Science & Technology in Action

Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council is the democratic body governing Dublin City. It is the largest Local Authority in the country with a staff of 6,200 approx and it provides a wide range of services for its citizens and businesses.

The key executive in the council is the City Manager who has overall responsibility for all functions of the council. The Council also has an elected assembly of 52 members, elected every five years. The Lord Mayor is elected annually by the Assembly to act as its chairman and as the symbolic head of the city. The Council has a number of committees focusing on the development of policy in six major areas of Council activity. One third of the members are from outside the Council and represent, for example, social partner, business or community interests. There are also five committees focusing on the needs of specific areas.

The principal Council services (by expenditure) are environmental protection, housing and building, water supply and sewerage and road transportation and safety. Dublin City covers an area of 11,500 hectares and has a population of 500,000. The total annual Council expenditure is nearly €800m.

A key element of the Development Plan for Dublin City is the implementation of Integrated Area Plans (IAP’s). The O’Connell Street Integrated Area Plan was the first of the IAP’s to be developed in 1998 when it was recognised that the main street of the capital was in decline.

The plan set out a number of objectives for improving the street. The first project was a replacement for Nelson’s Pillar, the Spire. Although it was a controversial project, it is now recognised as a very important symbol of Dublin city and its completion marked a turning point in the rejuvenation of O’Connell Street. The Spire could not have been constructed without the design of Ian Ritchie Architects and Ove Arup Engineering Consultants supported by Davis Langdon Everett as Quantity Surveyors.