Mapping Green Dublin

Project Title

Mapping Green Dublin

Lead Researchers

Gerald Mills, Niamh Moore-Cherry & Alma Clavin


Common Ground, arts organisation
Seoidin O’Sullivan, artist
Connect the Dots, social enterprise
Communities of Dublin 8


Environmental Protection Agency

Mapping Green Dublin is a collaborative project led by UCD’s School of Geography in collaboration with arts organisation Common Ground, artist Seoidín O’Sullivan and event facilitators Connect the Dots. The goal was to develop an alternative, community-led, approach to greening.

Mapping Green Dublin took place across Dublin 8 from 2019 – 2021 and was funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first phase of the project involved mapping the span and territories of trees and green space across Dublin 8, identifying their location and quality, identifying green space deficits and future needs. Phase two included a series of curated events from March – August 2020 to map out a proposed process for co-creating urban greening solutions focusing on local identity and the possibilities for future creation.

The scientific data was used with communities to open up a dialogue on the wider role of trees and greening in enhancing urban resilience. This was done to ensure that greening interventions would respond to neighbourhood needs, have high social and cultural value within the community and maximise opportunities for community wellbeing. The final phase of the project identified specific areas for focused greening interventions and the publication of a community greening strategy.

Find out more on our project website

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Key Findings/Lessons

  • Despite international evidence of its centrality to urban wellbeing, greening is still often an after-thought within a developer-led planning system and more significant contributions from local greening fora is critical in building resilience.
  • A new direction in green strategy-making for urban neighbourhoods would see more emphasis on co-creation and less on a technocratic top-down approach. 
  • The role of critical arts based practices in opening up ways and spaces to identify and articulate urban injustices and reconfigure urban development discourses, perspectives and practices is significant.
  • New combinations of stakeholders including academics, artists and place-based community organisations have the potential to empower communities through access to science, responding to community needs and bridging out to other stakeholders.
  • Pathways to greening can begin from the bottom-up but ultimately require the correct governance and implementation structures in place to realise their potential.
  • Green infrastructure needs to be understood and managed holistically to promote broader goals of security, safety, health and wellbeing rather than being primarily connected to issues of climate change and biodiversity which have less resonance at individual level.

Project Outputs

Mapping Green Dublin

Mapping Green Dublin: Co-Creating a Greener Future With Local Communities

Urban Planning. 6(4)

Clavin, A., Moore-Cherry, N. and Mills, G. (2021)

Mapping Green Dublin

Urban proto-typing toolkit

This toolkit provides step by step guidance to support communities develop their own urban proto-typing workshops to enhance the urban environment and local neighbourhoods.

Mapping Green Dublin

Strategic pathways to community-led greening

This strategy documents the process of, but is also an output from, the project. It highlights the potential of a co-created approach to greening strategy-making that is grounded in the community and broader ideas of social and environmental justice.

Housing in the Tech City

Mapping Green Dublin

Cities under lockdown: Public health, urban vulnerabilities and neighbourhood planning in Dublin

in Doucet, B., van Mellik, R. and Filion, P. (Eds) Global Reflections on COVID-19 Urban Inequalities, Polity Press

Kayanan, C.M., Moore-Cherry, N., and Clavin, A. (2021)