“When I die Dublin will be written in my heart.”
Dublin. A contemporary capital city with a cosmopolitan outlook and a thousand years of history.
Framed by mountains, divided by a river and edged by a beautiful bay, Dublin is one of Europe’s richest cultural centres with streets and cobbled alleyways filled with a vibrant mix of art, music, drama and literature. From the world-famous Guinness Brewery on the banks of the Liffey, it’s a short stroll to the traditional open-air fruit and vegetable market at Moore St on the city’s northside. Cross the River Liffey via the Ha’penny Bridge and stroll through the cobbled lanes of Temple Bar to Trinity College, alma mater of Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett and home to the magnificent Book of Kells, which dates back to 800 AD. And onwards to the beautiful St. Stephens Green, the largest city square in Europe; a 22-acre oasis of calm in the midst of Georgian Dublin, while just beyond the city the UNESCO Biosphere of Dublin Bay offers coastal walks through charming villages and harbours, wide sea views and rugged mountain backdrops.
From Vikings to Today
The capital city of Ireland, Dublin accounts for 44% of the national urban population and is home to 554,554 people. Its origins can be traced back to when Vikings established a settlement on the River Liffey at Dubh-Linn, or The Black Pool. Outside its protective walls, Viking villages sprang up alongm the Liffey valley and Dublin gradually evolved as the largest commercial centre in the country.
Despite being Ireland’s largest city, the Viking legacy of small settlements has yielded a modern-day tapestry of overlapping villages where communities still interact across streets and neighbourhoods. With a deep sense of community and connection, Dublin is the perfect synthesis of international scale and local familiarity, and thrives on collaboration and community participation.
Dublin is not just the epicentre of the Irish economy, but the gateway to Europe and the world. Small by global standards, it is a major economic driver for Ireland and home to many influential multinational corporations with substantial clusters in technology, finance and professional services. Dublin has been the biggest beneficiary of Brexit relocations, all driving strong economic growth in Ireland, which is now one of the fastest growing economies in Europe with GDP growth forecasts of 4.9% in 2023. This strong economic platform attracts a highly skilled workforce and the city has become increasingly diverse over recent years, with 18% of residents now identifying as non-Irish and 20% of the population aged 19 years or younger, making it one of the youngest capital cities in the EU. As Dublin enjoys rapid economic growth and commercial success, it hasn’t been immune to wider global economic and social challenges. The combined impact of climate change, the ongoing war in Ukraine, rising inflation, fuel and living costs is having a direct impact on the city and those living within it. Rising property prices and pressures on city centre rental accommodation are forcing people to live at greater distances from the urban core, which in turn demands increased attention to planning and investment in order to sustainably manage this urban sprawl with appropriate community facilities, social infrastructure and services.
Setting Global Standards
In 2022 the Culture Company received the International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21 in recognition of its outstanding work on the relationship between culture, sustainable development and caring societies. This award recognised the pioneering model of connecting people with culture through Accessibility, Wellbeing and Evidence, putting the people of Dublin at the centre of cultural policy through cultural participation programmes in neighbourhoods and cultural spaces to improve accessibility, inclusion and create more ways for all communities and demographics to actively engage in the city’s culture. Dublin City Council has recently identified four strategic pillars for promoting and maintaining a sustainable city and communities: Economic, Social Inclusion, Environmental and Culture. The City Development Plan 2022-2028 confirms this commitment by highlighting culture as an ongoing priority in delivering its sustainable action plans for quality housing and neighbourhoods, planning, environmental, infrastructure, regeneration, built heritage and archaeology, movement and transport.
The Beating Heart of Ireland
Over the last five years, Dublin has been quietly setting global standards for how cities connect people of all demographics with culture. Against this background, Dublin City Council established the Culture Company in 2018, with the objective of putting people at the very heart of cultural policy and supporting cultural inclusion and participation throughout the city. Their mission is a central part of the city’s cultural strategy, highlighting the pivotal role culture plays in the daily lives of people who live in or visit Dublin.
Although a small city by global standards, the diversity of Dublin elicits a rich cultural heritage that remains deeply rooted with its people, their stories and experiences. The city boasts 62 museums, 51 public libraries, three universities, and 52 art galleries and is home to the Europe’s largest city park – The Phoenix Park – comprising 1750 acres. Famous for its literary figures including James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Samuel Beckett and Anne Enright, Dublin is a UNESCO designated City of Literature. Dublin also enjoys a wide range of annual festivals including the Bram Stoker Festival, Bloomsday Festival, Dublin International Film Festival and the St. Patricks Day Festival – which attracts over 500,000 attendees each year. Dublin is also known for its dynamic live music scene and a unique pub network that supports traditional Irish music, dancing and language.
Dublin. The beating heart of Ireland. A vibrant city with the friendliness of a small town.