case study is an analysis of a highly effective green corridor which links the outskirts of Boston ot the city centre. Following these case studies, numerous small-scale interventions, which are vital for the implementation of CPULs, are examined. These include permaculture, allotments, Incredible Edible and Green Streets.


Hamburg Green Network

Fig. 3.2 A plan to cover a highway with a linear park, including food growing space. Fig. 3.3 The Hamburg Green Network strategy, showing green corridors extending into the city centre. Fig. 3.4 Playground in residential area. Fig. 3.5 One of Hamburg’s Urban Forests. Fig. 3.6 A Formal green space in the city centre.

Connecting Spaces Key Actors Hamburg City Planners

Description (The following information is cited from Hamburg Landscape Programme, n.d.).

“These around 245,000 trees lining the streets not only beautify the city, they are also vital for the micro-climate, the mitigation of air pollution, and they are habitats for a variety of wildlife, especially birds” (Hamburg Landscape Programme, n.d.).

Hamburg has styled itself as the “Green Metropolis” of northern Germany. Indeed, the city’s focus on interconnected green space and tree planting began in the early 20th Century, with the Axial Concept of 1919. The head of Hamburg’s Building Department devised a plan of concentrated development along radial axes, with “green interaxial spaces” in between to provide public open space. Green corridors gave structure to the city, linking the city centre to the countryside. This meant that as Hamburg grew, the protection of open space was built right into the planning system. The system is still visible today with two Green Rings (one around the historical city centre, and other between the inner and outer city, about 8-10km from the town hall) and the outer Landscape Axes reaching to the countryside. The green links include riverside walks, marshland, woodland, arable land, public parks, cemeteries, playgrounds and allotments. Now Hamburg is embarking on an ambitious plan to connect together the small fragmented green spaces in the inner city.

“Narrow green corridors and footpaths in the shape of green streets with reduced traffic will connect the smaller green open spaces and create links to the Landscape Axes and the Green Rings. Many journeys home, to work, to the shops and to the recreational areas can be separated from the traffic and take place in pleasant green surroundings” (Hamburg Landscape Programme, n.d.).

Fig. 3.4

Fig. 3.2


Fig. 3.5

• Strong Planning Controls • Public Realm Design

Design Lessons • Extensive Tree Planting • “Green Streets” • Designing at Multiple Scales (From strategy to street level)


Fig. 3.3

Fig. 3.6

3. Case Studies

Fig. 3.7


Helsinki Green Fingers

Fig. 3.8 Helsinki Green Fingers. Fig. 3.9 One of Helsinki’s Urban Forests. Fig. 3.10 The Vanhankaupunginlahti Wetlands. Fig. 3.11 A popular green space at Aalto University. Fig. 3.12 Extensive tree planting on pedestrian friendly streets.

Continuous Urban Landscapes Key Actors

“...most of the green space in the southern part of the city consists of carefully designed parks. In the middle parts of the city area there are some forested areas as well as allotment gardens, whilst in the north, where the city is constructed of ancient fields, meadows and areas under cultivation are common.” (Clark 2006, p231)

Helsinki City Planners

Description 46% of the Helsinki urban area is green space (Jaakola 2012). Spatially, this green space is visible by 6 Green Fingers, with permeate from the countryside to the city centre. “Central Park” is one of the fingers, and reaches from the city centre to another city to the north called Vantaa (Clark 2006). Another finger follows the Vantaanjoki River and connects the city to the wetlands area of Vanhankaupunginlahti bay (Clark 2006). Of this green space, 65% is forested, with the east part of the city being particularly dominated by forest (Clark 2006). Forests are a multifunctional GI; sequestering carbon, promoting biodiversity and providing for recreation. A study by Neuvonen et al. (2007) reveals that 97% of Helsinki residents participate in outdoor recreation during the year. About half the population engage in daily outdoor recreation. The most common activity was walking for fitness or pleasure, but respondents also engaged in cycling, jogging and dog walking. The main driver for this healthy behaviour was found to be the short distance to green areas available to residents (Neuvonen et al. 2007)

Fig. 3.9

Methods Fig. 3.10

• Strong Planning Controls • Public Realm Design

Design Lessons • • • •

Multifunctional Landscapes (such as urban forests) Inter-city GI Network Connecting Important Ecosystems (wetlands) Active Lifestyle Through Access to Green Space

Fig. 3.11

Fig. 3.8


Fig. 3.12

3. Case Studies Fig. 3.13 Middlesbrough “Opportunities Map” prepared by Bohn and Viljoen Architects to guide the creation of CPULs. Fig. 3.14 Planters during the DOTT07 proejct. Fig. 3.15 Communtiy Consultation event. Fig. 3.16 Growing food in a school. Fig. 3.17 Strategic visioning of CPULs at community consultation event.

Middlesbrough Urban Farming Project

A CPUL City in Progress

Key Actors Bohn and Viljoen Architects, UK Design Council, Local Community

Description (The following information is cited as Viljoen and Bohn, 2014). This project formed part of the UK Design Council’s two-year initiative called Designs of the Time 2007 (DOTT07). Bohn and Viljoen, the initiators of the CPUL concept (Viljoen, 2005) joined multiple other partners in a projectled approach to catalyse food growing in Middlesbrough. Food was grown in public parks, schools, window sills, and gardens across the town. Multiple events took place, including food growing workshops and a Town Meal in 2007; for which 2000 new urban farmers produced fruit and veg to feed 2’500 people in a communal feast in a city square. This town meal is still an annual event and urban farming has continued to grow in Middlesbrough. Bohn and Viljoen produced an Opportunities Map (figure 3.13) for the city, which guides the use of new growing spaces and, in the long term, the creation of CPULs.

Methods • • • •

Project-Led Approach Community Consultation Strategic Visioning Use of Events as Catalysts (“Town Meal”)

Design Lessons • • • •

Fig. 3.13

Fig. 3.14

Fig. 3.15

Fig. 3.16

Fig. 3.17

Growing Food in Highly Visible Ways Urban Agriculture at Various Scales/Locations Growing on “Leftover Space” (e.g. verges) Diversifying Land Uses (e.g. growing food in public parks)


Boston Southwest Corridor Park A Successful Green Corridor

Fig. 3.18 Aerial photo of Corridor Park weaving through urban fabric. Fig. 3.19 Part of the park before construction. Fig. 3.20 The length of the park, reaching from the city centre of Boston to the suburbs. Fig. 3.21 - 3.24 There is a variety of landscape types along the Corridor Park.

Key Actors Public Protestors, Local Government, Volunteers (Southwest Corridor Park Conservancy)

Description (The following information is cited as SWCPC website, n.d.). In the 1960s, a 12 lane highway was planned to be built along a railway line through the communities of Jamaica Plain, South End, and others. However, community opposition was so overwhelming that the plans were dropped and replaced with mass transit and a linear park, which opened in 1987. The SWCP is 7.5 km long and 52 acres in total. It provides a continuous walking and cycling route from Jamaica Plains to Back Bay, largely separate from motor traffic. Along the route are various open spaces, flower gardens, sports facilities and community food gardens.

Methods • Democratic Planning • Reallocation of Funds • Public Realm Design

Fig. 3.19

Design Lessons • • • •

Creating Space Along an Existing Boundary (Rail Line) Integrating Multiple Uses (recreation, transport, etc.) Separate Cycling and Walking Lanes High Permeability and Legibility

Fig. 3.21


Fig. 3.18

Fig. 3.22

Fig. 3.20

Fig. 3.23

Fig. 3.24

3. Case Studies Fig. 3.25 Permaculture can include animars, such as hens and pigs, which play a role in the system and provide protein. Fig. 3.26 The philisophical underpinnings of Permaculture; tying together environmental and social concerns. Fig. 3.27 A permaculture farm in a suburban garden in Sheffield. Fig. 3.28 A permaculture farm on a larger site. Fig. 3.29 A diagram showing the interaction between types of plants in a permaculture system (which here is referred to as a Forest Garden)

Small Scale Interventions Permaculture

“Consciously designed landscapes which mimic the patterns and relationships found in nature, while yielding an abundance of food, fibre and energy for the provision of local needs” (Holmgren, 2002) Fig. 3.25

Permaculture is a method of agriculture derived from nature. Its name comes from the vision of a Permanent Agriculture, as outlined by its founder, Bill Mollison (1988). As a manual, Mollison (1988) created 8 key principles: 1. Work with nature. 2. All nature plays a part in working land, e.g. worms aerate the soil. 3. Use minimum effort for maximum effect. 4. Increased yields. 5. Outputs become inputs. 6. Each function should be supported by many elements. 7. Each element performs several functions. 8. Relative location, i.e. each element within the system should be located within the place most beneficial for the whole system.

Fig. 3.26

Fig. 3.28

Permaculture is a step beyond organic farming. Along with a lack of pesticides, permaculture emphasises the interconnectedness of plants, encourages self-regulatory systems, has a circular metabolism and an ethical foundation (Sherriff, 2005). It is generally understood that permaculture plots (also referred to as Forest Gardens) are far more productive per square metre compared to conventional agriculture (Whitefield, 1993; Sherriff, 2005; Holmgren, 2002). It can be likened to (and resembles) a forest, which is dense with plants growing on all levels, from high canopies to small shrubs and herbs and much in between (Whitefield, 1993); “The production of plant material is mind boggling compared, say, to a wheat field which is only a single layer about half a metre high” (Whitefield, 1993, p2). The highly efficient nature of a small permaculture plot makes it ideal for the urban environment, either to help a family be self-sustaining, or as a commercial enterprise (Sherriff, 2005).

Fig. 3.27

Fig. 3.29


Fig. 3.30 A Commercial SPIN farm in an urban garden in Calgary, Canada. Fig. 3.31 Many urban farmers sell their produce at farmers markets, making their food miles virtually insignificant. Fig. 3.32 Rice fields at Shenyang Campus, China. Fig. 3.33 An aerial view of Shenyang Campus.

Intensive Commercial Farming

Food Landscaping

Using methods such as Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farming, urban growers can produce thousands of kgs of produce every year on less than an acre (Stone 2015). Entrepreneurial farmers grow on small plots (such as gardens) and sell direct to consumer via delivery or farmers markets. Curtis Stone, an urban SPIN farmer in Canada, makes $80’000 annually growing food on a quarter of an acre (Stone 2015). This kind of urban growing supports the three pillars of sustainability, by reducing carbon emmissions, supporting local employment, and promoting healthier lifestyles.

Edible plants can be used as a landscaping element when a more formal design is sought. For instance, on Shenyang University campus in China, the landscape architects, Turenscape, used rice fields to create a unique public space for students (Turenscape Website). It was designed to link the modern University to China’s traditional agriculture (Turenscape Website). The rice is actually harvested and used in the university cafeteria (Turenscape Website). One of the drivers for the project was a low budget. Using rice plants was far cheaper than than typical landscaping (Turenscape Website).

Fig. 3.32

Fig. 3.30


Fig. 3.31

Fig. 3.33

3. Case Studies Fig. 3.34 The perimeter fence of Hyde Park Allotments in Leeds is heavily planted to give privacy to food growers and integrate the allotements with the surrounding park. Fig. 3.35 The entrances to the Hyde Park allotments are subtle and vernacular. Fig. 3.36 A typical Incredible Edible planter in Todmorden, inviting everyone to pick vegetables. Fig. 3.37 The Incredible Edible movement has spread across the world. Here, is Incredible Edible planting in a French city.

Allotment Aesthetics

Incredible Edible Planting

Allotments often suffer from a scruffy, run-down aesthetic due to the use of recycled and upcycled materials. In fact, these materials should be encouraged on environmental grounds. In order to reduce negative visual impact on the surrounding space, green walls and vegetation can hide allotments. This also gives more privacy and security to allotment holders.

A group of residents in a small town in northern England decided to “Act Local and Think Global” by planting vegetables in underused spaces all around their town with signs that proclaimed that the vegetables were free for anyone to pick (IET Website). Incredible Edible Todmorden was born, and so was a whole new way of conducting Urban Agriculture. Incredible Edible Planting is an excellent way of spreading awareness and getting people excited about food growing. Planting can take any shape or form; from simple raised beds, to more formal designs (IET Website). Typically this planting is accompanied by signs explaining what type of food is growing and when it’s ready to eat (IET Website).

Fig. 3.34 Fig. 3.36

Fig. 3.35

Fig. 3.37


Fig. 3.38 - 3.39 Bee Hives and information in a residential park in Dublin City Centre. Fig. 3.40 - 3.42 Above the Pavement, The Farm, otherwise known as Public Farm 1, was a a temporary urban farm at the Museum of Modern Art in Queens, NY.

Bee Hives

Temporary Installations

Bee populations are declining worldwide (Benbow 2012). They are vital to sustaining life on Earth because of their role in pollination (Benbow 2012). Urban areas actually provide an opportunity for renewing bee populations because of the diversity of plant types in a small area (Benbow 2012). Urban beehives can be kept in back gardens, rooftops, public parks and virtually anywhere else. They can play a important educational role.

Temporary installations and exhibitons can be used to animate forgotten spaces. Or, a popular space can be used to raise awareness for Urban Agriculture and Climate Change. Example: Above the Pavement, The Farm!, a suspended urban farm made of cardboard tubes which integrated rainwater harvesting was used to engage people with the future of food growing (Andraos and Wood 2010).

Fig. 3.40

Fig. 3.38


Fig. 3.39

Fig. 3.41

Fig. 3.42

3. Case Studies Fig. 3.43 Simple signage describing what is planted and when it’s ready to be picked. Fig. 3.44 A Demonstration Garden to spread awareness about food growing. Fig. 3.45 - 3.46 Informal, “wild” landscaping can be beautiful and multifunctional.

Educational Planting

“Rewilding” Formal Landscapes

Any edible planting can have an educational component, by including well designed signage which explains what’s growing and why. This is especially important in busy city centre locations where a high number of visitors have the opportunity to learn about food growing. Public planting (such as Incredible Edible Planting) should include signage about what is growing, how to prepare it and when it is ready to be picked (figure 3.43). Purely educational planting could include experimental growing techniques and demonstration gardens.

Many overly-formal landscapes don’t provide many Green Infrastructure benefits. In order to make these spaces multifunctional and productive, we may need to embrace a messier, more wild aesthetic. This might include any combination of the previous interventions discussed. By allowing lawns to grow long, and introducing Ecological Planting; edible amd non-edible plants which promote biodiversity

Fig. 3.43 Fig. 3.45

Fig. 3.44

Fig. 3.46


Fig. 3.47 - 3.48 Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm. Fig. 3.49 A page from Sustrans’ (n.d.) Connect2 Greenways Guide showing how typical roads can be designed to prioritise the pedestrian and cyclist.

129 Diagram showing various urban arrangements for Greenways

Rooftop Farms Land is at a premium in the city centre. However, many buildings have roofs that could be easily converted to intensive commercial farms. The largest rooftop farm in the world, Brooklyn Grange, cultivates food over two acres in Brooklyn and Queens, NY (de Boer 2012). It produces thousands of pounds of fresh produce, honey and eggs for local residents (de Boer 2012). However, even small roofs can create an impact of reducing food miles.

Fig. 3.47


The traffic-free Greenway


Crossing to the town streets with a signalised crossing


Pedestrians on a tree-lined street with cyclists on a low flow, low speed road


Pedestrians cross on raised pavement for priority. Cyclists have short length of cycle lane to mark junction


Pavement too narrow for trees so plant in build-outs


Cyclists and pedestrians cross on a raised table crossing


Pavement widened to take trees and create promenade leaving one-way traffic and counter-flow cycle lane


Raised table crossing


Widened footway sufficient for shared use on footway appropriate beside busy road


Raised zebra crossing of main road for shared use


Pedestrianised street, home zone type area, or pedestrianised town centre with cycling allowed


Raised table with signals


Take every opportunity to slip off Green Streets into a section of true Greenway in a park

Green Streets The term “Green Street” is usually associated with SuDS systems. For instance, the American EPA says, “a Green Street is a street that uses natural processes to manage stormwater runoff at its source” (EPA 2009). Sustrans in the UK puts the emphasis on active travel; “streets where the pedestrian and the cyclist are welcomed, and given a degree of priority” (Sustrans n.d.). For the purpose of this study, the broadest possible definition will be used; a Green Street is designed to give priority to pedestrians and cyclists with integrated green infrastructure.

Fig. 3.48


Fig. 3.49 11. Green Streets and Urban Greenways

3. Case Studies

Conclusion Case Study Methods





• Strong Planning Controls • Public Realm Design

• Strong Planning Controls • Public Realm Design

• • • •

• Democratic Planning • Reallocation of Funds • Public Realm Design

Design Lessons

• Multifunctional Landscapes • Extensive Tree Planting • “Green Streets” • Designing at Multiple Scales (From strategy to street level)

• Multifunctional Landscapes (such as urban forests) • Inter-city GI Network • Connecting Important Ecosystems (wetlands) • Active Lifestyle Through Access to Green Space

• Growing Food in Highly Visible Ways • Urban Agriculture at Various Scales/ Locations • Growing on “Leftover Space” (e.g. verges) • Diversifying Land Uses (e.g. growing food in public parks)

Project-Led Approach Community Consultation Strategic Visioning Use of Events as Catalysts (“Town Meal”)

• Creating Space Along an Existing Boundary (Rail Line) • Integrating Multiple Uses (recreation, transport, etc.) • Separate Cycling and Walking Lanes • High Permeability and Legibility

Reviewing the Case Study findings side by side in the table above, it is apparent that the creation of CPULs will involve a collaboration of many groups. Strong planning authorities, visionary practitioners and motivated communities need to work together to realise a sustainable agricultural urbanism. Coupled with this, it is paramount that practitioners design at all scales; from strategic visioning to public realm improvements. However difficult, the individual pieces of the CPUL concept are all visible in existing cities (urban food growing, green netoworks and multifunctional spaces). This means it is entirely possible for a real CPUL city to exist someday.


Section 4


Background & Analysis Section 4 provides the backdrop for the rest of the study. It begins with an overview of Dublin’s urban history; how it was founded and how it grew to it’s current form. The last 20 years has seen huge changes in Dublin’s urban form due to the excesses of the “Celtic Tiger”. These manifestations are discussed, giving an impression of how Dublin appears today. Following this, the presence of Urban Agriculture in Dublin is discussed, both in the past and today. Section 4 concludes with a review of current strategies and plans which are relevent to this study.


“Áth Cliath”

This period of history saw the English truly establishng control over Ireland. This led to severe overcrowding and disease in Dublin. The 16th and 17th Centuries saw much civil unrest as the native Irish fought the invading English (Dickson 2014). The population of the city surpassed 60’000 by the year 1700. Dublin was then the second largest city in the British Empire (Brady and Simms 2001). Note St. Stephens Green in figure 4.3; Dublin’s first civic park which still exists today.

A Concise Urban History Dublin grew from two settlements on the River Liffey; Duiblinn and Áth Cliath (McCullough 2007). Note the pool of water which gives Dublin it’s name. “Linn Duib” translates as “Black Pool” in Irish, the site of the present day Dublin Castle. After many years of Viking raids, Scandinavians finally settled in Dublin at this site in 841 (McCullough 2007). Áth Cliath (which is still Dublin’s Irish name) means “Ford of the Hurdles” in reference to the primitive bridge which spanned the river at this point, was a gaelic settlement (McCullough 2007).

Over the next few centuries, the population of Dublin grew to include a mixture of Norse settlers, native Irish and English invaders (McCullough 2007). The small walled city of Medievel Dublin (c.1400) held a population of between 5000 and 10’000 people (Brady and Simms 2001). During this period, many important cathedrals were built which still stand today, such as Christchurch Cathedral (visible in figure 4.7) and St Patrick’s Cathedral (Brady and Simms 2001).

Fig. 4.1: 841

Fig. 4.2: 1610

1000: Viking Dublin artist’s render.


1600: Medieval Dublin artists render

Fig. 4.6

Fig. 4.7

Fig. 4.3: 1700 1800: The Georgian period saw the building of both grand government buildings and ordinary terraces.

Fig. 4.8

4. Dublin The city centre expanded tremendously in the 18th and 19th centuries, within the newly established Canal ring (Dickson 2014). However, the 1800s also saw the expansion of surrounding villages into the city’s suburbs (Dickson 2014). Major rebuilding occurred. The Wide Streets Commission replaced narrow, Medievel lanes with with grand boulevards, such as O’Connell Street (Brady and Simms 2001). This period left a legacy of Georgian architecture. Buildings along the Liffey were required to face the river and have high quality frontages (Brady and Simms 2001). During this period of Georgian Dublin, five Georgian squares, the city’s first civic green spaces, were built, which still exist today (Dickson 2014). Phoenix Park, part of which is visible on the left side of the map, was opened to the public in 1745 (Dickson 2014).

In the 20th Century, Dublin suffered huge damage during the War for Independence (Dickson 2014). Compare the two photos of O’Connell Bridge and O’ Connell Street below (figures 4.10 - 4.11), which show how many historic buildings were destroyed during the War for Independence with Britain. Also note the tram lines in the older photos. Dublin’s extensive tram network was removed and replaced by the cheaper motor bus after Independence. The modern city now has only two tram lines which is expanding slowly. The city saw exponential growth during the last century with the urban area sprawling into the countryside and neighbouring counties (Dickson 2014).

Fig. 4.4: 1851

Fig. 4.5: 2015

1831: View of Dublin from Phoenix Park. Note Wellington’s Monument on the left, which is still present today.

1905: O’ Connell Street

1916: O’ Connell Street after the 1916 Rising

Fig. 4.9

Fig. 4.10

Fig. 4.11


Modern Dublin

Fig. 4.12 Character Areas and general Land Use in Dublin City Centre. Fig. 4.13 The urban area of Dublin.

During the Celtic Tiger years of economic growth (1995-2008), Dublin’s landscape changed drastically. Ireland moved from a historically rural and poor population to one of Europe’s most modern nations (Dickson 2014). In 2004, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU 2004) predicted that Ireland would be the best country in the world to live in the following year. Some local commentators were less convinced of the benefits of Ireland’s boom. Cullen (2004) claims that economic growth “has depleted our true wealth our health, our society and our environment”.

“The city of Dublin in the Celtic Tiger Years (c.1995-2007) was a city of youthful excess, manic and present-centred. Yet it was framed by a soft historical narrative, which became integral to the commercial branding of its identity. Dublin’s history was packaged and commodified as never before” (Dickson 2014)

The housing bubble during this time manifested in massive suburban growth (Fahey et al 2007). For reference, compare figure 4.13 (in which the city centre comprises a mere fraction of the urban area of Dublin) with figure 4.4 on page 35 (150 years ago, the urban area fit comfortably within the canals). The inner city was the focus of much regeneration in recent years, most notably the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and Docklands regeneration. These areas are now the hub of modern architecture and urbanism in Dublin. Despite the negativity of suburban growth and relaxed planning controls (Fahey et al 2007), Dublin has seen investment in public realm projects, pedestrianisation, public art and infrastructure in recent years. The city centre remains a strong magnet for employment, shopping and culture (Dickson 2014).


Fig. 4.12

Fig. 4.13

4. Dublin

Docklands Redevelopment

Suburban Housing

Unfinished Developments

Fig. 4.14 The docklands area of Dublin was partially redeveloped before the economic collapse of 2008. Note the cylindrical Convention Centre and bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Fig. 4.15 Pictured above are typical suburban housing estates which were built en masse during the housing bubble. This had the effect of dispersing the population away from the dense city centre and increasing reliance on car use.

Fig. 4.16 Towards the end of the boom, the city saw development of more dense, mixeduse schemes. However, this move towards sustainable urbanism was halted by the economic crises of 2008 and many schemes remain unfinished.


The Spire

Street Life

Fig. 4.17 In the early 20th century, Dublin had an extensive tram system which was uprooted by the newly founded Irish Free State in the 1930s. The LUAS tram opened in 2004 with two lines, mostly serving the south side of the city. In 2014, it carried 32.4 million passengers.

Fig. 4.18 The Spire is a monument to modern Dublin and was erected on O’ Connell street in 2003. The ₏4 million stainless steel spike is a reminder of the civic audacity felt in those years.

Fig. 4.19 The core city centre enjoys a metropolitan street life with pedestrianised streets and outdoor cafe seating. However, the dominance of the car is still felt on the streets.


Urban Agriculture in Dublin

Fig. 4.20 Artists rendition of the Rooftop Farm’s City Centre location (Note The Spire in the background, on O’ Connell Street) Fig. 4.21 Food growing in upcycled alcohol containers donated by Diageo. Fig. 4.22 The Rooftop Farm, using various growing methods and upcycled materials. Fig. 4.23 Upcycled barrels have a wormery at the centre, providing netrients for vegetables growng out the sides..

History (Cullen 2008) At the beginning of the 20th Century, Dublin was a quickly growing city that lacked industries to employ the population. The establishment of the Vacant Land Cultivation Society in 1910 was a response to the need to supplement income with home grown produce. The society opened 23 allotments. With the coming of The Great War in Europe, allotment use increased, as it did in Britain. By 1917, 487 plots were recorded in Dublin. This figure reached 2000 by 1923 and continued to grow into the coming decades. Allotment numbers reached a peak in 1941, with the Irish Allotment Holders Association reporting over 6000 allotments under cultivation. At this point the War for Independence had ended and Ireland had become the Irish Free State. Allotments were seen more as a leisure activity and opportunity for socialising, rather than a result of war-time frugality. However, with growing wealth and popularity of the supermarket, growing food became less popular. Moving into the second half of the century, allotment use had connotations of war-time poverty and quickly dropped off.

Contemporary Urban Agriculture

Fig. 4.20

Fig. 4.21

Allotment use has had a resurgence in the wake of the 2008 Economic Crises. Kettle and Corcoran (2013) report that the four local authorities in Dublin provide just over 1000 resident allotments. Some key figures in the community have been pioneering a more contemporary approach to UA in the city. One interesting demonstration of using negative space is The Chocolate Factory Rooftop Farm pilot project (Urban Farm Website). This urban farm was located on the roof of an old chocolate factory (now an Arts Collective) in the city centre of Dublin (Chocolate Factory Website). All materials used on the farm are upcycled, from salvaged or donated items (Kelly, 2013). For 24 months, the purpose of the farm was to experiment and demonstrate intensive organic agriculture methods; including planters (fig. 4.21), wormery/planter hybrids (fig. 4.23), aquaponics and several hens (Kelly, 2013). The farm is partnered with a startup company, City Composting Ltd., which uses bikes to collect household organic waste in order to compost it for use in sustainable farming initiatives such as this (Urban Farm Website). This is an attempt to create a local circular metabolism, turning waste into a resource. Fig. 4.22


Fig. 4.23

4. Dublin Fig. 4.24 Traffic Calming and Public Realm improvement proposed for Westmoreland Street. Fig. 4.25 Traffic Calming and Public Realm improvement proposed for College Green, one of the busiest pedestrian routes in the city, outside Trinity College Dublin. Fig. 4.26 Proposed major cycling routes from the Dublin City Transport Study (NTA 2015)

Relevant Strategies and Plans Dublin City Transport Study (NTA 2015)



The Dublin City Transport Study was released in June 2015 and is now open for public consultation. It represents a major shift in thinking away from highway engineering to urban design. The report envisages major traffic restrictions in the city centre, and puts the pedestrian and cyclist centre stage in Dublin’s future. Cars will be taken out of the way to make room for a better public realm, wider footpaths, cycle lanes, a new electric bus system and extensions to the LUAS tram line. In total, €150 million is proposed to be spent upgrading the city’s transport system.

“As Dublin begins to grow again it is vital that plans are in place to allow the city to avoid the problems which were experienced before [during the Celtic Tiger], and to enable it to develop as a major European Capital City.” (NTA 2015). These plans fit perfectly into the Productive Dublin Strategy for a more sustainable Dublin. Dublin City Council has taken the position that the public realm and pedestrian environment is important. The Productive Dublin Strategy and Design Guide seeks to maximise this forward thinking with the introduction of urban food growing into the city.

Fig. 4.24


Fig. 4.25


Fig. 4.26


Fig. 4.27 Phase 2 of the Royal Canal Greenway Proposal. Fig. 4.27 Phase 3 of the Royal Canal Greenway Proposal

Grand Canal Greenway

Royal Canal Greenway

The Grand Canal is the southern canal which encircles the inner city. In 2010, the Grand Canal Greenway was opened, which provides a high quality cycle and pedestrian route along the canal (Cullen 2010). This acts as an important axes of movement for sustainable transport, allowing people a truly car-free commuting and leisure route.

Plans have recently been made for a Royal Canal Greenway for the north side of the city (Kelly 2015). This would serve a similar purpose as the Grand Canal Greenway. There is currently the problem of anti-social behaviour along this route, which the council hopes to solve with CCTV and security fencing at certain locations (Kelly 2015). Interestingly, Phase 2 (figure 4.27) of the plan includes space for resident allotments. Suggestions from this author would include putting more emphasis on green infrastructure, for instance through edible planting and using green walls instead of security fencing. Some of the landscaping elements proposed are little more than green lawns made from leftover space. More thought needs to be put into how the surrounding communities could use these spaces while incorporating a multifunctional GI approach.


0 M5

Grand Canal

New soft edge in accordance with ecological advice



New ramp by Croke Park to provide universal access





Navigation of the Canal is unaffected






Image Orientation

Sheriff Street Upper




t L ow


North Strand Road


No r so


Widening of existing towpath without impacting on the Canal

2 of 3


Phase 2


Potential skate park location



Phoenix Park

Phase 3












Elevated ramp access to Newcomen Bridge







h ug

a Ro

Phibsborough Road Drucondra Road Ballybugh Road




Phase 3

Ballybough Road to Drumcondra Road

Ashtown Road Ratoath Road Broombridge Road





Board Number

Phase 4 al

al Can Roy







Grand Canal



Image Orientation


Landscaped cycle route


Phase 2

Sheriff Street Upper

No connection at Oriel St but stakeholders to review desirability of this opening to be undertaken 12 - 18 months after the opening of the cycle / pedestrian route. Potential Community gardens / allotments


Phase 3

North Strand Road

Phoenix Park

Boundary Wall raised in response to residents concerns

Potential Enclosed playground


Phibsborough Road Drucondra Road Ballybugh Road

Sheriff Street Upper to North Strand Road

No connection at Oriel St but stakeholders to review desirability of this opening to be undertaken 12 - 18 months after the opening of the cycle / pedestrian route.

Ashtown Road Ratoath Road Broombridge Road


Phase 2 Entrance Sherrif St CCTV linked to Store Street; Bollard controlled access; Increased visibility

Board Number

Phase 4 al

al Can Roy






s R o


f Stree t

New boundary fence to CIE land

Potential access to water

Potential Health Station

The Royal Canal Greenway project is driven by both National Policy and the City Development Plan. The objective of this scheme is to provide a premium greenway - cycle and pedestrian route, increasing connectivity between Dublin City Centre and the North of the City Centre. The proposal will be implemented in three phases: Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 4. Note Phase 1 was completed in 2012. The design follows the infrastructure of the Royal Canal, retaining the physical integrity of the canal and preserving it as an ecological corridor. The scheme will enhance the public realm and amenity along the canal. New hard surfaces will be laid to create segregated cycle and pedestrian paths. Where possible, the landscape character will be maintained and drainage improved. New public lighting will be provided, as well as toucan crossings on all public roads. General Design considerations along the entire route include enhanced security and added CCTV; Universal Access; and promoting sustainable mobility.

Potential Enclosed playground

Ballybough Road to Drumcondra Road: The next stretch of the Royal Canal Cycle and Pedestrian Route is proposed between Ballybough Road and Drumcondra Road at Binn’s Bridge. Roughly 880 metres in length, this section will continue along the southern bank of the canal, which passes Sackville Gardens, Croke Villas, Croke Park and then Drumcondra Park on the north side of the canal. The existing towpath on the south bank will be widened and resurfaced and a new soft, planted edge provided in accordance with ecological advice.

Elevated ramp access to Newcomen Bridge Engineering design by Roughan & O’Donovan and DCC View 1 - Entrance Sherrif Street Upper

View 2 - Boundary Wall at Bellmans Walk

Royal Canal Greenway - Sheriff Street Upper to Ashtown Cycle and Pedestrian Route


Potential Health Station

Dublin City Council Part 8 Application

May 2015

Due to a significant level difference between the canal and the east side of Russell Street, a new ramp is proposed by Croke Park to provide access for mobility impaired to Russell Street. The navigation of the canal will remain unaffected by these proposed works. View 8 - Looking East towards Ballybough Road

View 3 - Potential controlled access at Ferryman’s Crossing


Fig. 4.27

View 9 - Looking East from Russell Street

Royal Canal Greenway - Sheriff Street Upper to Ashtown Cycle and Pedestrian Route

Dublin City Council Part 8 Application

May 2015

View 10 - Looking East at Portland Place


Fig. 4.28

4. Dublin Fig. 4.29 The quays of the Liffey are currently choked with traffic. Fig. 4.30 Proposal to extend Croppies Acre memorial park onto the Liffey, with a two-way cycle lane and improved pedestrian walkways. Fig. 4.31 Plan of proposed Liffey Cycle Way showing how traffic will be rerouted away form the quays to allow more room for cyclists and pedestrians.



Fig. 4.29

Liffey Cycle Way The river Liffey which flows through Dublin City is integral to it’s historical identity. The river is both a unifying entity and a separator; dividing the city’s residents into two sterotypes, the “North Sider” and the “South Sider”. This geographical distinction actually manifests itself into two different accents. In terms of the urban environment, the banks of the Liffey are choked with traffic. In many places, there are tiny footpaths along the river edge, no cycle lanes and restricted access to the river’s edge. There are several boardwalks which overhang the river and provide seating, but in general is a poor pedestrian environement. Four design options for the Liffey Cycle Way were opened for public consultation in March 2015. 73% of those involved supported the most cycle-friendly option, as pictured in figures 4.30 & 4.31 (NTA 2015). This would replace traffic lanes with a two way cycle lane and bus lane, with improvements to pedestrian paths.

Fig. 4.30

This plan is a major upgrade for the public realm and would form an important east-west axes for cyclists and pedestrians. In order to push this proposal further, more green infrastructure elements could be included.

Conclusion This section has charted the development of Dublin from pre-Medievel times to the present. It is an old city with a relatively new government, and the difficulty in creating a major European city that retains its identity is evident in the landscape. Reviewing current strategies reveals Dublin to be a city that is catching up with contemporary trends in urbanism. Improvements in the public realm and active transport are seen to be sound investments for the future. With these sentiments in mind, the rest of this study will demonstrate how Urban Agriculture can fit into the current planning framework while also creating a uniquely resilient city. Fig. 4.31


Section 5

Testing Concepts CPULs in Dublin This section will test the application of “Green Wedges” in Dublin; linear, connected routes that are at the core of the CPULs concept. This testing is done first on the regional level. How does the city centre connect to the countryside through green and blue infrastructure? What scope is there for improving these connections? What strategies can be developed for the future? The Inner City, this project’s study area, will then be examined. Green spaces are mapped out and the linear connections that can be made are explored. Disparities in the distribution of green space in the city centre becomes obvious when mapped. Section 5 concludes with an indicative example of how disconnected spaces can be linked together to form a connection from the Royal Canal to the River Liffey, and how this link connection might be used.


Greater Dublin Area CPUL Study The Greater Dublin Area CPUL Study is based on existing Greenway Cycle Routes (shown as dark green arrow), water courses (ble arrows) and major green areas (light green). The city centre is highlighted and the remaining white space represents the urban area of Greater Dublin. In general, the green network of Greater Dublin is patchy. The structure looks far removed from the Hamburg Green Network and Helsinki’s Green Fingers. Historically, there has been little planning control over open space networks. A cursory investigation of the major green areas dotted around the urban area reveals many of them to be golf courses and playing pitches, which hold potential for more productive use. The M50 Motorway which encircles Dublin represents a barrier for connecting the city to the countryside. It could be mitigated with wildlife bridges and moving the motorway underground. There are three existing “wedges” which hold promise: 1. The River Liffey Corridor links Dublin bay and the city centre to the countryside. Despite physical proximity, the river and the Phoenix Park are disconnected by developments. They could be better connected. If the river course was followed further it could even link to other urban areas, as seen in Helsinki’s Green Fingers (page 18). 2. The Royal Canal Corridor and River Tolka Corridor have potential to be strong commuting and recreational routes. However, they could be connected together better and a strong wedge would form. 3. The River Dodder CPUL is already highly walkable and cycleable with many connected parks along its course. However, as it hits the city centre, this connectivity is lost, and there is no route along the river. Creative solutions are needed to provide a link all the way to the Docklands.

Greenway Cycle Route










The images in Figure 5.1 correspond to the same numbers on the plan opposite.


Fig. 5.1


Fig. 5.2: Greater Dublin Green Space and Corridor Study 7






Roya l Can al

Phoenix Park 6

City Centre 8

River Liffey

anal Grand C



Dodder 2

M50 Motorway


Wicklow Mountains

Strategy “How to Make a CPUL City”

Fig. 5.3

Enhance and Connect Corridors

Fig. 5.4

New Connection This strategy follows Viljoen’s (2005) simple CPUL strategy. With the main green spaces mapped on the previous page, connections can be made and agriculture can be integrated.


Improve Corridor

If Dublin seeks to become a ‘CPUL City’, then existing Green Corridors need to be enhanced; designed for the cyclist and pedestrian. New connections can be made between Green Corridors to give a coherent structure to the city. This will create a kind of green grid, improving the cyclability of Dublin and reducing car dominance in the GDA.

5. Testing Concepts

Integrate Urban Agriculture

Feed Dublin

Fig. 5.5

Fig. 5.6

Productive Land Integrating Urban Agriculture into Green Corridors transforms them into CPULs. The type and size of this productive land will vary depending on it’s location. Intensive commercial farms can locate in the peri-urban area and suburbs to take advantage of the large population of customers nearby. Smaller community gardens, allotments and educational plots can be located anywhere, but particularly in the city centre where space is limited.

Growing food locally means it can be sold direct to consumer by delivery or through farmers markets. Instead of travelling around the world to a supermarket, the food miles of produce could be reduced to single figures and delivered by bicycle. This represents a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions while also satisfying a growing demand for organic, non-GMO produce. It also creates opportunites for small businesses and passionate food growers to take market share away from large multi-national corporations.


Inner City CPUL Study Connecting CPULs Together Now that it has been set in a larger context, the study area can be considered in detail. The inner city of Dublin is bordered by two proposed CPULs, the Royal Canal and the Grand Canal. Flowing through the centre is the River Liffey CPUL










The Inner City Green Space and Connections Study (opposite page) shows the open spaces in the inner city and how connections could be made between them. The Inner City CPUL Strategy provides a concept for linking together these three CPULs, thereby compunding their benefits and promoting their use. Other benefits of connecting spaces are improved wayfinding and better cyclist/pedestrian experience. The images in Figure 5.7 correspond to the same numbers on the plan opposite.


Fig. 5.7

Fig. 5.8: Inner City Green Space and Connections Study




9 3

4 2



Imbalance of Green Space

Fig. 5.8

Splitting the city into quarters reveals a North/South/East/West imbalance in green spaces. The South-East quadrant is the most green area with numerous Georgian Squares. These impressive spaces abruptly end in the South-West quadrant which is dominated by housing and light industry. By cross referencing with a Deprivation Index map figure 5.9, it becomes apparent that the greenest quadrant is also the most affluent. The rest of the city has far more Deprived and Very Deprived neighbourhoods in comparison.


Fig. 5.9

5. Testing Concepts

Strategy Find New Spaces and Implement Food Growing

Fig. 5.10

New Public Space


Food Growing

As an issue of environmental justice in deprived areas, it is important to maximise the green spaces which do exist and creatively “find� more green spaces, for instance by redesigning derelict sites. This strategy calls for new green spaces, connections and food growing in the inner city.


Indicative Example: Linking River Liffey to Royal Canal



This example shows how a series of Green Spaces (parks, residential greens), Urban Spaces (hard landscaped squares, playgrounds) and Derelict Sites can be linked together by Green Links (streets with traffic calming, cycle lanes and planting), to connect two CPULs together (Liffey CPUL and Royal Canal CPUL).

Roy al

Can a

l CP



This mini-corridor could provide a direct cycling and walking link for residents around the Royal Canal into the busy city centre at the Liffey. This link could be one of many in a city green grid, which makes Dublin more legible for pedestrians and cyclists. The Design Guidance section will show how these types of spaces can be retrofitted for UA.





Fig. 5.11 Residential Green Space Institutional Grounds


Sacred Space Urban Space

Derelict Site 1



U Liffey CP

Green Link

5. Testing Concepts

Serial Vision of Existing Spaces











Although it is easy to strategise about implementing farms into the urban fabric, the reality is that every potential site will present its own challenges and opportunities. The next section will divide typical inner city spaces into Typologies in the hope that this will aid design decisions. Following that, general Desgin Guidance and examples of how UA can be implemented in real sites in Dublin will be presented.

Fig. 5.12


Section 6

Typologies This section will outline 9 Typologies within Dublin City Centre, and why they have been chosen. They are meant to be a fair representation of the spaces that exist, with the acknowledgment that some generalities have been made. Each Tpypology is discussed in turn, with the corresponding spaces mapped out. Example photos are included to illustrate the shared characteristics between spaces of the same Typology. General Design Guidance is included with each Typology.


Introduction Research Methodology The typologies described are based on qualitative analysis rather than quantitative measures such as visitor numbers. The reason for this is twofold; gathering quantitative data is time consuming and the timescale of this study did not allow it. Secondly, qualitative assessments focus the study on the experience of spaces as they are rather than getting distracted by metrics.

Typologies • • • •

These 9 Typologies in Dublin City Centre are based on the author’s analysis of the quality of spaces in the city and how they are used. Two types of “routes” are included, Traffic Artery and Residential Street, because they are ubiquitous and will play a role in linking spaces together.

The 9 Typologies are not meant to be a definitive list. They are simply one way of dividing the city’s spaces into manageable categories in order to guide design. If another city was analysed, different typologies would emerge.

• •

Regional Green Space Civic Green Space Residential Green Space Urban Space Derelict Space Institutional Grounds Sacred Space Traffic Artery Residential Street


54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62

Note: Two important typologies, Canal Bank and River Bank, have been omitted to avoid simply repeating the information on pages 35 and 36. Furthermore, design guidelines for the quays of the River Liffey are much the same as for the Traffic Artery typology.

Regional Green Space Civic Green Space Residential Green Space Institutional Grounds Sacred Space Urban Space Derelict Site


6. Typologies

Fig. 6.1: Typologies of Space in Dublin City Centre


Typology: Regional Green Space Description

Fig. 6.2: Locations

Regional Green Spaces are extremely large areas which are of regional importance in terms of ecology, landscape, history and/or recreation. They attract visitors from neighbouring counties. They may be a vital part of a CPUL, connecting urban to rural. Examples include national parks, wildlife reserves and distinct landscapes.

General Design Guidance The large size of these spaces and their proximity to urban centres makes them ideal for commercial farming activity. However, this does not mean that all available space needs to be given over to large monocrop industrial farms. In fact, that would be damaging to the environment, as discussed in the Literature Review chapter. By using intensive organic farming methods, such as Small Plot Intensive (SPIN) farming, independent farmers can produce impressive yields on an acre or less. Permaculture also holds promise for intensive farming. By creating highly diverse, dense forest gardens; farmers can grow produce, provide habitats for wildlife and create an educational attraction.

Fig. 6.3: Examples


6. Typologies

Typology: Civic Green Space Fig. 6.4: Locations

Description These spaces are part of the identity of the city. Many have a long history, such as Dublin’s Georgian Squares. These green spaces receive a high diversity of users. They are formally designed and landscaped. They are attractive places to be in. However, the abundance of mown lawns presents issues, as will be discussed in the next section. Civic Green Spaces provide important habitats, especially for birds. However, more can be done to provide for biodiversity.

General Design Guidance

Fig. 6.5: Examples

• As already busy city centre locations, these parks have the opportunity to provide educational features with regard to urban agriculture. • Ecological Planting for biodiversity benefits. • “Incredible Edible” style planting • Temporary exhibitions/installments relating to food. • Bee Hives • If suitable, cycle lanes should be incorporated to allow movement directly through the space.


Typology: Residential Green Space Fig. 6.6: Locations

Description These spaces are located in predominantly residential areas and are primarily used by local residents. They are usually smaller than Civic Green Spaces. Many of the Residential Green Spaces in the city centre suffer from a lack of multifunctionality. Wide open lawns with a few trees and benches are the typical features of this landscape. Many also have poor permeability due to iron railings or fences.

General Design Guidance • • • • •

Residents should be directly involved with any changes that are made. Allotments Bee Hives Connectivity/permeability improved Cycle lanes

Fig. 6.7: Examples


6. Typologies

Typology: Urban Space Fig. 6.8: Locations

Description Urban Spaces are hard-landscaped squares, and plazas. There is a large variety of these spaces in the city centre, from small cobblestone squares in Temple Bar to modern corporate spaces in the Docklands. They tend to include some tree planting. They function as meeting points and places for people to rest while on their way elsewhere.

General Design Guidance • • • • •

Consider movement across site/permeability “Incredible Edible” Style planting Temporary features/installations Food landscaping Permeable surfacing

Fig. 6.9: Examples


Typology: Derelict Site Description

Fig. 6.10: Locations

A site with no current use and which has been in a state of disrepair for some time can be considered Derelict. There are many of these within the inner city. Design suggetions will vary depending on the size and location of the site. In terms of agriculture, one issue may be that of contaminated land. However, there are methods of soil remediation which can solve this issue.

Note: There are so many derelict sites in the city centre, that it would be impossible to map them all here. A few key sites in the core city centre have been included as examples instead.

General Design Guidance • • • • •

Allotments if near residents. Commercial farm if large and outside core city centre. Edible pocket park if very small. Bee Hives can be accomodated anywhere. Derelict sites are ideal for temporary food growing if they are planned for future development.


Fig. 6.11: Examples

6. Typologies

Typology: Institutional Grounds Description

Fig. 6.12: Locations

In the inner city centre, there are many formal landscapes attached to government buildings that are inaccessible to the public. In the age of climate change, a purely aesthetic landscape in a dense city centre is a luxury we cannot afford. These sites must be opened to the public and made multifunctional and resilient. Most of these landscapes are behind iron railings and security gates, giving access only to government officials.

General Design Guidance • • • • • • •

Open up to public by repositioning or removing gates and railings. Re-wild formal landscape. Ecological planting. Food landscaping . Incredible Edible planting Seating. Bee Hives.

Fig. 6.13: Examples


Typology: Sacred Space Fig. 6.14: Locations

Description Sacred Spaces are sites which have a spiritual or memorial function. An example is areas surrounding churches and cathedrals. This may include lawns, cemeteries and walkways. Even small churches in the city tend to have some green space attatched. Memorial sites which commemorate those lost in war or famine, are also Sacred Spaces. They often have simple formal landscaping designed for quiet contemplation and walking. There are a handful of these in the city centre which serve a specific kind of spiritual recreation. The challenge here is in preserving these important sites while adapting them to climate change.

General Design Guidance • Allow through movement, including cycle lanes depending on size and location. • Create places for quiet contemplation and sitting, • Reduce noise and visual seperation to traffic. • Incredible Edible Planting (Figure 6.16) • Food Landscaping within formal memorial landscape. • Similarly, GI can be woven into a formal landscape, such as flood retention basins. • Bee Hives


Fig. 6.16

Fig. 6.15: Examples

6. Typologies

Typology: Traffic Artery Fig. 6.17: Examples

Description Traffic Arteries are roads designed specifically for the effecient movement of traffic, with little concern for pedestrians and cyclists. Unfortunately, there are many such roads in Dublin city centre, which detract from the public realm and dissuade people from walking and cycling. The Dublin City Transport Strategy (2015) emphasises reducing car traffic, providing for public transport and cycling and improving the public realm. This provides the backdrop for a positive transformation of Dublin’s congested roads. Traffic Arteries can become important city-wide routes for pedestrians and cyclists.

General Design Guidance • • • • • •

Removal of highway engineering clutter. Ample cycle lanes. Direct pedestrian crossings (no stopping at islands) Street Trees and verges on edges of paths as buffer. Widen pedestrian paths if necessary. Reduce speed limit/creative interventions to slow traffic down (street trees, oscillating edges).


Typology: Residential Street Description Residential Streets are generally quiet streets in residential areas. They are low volume, but need to accommodate resident traffic and parking. Often, these streets don’t have cycle lanes or adequate pedestrian paths. Residential Streets can become safer and more stimulating through design. They are important routes for residents and should link directly to the wider green network.

General Design Guidance • • • •

Traffic calming and/or shared surface design. Tree and verge planting. Create a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists. Cultivate a “sense of place”.

Conclusion Section 6 has provided an overview of nine Typologies which will now be taken forward to the following section; Design Guidance.


Fig. 6.18: Examples

Section 7

Design Guide The Design Guide is formed from the knowledge gathered in the previous sections of this study. Design Principles are put forward based on best practice. General Design Guidelines applicable to Dublin are discussed. Finally, an example site of each Typology is identified and redesigned based on the Design Principles and Guidelines. The Small Scale Interventions discussed in the Case Studies section are used to demonstrate how different types of Urban Agriculture can be integrated into different types of spaces.


Design Principles Introduction The information learned from the Literature Review and lessons from Case Studies have been distilled into Design Principles which will inform the example redesigns later on in this section. Those listed here are the underlying backbone of the designs. General Guidelines related to lanscape design are on the following pages. Finally, a real site from each typology will be redesigned to demonstrate how these guidelines can be manifested in reality.

Principles •

• • • •


Urban Agriculture can be commercial, educational, grown for personal consumption, grown for the public, and/or temporary. The important thing is that food is grown for local consumption. Pedestrians and cyclists get priority over cars. Spaces should be multifunctional. Spaces should be democratic (open to everyone). Spaces should be connected to a larger network (CPULs).

7. Design Guidance

General Design Guidelines Tree Planting (See Page 7) Fig. 7.1: Plant a Variety of Tree Types for Shade

Fig. 7.2: Trees and Sustainable Drainage Systems Cause Evapotranspiration Which Causes Cooling




Designing Green Spaces (See Page 7) Fig. 7.3: Create Green Spaces of all Sizes

Fig. 7.3: Green Spaces in Seasonal Climates should have a Mixture of Open Spaces and Shaded Spaces

Fig. 7.4: Wind Blows Cool Air from Shaded Green Spaces Downwind


Fig. 7.5 Typical empty lawn in Kings Inn College, Dublin. Fig. 7.6 A landscape that has been allowed to “rewild� can be beautiful and attract visitors. Fig. 7.7 Cross section diagram of permable paving, showing infiltration of rainwater. Fig. 7.8 Green tram tracks in Nantes. Depending on the height of the tram, these could be allowed to grow wilder to avoid excessive mowing.

Unsustainable Lawns

Permeable Paving and Green Tram Tracks

The perfectly mown lawn has become synonymous with suburban housing. However, it is also a default feature in most urban parks. Although they may provide space for sports, mown lawns actually have little ecological benefit. Flora and Fauna prefer long wild grass with a variety of plant species. Furthermore, local authorities spend huge amounts every year maintaining these artificial landscapes with machinery that emits CO2. A recent study has confirmed that a typical lawn emits four times as much CO2 as it absorbs (Gu et al 2015). If mown areas are seen as important for recreation, then certain sections could be maintained, with the rest allowed to grow wild. This would still reduce maintenance costs overall and is a good compromise.

Cities contain lots of impermeable surfaces, such as concrete. When stormwater pipes go beyond capacity, rainwater has nowhere to go but street level. This happened in the city wide floods of November 2011. Permeable surfaces and Sustainable Drainage Systems help to reduce flash floods by allowing water to slowly infiltrate into soil. Where a hard surface is necessary, permeable paving is available. One place where hard surfacing can easily be replaced by grass is the LUAS tram tracks. This is already implemented in Barcelona, Bordeaux and many other cities.

Fig. 7.7 Fig. 7.5


Fig. 7.6

Fig. 7.8

7. Design Guidance Fig. 7.9 Iron Railings create an impermeable barrier in this residential park in Dublin. Fig. 7.10 Another example of of perimeter railings in Dublin.

Perimeter Railings Many green spaces in Dublin were introduced in the Georgian era. Part of that landscaping style was the incusion of a wrought iron boundary fence which allowed the affluent residents exclusive access. Now, these parks are open to all, but the railings remain. Even in spaces that were designed much later, a boundary fence exists. Although they can be seen as a heritage asset, in many cases they reduce permeability through the site and can make users unsure whether they are allowed in at all. In many cases, sections of railing can be removed, or at least more gates added to allow greater permeability.

Fig. 7.9

Fig. 7.10


Typology: Regional Green Space Example: Phoenix Park Location


Fig. 7.11

Fig. 7.12

A permaculture farm over an acre in size has been plotted in two halves to allow for existing desire lines. It’s positioned by the roadside so it’s visible to passers by, who are invited to read the information boards positioned around the perimeter. The farm will have an educational function, through tours and workshops.

Proposed Fig. 7.13

Description Within the city centre, the only space which fits this typology is the Phoenix Park. It is given its own typology because it’s uniqueness is such that it deserves a special mention. At 707 hectares, it is one of the largest city parks in Europe and spans from the city centre to the countrside. It was originally created a hunting grounds and still contains a herd of wild deer (Brady and Simms 2001). The park is home to Dublin Zoo and recreational facilities include flower gardens, playgrounds, and sports pitches and woodland walks. The Wellington Monument (figure 7.15) is the tallest obelisk in Europe.

Permaculture Farm (Proposed)

Pedestrian Path (Existing)

Interventions The vast size of the park makes it ideal for commercial intensive or permaculture farming. The site chosen is the area around the Wellington Monument, the closest part of the park to the city centre.


Obelisk (Existing)

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.14

Fig. 7.16

Desire Lines

Existing Fig. 7.15

The existing space is a huge featureless lawn. By adding a permaculture farm, the space becomes much more interesting, attracting a greater variety of visitors. Fig. 7.17

By designing the permaculture farm in two plots, existing desire lines are kept intact. The farm is out of the way yet still highly visible and engaging.


Typology: Civic Green Space Example: St. Stephen’s Green Location


Fig. 7.18

Fig. 7.19

The forest garden is located at the south-eastern entrance to the park. It is designed to draw people in at the entrance and will be a landmark from the centre of the park; a counterweight to the lakes.

Proposed Fig. 7.20

Description Dating from 1664, St Stephen’s Green is probably Dublin’s oldest public park (Brady and Simms 2001). It is hugely popular, particularly on sunny days and is located in the core shopping area. It is designed in a formal Georgian style, with a large artificial lake and flower gardens. There are many large open spaces of mown lawn and some “do not walk on the grass” sections.

Interventions The park’s popularity makes it unsuitable for commercial or personal growing. However, it’s high volume of users makes ideal for an educational installment. Here, a small “Forest Garden” of edible plants is located in the south-east corner, close to three entrances. This food is not for “feeding people”, but visitors can pick samples of produce freely. Plants will be accompanied by signage and information about when they are ripe for eating. This will help to spread awareness about the importance of urban food growing.


Edible Forest (Proposed)

Pedestrian Paths (Proposed)

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.21

Fig. 7.23

Educational Signage

Fig. 7.24

Existing Fig. 7.22

Stephen’s Green is a grand Georgian park with spread out lawns designed to accommodate large numbers of visitors. This permaculture plot provides a different experience. It’s an intimate “room” of dense edible plants; a highly sensory experience.

Fig. 7.25

Fig. 7.26


Typology: Residential Green Space

Example: Royal Canal Bank Green Space Location


Fig. 7.27

Fig. 7.28

Proposed Fig. 7.29

Description This is a quiet residential green space nestled between a row of houses on one side and the bare security wall of Mountjoy Prison on the other. This is a typical featureless Residential Green Space; a lawn of cut grass with some trees dotted around and a low wall seperating it from the road. The presence of the prison creates a threatening atmosphere.

Green Wall (Proposed) Cycle Lane (Proposed) Allotments (Proposed) Housing (Existing)

Interventions This space is perfect for residents allotments. “Growing your own� improves health, wellbeing, improves food resilience and can foster social connections (discussed in literature review). The threatening wall of Mountjoy Prison has been transformed into a living green wall to make the space more inviting and biophilic. Ecological planting in the form of wild grass and wildflowers is introduced to promote biodiversity.


7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.30

Fig. 7.32

Existing Fig. 7.31


Typology: Urban Space

Example: Grand Canal Dock Square Location Fig. 7.33

Existing Site The square’s location on the Grand Canal Docks makes it ideal for waterbased events. For example, a “Jellyfish Barge” could be docked for a period of time with educational talks. The Jellyfish Barge is a floating platform which purifies seawater and produces its own energy (Cuthbertson 2015). It doen’t require any inputs to grow food, making it truly sustainable (Cuthbertson 2015). It was developed in particular for developing countries with growing populations (Cuthbertson 2015). One barge can provide food for two families (Cuthbertson 2015).

Fig. 7.34

“Jellyfish Barge” Temporary Exhibition Fig. 7.35

Fig. 7.36

Description This unique, modern square is part of the Docklands redevelopment; referred to as the “Silicon Docks” because of the agglomeration of technology companies here. In general, it is a well designed public space. However, some of the planters of wild grass and patches of lawn could be put to more productive use.

Fig. 7.37

Interventions By replacing wild grass with Incredible Edible style planting, this busy square can play a role in spreading awareness about food growing. It is also ideal for temporary exhibitions and events relating to food growng.


7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.38

Existing Fig. 7.39

Fig. 7.40

Filling the existing planters with edible plants adds colour and variety to the space and encourages people to stop and interact with each other and the landscape.


Typology: Derelict Site

Example: Site on Abbey Street Upper Location


Fig. 7.41

Fig. 7.42

Proposed Fig. 7.43

Description Large derelict site in the core shopping area just off O’ Connell Street, and along the LUAS tram line. The site is surrounded by a mix of shops, apartments, cafes and restaurants and is located beside the busy Jervis tram stop.

Jervis Tram Stop (Existing)

Tram Line (Existing)

Fruit and Nut Trees (Proposed)

Edible and Ecological Planting (Proposed) Benches (Proposed)

Interventions This derelict site could be a busy city centre green space. The design includes tree planting, benches, and ecological and edible planting. The space is paved through the centre with permeable paving to allow movement through the site. The space also allows some spill-over from the often crowded tram platform at Jervis. Commuters can stand or sit in the space with a view of approaching trams.


Green Walls (Proposed)

Allotments with Green Fence (Proposed)

Permeable Paving (Proposed)

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.44

Fig. 7.46

Nodes Fig. 7.47

Existing Fig. 7.45

Tram Line

Tram Stop

Dublin Bikes Station

The site is located between a tram stop and a Dublin Bikes rentail station. It could be an important through route between these two nodes.


Typology: Institutional Grounds Example: Custom House Location

Existing Formal Landscape

Fig. 7.48

Fig. 7.49

Concept of Rewilding Landscape Fig. 7.50

Description The Custom House is a a key Neo-Classical building along the river Liffey which houses government offices. The formal landscaped space and car parking which surrounds it is innaccessible to the public. The whole site serves as a kind of traffic island.

Interventions The railings around the site have been removed to allow full access to the site. The car parking spaces have been greened and the whole site allowed to become more wild. Trees and edible plants have been planted.


This is a concept graphic showing how the mown lawns and sparse vegetation could be transformed into a green haven; providing ecological benefits, and recreational space.

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.51

Fig. 7.53

Nodes Fig. 7.54

Existing Fig. 7.52

The beautiful Custom House building provides the backdrop for a new key civic space in the city. Edible plants are everywhere and visitors are encouraged to forage and learn about food.

Spire Bus Station Train Station

The Custom House could be a key green space in the city centre as it’s located near three important nodes: Busáras Bus Station, Connolly Train Station and The Spire, an important landmark on O’Connell Street, one of the busiest streets in the city.


Typology: Sacred Space Example: St Marks Church Location


Fig. 7.55

Fig. 7.56

Proposed Fig. 7.57

Description St Marks is small church in the city centre, opposite Trinity College Dublin. There is a small green space at the side which has a few benches but is mostly empty.


Trees (Existing)

To make the most of this little space, it should be visible from the road but shielded from the adjoining car park. Vegetation has been included to provide enclosure on the north-eastern edge. New paths (wood chips or permeable paving) meander through the site which splits the space into plots for edible planting. This is an educational garden where visitors can pick fruit, vegetables and herbs, which are accompanied by signage.

Seating with Grass (Proposed)


Vegetation to Enclose Space (Proposed)

Edible Garden (Proposed)

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Other Spaces and CPULs

Fig. 7.58

Fig. 7.60

Inspiration: Leeds University Sustainable Garden Fig. 7.61

Existing Fig. 7.59

The edible garden design is far more visually stimulating compared to the existing patch of grass. It is designed on permaculture principles, meaning that plants interact with each other to strengthen the whole plot.

Fig. 7.62

The design is heavily inspired by the Sustainable Garden in Leeds University (figure 7.62).


Typology: Traffic Artery Example: Dorset Street



Fig. 7.63

Fig. 7.64


In line with the Design Principles previously outlined, cyclists and pedestrians should be given priority in the city. This design still allows for general car traffic, at a reduced rate. Cyclists have been given as much space as private cars and enclosed by a green buffer for safety. This road should be a key link between the Royal Canal and O’ Connell Street.



Proposed Fig. 7.65

Description Dorset street is a key traffic route, linking the city centre with north county Dublin. It is a hostile environment for pedestrians, with 7 lanes at its widest. This has created difficulty in crossing the road. There are no cycle lanes and bus lanes often merge with general traffic, causing delays.

In line with Dublin City Council’s (NTA 2015) ambition to limit private cars in the city centre, Dorset Street has been reconfigured with the pedestrian, cyclist and bus as pririties. There are now two bus-only lanes and two general traffic lanes. Pedestrians and cyclists are enclosed by a planted verge and trees. The Green Buffers can provide Sustainble Drainage, reducing the load on stormwater pipes. Pedestrian crossings have been improved with raised crossings. Cyclists can be given priority at lights in order to get a ‘head start’ on cars.











7 Design Guide Proposed

An Important Link Between Spaces

Fig. 7.66

Fig. 7.68

The Spire

Croke Park

Mater Hospital

Dorset Street

Dorset Street is an important north-south link in the city centre. Once redesigned, it will be a key cyclist and pedestrian route, linking The Spire on O’ Connell Stree, the Mater Hospital and Croke Park, an 80’000 seat stadium.

Sustainable Stormwater Management Fig. 7.69

Fig. 7.70

Existing Fig. 7.67

Tree planting and Green Verges enclose pedestrian paths making for a more human scale environment.

These Green Streets in Portland direct stormwater into planted verges like those detailed in this design. The water is purified by particular plant species before infiltrating or evaporating.


Typology: Residential Street Example: St. Ignatius Road Location


Fig. 7.71

Fig. 7.72

Path Parking Street with Speed Bumps

This quiet residential street has been reconfigured to give more space for pedestrians while still accommodating parking for residents. Planters have been positioned along houses to provide some Defensible Space for residents.

Proposed Fig. 7.73

Green Buffer along Houses

Description St. Igntius Road runs perpendicular to the Royal Canal, providing access to the canal bank. It is a narrow Residential Street which provides on street parking for residents. The presence of speed bumps indicates that speeding may have been a problem. Despite how little traffic runs on the street, cars still dominate the street scene, with small paths for pedestrian.

Interventions This street has been redesigned based on Dutch “woonerf� principles (called Home Zones in the UK); instead of differentiating pedestrian and vehicle routes, a shared surface is placed along the entire width of the street. Pedestrians, bikes and cars can use the road. Diagonal car parking is used to calm traffic, which must slow down to navigate the space. Planters are provided along houses which residents can use to grow food, flowers or low maintenance wild grass.


Parking used as Traffic Calming

Shared Surface

7 Design Guide Proposed

Connections to Royal Canal and Dorset Street

Fig. 7.74

Fig. 7.76

Dutch Woonerf Fig. 7.77

Existing Fig. 7.75

A shared surface street is a much safer place for children to play and there is always enough space for buggies and bikes.

This design is based on Dutch ‘“woonerfs”, such as in figure 7.77 in Delft. These are residential streets which calm cars by allowing all modes to use the same space equally. This makes a street seem more like a quiet city square than a movement artery.


Fig. 7.78: Example Typologies Mapped Together


7. Design Guidance

Conclusion This section has demonstrated how Urban Agriculture can fit into spaces of any type and size. The lack of open space in a dense city centre such as Dublin is only a limiting factor if the old methods of monocrop agriculture are relied on. By combining natural methods, such as permaculture, with new techniques, such as Incredible Edible planting, cities can produce large amounts of food for local consumption. The links between these spaces are important for creating a beautiful city which is resilient to Climate Change. Green Infrastructure can fit anywhere, creating a truly diverse, multifunctional cityscape.

Regional Green Space Civic Green Space Residential Green Space Institutional Grounds Sacred Space Urban Space Derelict Site Traffic Artery Residential Street


Section 8

Conclusion Bibliography


Conclusions Research Questions This study began by asking four research questions: 1. How can Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture be used for Climate Change adaptation? 2. How can Urban Agriculture be integrated into Dublin City Centre? 3. Is the Continuous Productive Urban Agriculture (CPULs) concept worth implementing? 4. How can the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes concept be implemented in a real city?

“One thing is certain, then: agriculture will be an essential part of any future vision of cities” (Beatley 2012, p57)

These research questions will now be answered based on the findings of this study.

1. How can Green Infrastructure and Urban Agriculture be used for Climate Change adaptation?

3. Is the Continuous Productive Urban Agriculture (CPULs) concept worth implementing?

The Literature Review (Section 2) has made the argument that integrating sustainable agriculture into cities, alongside general GI interventions is a valuable method of combatting Climate Change. Well designed GI can reduce carbon emissions by shading buildings, and reduce the Urban Heat Island effect which will cause dangers to human health in the future. UA can drastically reduce emissions by growing and selling food locally. For some products, this could be a reduction of several hundred miles traveled from farm to plate. There are also numerous well documented social and economic benefits of GI, such as improved mental health and work place productivity. The literature makes a clear case that GI and UA should be a key component of Climate Change adaptation in cities.

The CPULs concept essentially builds on previously proven concepts. It’s strength is in combining Urban Agriculture with multifunctional landscapes and integrating them into an interconnected network. Localising the food system, of which UA is an important part, is considered to be paramount to a sustainable future. The CPULs concept is a way of delivering UA through a shared vision and strategy. It puts UA into a spatial dimension that can be planned and designed by local authorities. Many cities do not have plans in place to encourage local food growing. If it is promoted at all, it is done in a slow piecemeal way. Creating a “CPUL City” framework could help to catalyse local food production.

2. How can Urban Agriculture be integrated into Dublin City Centre?

4. How can the Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes concept be implemented in a real city?

Dublin City Centre has a dense, historic urban fabric which is generally lacking in green space. The challenge here is in implementing UA into spaces while still providing public access for recreation. A review of Small Scale Interventions in the Case Studies section has shown that spaces of any size can host UA of some kind. In a busy city centre, not all planting can be commercial or private. Popular green spaces can play an educational role through Educational Planting and Temporary Exhibitions. Sites that are suitable for private and commercial growing can be maximised using Permaculture and Small Plot Intensive methods to make the best use of limited space. Limited space becomes less of an issue with the understanding that the best spaces are multifunctional.

This study has created a strategy for Dublin (Section 5) based largely off of satellite images. In reality, creating a realistic vision for Dublin would require a much larger quantitative study and coordination between several local authorities. That being said, the methods used in Section 5 did illuminate several “wedges” which could potantially become CPULs with the right methods. The Case Studies section made clear that introducing growing space requires political will, planning controls and bottom-up community action. It is not enough to simply draw the strategy on a map. The creation of CPULs anywhere will likely be a slow process. This study argues that small scale design guidance must accompany a strategy in order to create the envisioned environment.


8. Conclusions

Going Forward This study has attempted to test the application of the CPULs concept on Dublin. A strategy was created for the whole urban area. However, implementation (Design Guidance) was only discussed for the Inner City area. The method of identifying Typologies and subsequent Design Guidance could be expanded to the rest of the city. However, the results would look much different. For instance, there are an abundance of golf courses and sports pitches dotted around the suburbs of Dublin, which could form their own Typology. There is also much more scope for purely residential allotments or community gardens in the suburbs, and fewer possibilites for demonstration gardens. The challenge would be in splitting up the city for analysis without losing the inherent connectedness of a CPUL strategy. Furthermore, there is no reason that the methods used can’t be applied to other cities, although of course, the results would be much different. The first step towards a Productive Dublin is in understanding that Green Infrastructure be treated like any other public infrastructure. It should be budgeted for, planned holistically and integrated into the daily workings of the city. UA is a core part of that infrastructure, and policies should be implemented to kickstart food growing of all kinds.

Fig. 8.1


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Note: Images which belong to the author are listed simply as “Author”

Fig. 1.1 1.2 1.3 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32




Bing Maps Bing Maps Bing Maps Alexander and Mills (2014) Church et al (2015) Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Viljoen (2005) Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Author Hamburg Landscape Programme (n.d.) Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Google Maps Google Maps

3.33 3.34 3.35 3.36 3.37 3.38 3.39 3.40 3.41 3.42 3.43 3.44 3.45 3.46 3.47 3.48 3.49 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10

Source Author Author Author Author Author Sustrans (n.d.) Author Author Author NTA (2015) Bing Maps Author Author Author NTA (2015) NTA (2015) NTA (2015) Dublin City Council (2015) Dublin City Council (2015) Google Streetview NTA (2015) NTA (2015) Bing Maps Author Bohn and Viljoen (2014) Author Author Author Bing Maps Author Author

8. Conclusions Fig. 5.11 5.12 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 6.10 6.11 6.12 6.13 6.14 6.15 6.16 6.17 6.18 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 7.10 7.11 7.12 7.13 7.14 7.15 7.76 7.17 7.18 7.19 7.20 7.21 7.22 7.23 7.24 7.25 7.26 7.27 7.28 7.29 7.30 7.31 7.32 7.33 7.34 7.35 7.36 7.37 7.38

Source Author Author Author Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Author Google Maps Google Maps Google Maps Author Author Author Author Author Author Author Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Bing Maps Author

Fig. 7.39 7.40 7.41 7.42 7.43 7.44 7.45 7.46 7.47 7.48 7.49 7.50 7.51 7.52 7.53 7.54 7.55 7.56 7.57 7.58 7.59 7.60 7.61 7.62 7.63 7.64 7.65 7.66 7.67 7.68 7.69 7.70 7.71 7.72 7.73 7.74 7.75 7.76 7.77 7.78 8.1

Source Author Author Bing Maps Author Author Google Maps Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Bing Maps Author Author Author Author Author Author Author Google Maps Author Author Author Author Google Maps Author


Ross Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Ceallaigh


Profile for Ross O' Ceallaigh

Productive Dublin - Advanced Urban Design Project  

My Dissertation project completed for the MA Urban Design Course in Leeds Beckett University.

Productive Dublin - Advanced Urban Design Project  

My Dissertation project completed for the MA Urban Design Course in Leeds Beckett University.