10 Oct 2019 | 10.31 pm
Dublin Chamber Wants Elected Mayor
City faces five major challenges
10 Oct 2019 | 10.31 pm
Dublin Chamber has called for an elected mayor for Dublin with powers to tackle the region’s biggest issues including housing and transport.
Chamber president Niall Gibbons is urging the government to create a new elected office that will have responsibility for the Dublin region, following publication of the business organisation’s Dublin Global Reputation Report, which identifies five areas that require urgent attention in order to make Dublin a better place in which to live, work, and study.
The five areas of challenge for the city, according to the report, are housing, transport and infrastructure; city aesthetic and public realm; safety; and marketing.
Gibbons told the chamber’s annual dinner at the Convention Centre: “Next year will see a Citizen’s Forum to discuss the possibility of introducing a directly elected mayor for Dublin. Past efforts to introduce such a role have not been successful. Our focus in the business community is on the job as opposed to the title, and we need a champion for all of Dublin to tackle the priorities identified by our Reputation study.
“With the problems clear to us, the focus must now switch to how we go about tackling them. The appointment of a mayor with real powers is now essential to driving Dublin forward and equipping the capital to compete with the world’s best cities as a place to live, work, study, and do business.”
The study surveyed 5,500 people living in ten countries, as well as 1,000 international workers based in Dublin in the latest instalment of the Chamber’s ‘Dublin 2050’ research project.
Among internationals living in Dublin, the ‘availability and cost of housing’ was highlighted by 93% of respondents as a challenge. The cost of living was identified as the second biggest challenge (85%), followed by public transport (59%), health services (57%) and taxation (52%).
To address Dublin’s chronic housing shortage, Dublin Chamber is calling for the construction of at least 14,000 new homes in Dublin per annum – up from 7,000 currently — and an increase in the delivery of apartments to reflect smaller household demographics.
On the transport front, the chamber is calling for delivery of the 19km MetroLink line between Swords and Dublin city centre; 2,400km of segregated cycle lanes; delivery of 230km of bus priority lanes under BusConnects; and the construction of the Eastern and Midlands Water Supply Project to stop the Dublin region from running out of water.
And on the safety issue, the chamber wants 750 more gardai for the capital as well as a significant improvement to the public realm in Dublin in order to support increased safety and accessibility.
Gibbons added; “The best cities in the world for quality of life all have public realm and pedestrian-first policies at their heart. Such an approach encourages life and vibrancy in the city environment. At a basic level, a city needs to be safe for all. In recent times, safety has risen to become a key driver of reputation internationally.”
Photo (l-r) Niall Gibbons, Dublin Chamber CEO Mary Rose Burke, minister Simon Coveney, Alan Joyce of Qantas and AIB chief executive Colin Hunt. (Pic: Julien Behal)