Citizens are invited to shape the future of parks across Dublin city

Citizens are invited to shape the future of parks across Dublin city
Collaboration Research Smart city
A new research survey aims to find out what people want to see in Dublin’s parks.

The reality of “social distancing” and “self-isolation” became the new norm as part of consecutive lockdowns, and we were all faced with a sudden and radical change in our daily routine and lifestyle.

However, parks in Dublin and nationwide in Ireland have remained open, providing an important outlet for people to support their physical, social and psychological needs.

Dublin City Council (DCC), in partnership with Dublin City University (DCU) are hosting an online survey to identify what roles and functions the parks fulfilled for all Dublin citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research will also focus on how these features can be maintained after the pandemic and what future developments people would like to see in the parks.

This is an opportunity for the public to share their opinions and experiences, shaping the development of parks across Dublin in the coming years.

The research team behind the project highlight that there are significant insights available in terms of the frequency, type of usage and volume of activities that have taken place in the capital’s parks during this time.

“People access parks for a whole variety of reasons, for exercise, to enjoy nature, for their overall wellbeing and by hearing from them it will help to inform the ways in which parks should be improved and developed and, crucially planned as a space that all generations can enjoy together”, said Research lead Dr Carol Barron, DCU School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health.

Parks have provided a safe haven for many during COVID-19; Image: Pexels

This study may have a direct benefit to individuals by helping to identify the specific reasons people are using parks during the era of COVID-19 and plan for the future development of parks as sites of recreation, play, leisure, health, socialisation and biodiversity.

“Parks have provided a safe haven for many during COVID-19, and undoubtedly, the volume of people using their local park has increased substantially.

While the country remains under current restrictions and people are using their parks frequently, we want to find out from respondents what they would like to see developed in their park”, added Dr Marcos Dias from DCU School of Communications and Joint Research Lead.

Organisers want to consult with as many people as possible who use Dublin parks to identify what visitors currently like about Dublin parks and what services, facilities, and events they would like to see in the parks in the near future.

Launching on 15th March, the survey seeks responses from people across Dublin city and county until Sunday 28th March 2021.

The findings will be used to help inform planning and development policy concerning public parks by DCC. It is envisaged that the results will be disseminated via Dublin City University communication platforms.

This project is being funded by the School of Nursing, Psychology and Community Health Publication Grant and a COVID-19 Research Network seed funding grant.

The survey is a collaboration between DCU’s School of Nursing, Psychotherapy and Community Health, DCU School of Communications and Dublin City Council.

Headline image: Mina-Marie Michell from Pexels