New report recommends a collaborative, community-based approach to unlock the on-water recreation potential of the Grand Canal from Portobello to Kylemore RoadPadraig Conlon 27 Jan 2023
Waterways Ireland and Dublin City Council today launched The Grand Canal Recreation Activation and Animation: Portobello to Kylemore Road, a new study that considers the outdoor recreation opportunities of the Grand Canal and its towpaths and land resources in this part of the city.
Commissioned jointly by Dublin City Council and Waterways Ireland, the report by Irish Leisure Consultants is informed by the views and knowledge of local communities and stakeholders, as well as the ambitions of national and local strategies and plans.
This area has limited on-water activity at present, even though it has one of the longest stretches of the canal in the city with no navigation locks.
The Grand Canal and its towpaths represent a significant opportunity to unlock the potential of this water asset for local communities, Dubliners and visitors to the city.
The consultation process identified positive, strong and diverse connections among residents and communities with this section of the Grand Canal, including recreational uses, environmental stewardship, heritage, and active travel.
The report emphasises the importance of balancing of opportunities and responsibilities to increase quality of life and provide for a diverse range of needs and interests.
The report recommends a collaborative approach, with an initial programme of community-based activities and leadership training to enhance a sense of place and develop perceptions and engagement with the canal, followed by the physical development of a series of links, nodes and zones along the canal.
In Spring and Summer 2023, the project partners will work with local stakeholders to pilot a number of on-water activities and explore sustainable initiatives to unlock the potential of the city’s Grand Canal.
Speaking on behalf of Dublin City Council, Derek Kelly, Director of Services and Bruce Phillips, Area Manager said: “We look forward to working with Waterways Ireland and local communities to promote access and use of this valuable resource – the Grand Canal- in the city.
Máirín Ó Cuireáin, Dublin Development Manager, Waterways Ireland:
“Waterways Ireland warmly welcome the opportunity to collaborate with Dublin City Council and local community organisations, and will engage enthusiastically in the next stage of the process to increase activation and animation on and along the Grand Canal.”