Reflections on the City 200 – What are your hopes for the future of Dublin city?

Posted March 14, 2022 in Design

BIMM May 29 – Jul 5 – Desktop

As we publish our 200th issue, we glanced back at the ever-evolving landscape of Dublin and interviewed well known faces around town about their experiences in the city.  

“How we don’t have a big bustling food market space in the city is beyond me, especially given that there are so amazing buildings that are just sitting vacant right now.”  – Taurean Coughlan & Kevin Roche, cafe owners, @twoboysbrew


Q: What are your hopes for the future of Dublin city?


Taurean Coughlan & Kevin Roche, cafe owners Two Boys Brew

I hope that the city retains its charm. There is so much to celebrate about Dublin, however the last few years have seen so much investment in areas that really weren’t needed.

Cheap hotels and student accommodation popping up everywhere, commercial rents around the city for small independent businesses are sky high and this has stirred up a lot of anger in Dubliners and rightfully so.

How we don’t have a big bustling food market space in the city is beyond me, especially given that there are so amazing buildings that are just sitting vacant right now.

So, I hope that Dubliners stand up and voice their concerns, opinions and demand the city that they want.



Zoe Redmond, Designer & Stylist

I hope that maybe one day I can afford to live here. I hope that more social housing is made available for families that are still stuck in hotel rooms.

I hope that we stop all the bleedin’ hotels being built. I really hope that Dublin can retain its character and cultural importance.

One of my biggest fears for the future of Dublin is that the city will lose all of its original personality.



Ayuba Salaudeen, Tola Vintage

I would hope creatives and entrepreneurs invest in Dublin rather than moving and hopefully Dublin can grow creatively.

Also, the safety around the city is not great, I would love for people to feel comfortable and not worry about coming into the city.

I would also love there to be more independent shops.



Jialin Long, Photographer

I hope the future of Dublin will become a city not only tolerate people who come from diverse background but also merge diversity into its own culture.

As a mother of three children, I hope the future of Dublin city is a place my children can freely choose what they’d like to do when they grow up, not to hit the “glass ceiling” because of their race or gender when choosing a profession.



Tara Kumar, DJ

I just hope that Dublin becomes a more livable cohesive and welcoming place for everyone, not just a select few.



Jordan Hearns, Artist & DJ

I hope Dublin, and Ireland more generally, becomes a truly liveable and affordable place.

More clubs, more gaffs, more queers and more life!



Shaylyn Gilheaney, Stylist

Affordable housing, eradication of homelessnes, improved nightlife and more support and funding for the arts.



Colm Keane, Chef, Owner of Daddy’s

Better nightlife and cultural spaces. Clubbing is culture – most cities around the world get this and celebrate it. I feel we just lag behind when we could be the max craic city of them all!

We’re smart enough to have a wider scope of focus than just attracting multinationals here. Sure, the people who work at those big companies need somewhere to have a good time as much as the rest of us!

Turn Poolbeg into the Berghain of Dublin and let’s get on with it! Wewewewew!



Aoife Ní Thuama Keogh, Designer

I would love to see more vacant spaces available for use around the city, whether it be for studios, events, exhibitions, pop-ups, anything really! I think it’s something we are really lacking; I think it’s making it harder for people to get their work and ideas out there. It’s incredible now that we have digital spaces to showcase work, but I think people have come back to wanting a physical space especially after the past 2 years.



Orla King, Graphic Designer

I really hope more events and exhibition spaces pop up around the city.

It’d be cool to see a lot more creatives host events and exhibitions outdoors in parks, on the beach or in the city centre itself.

These spaces help bring people together, something that is important after spending almost two years indoors.



Killian Walsh, Creative Director

I hope it doesn’t lose its identity and character by replacing substance and soul with ‘cookie cutter’ hotels and bars / restaurants with faux authenticity.



Zoe Ardiff, Photographer

That there will be more opportunities for creatives in the city, so people won’t feel the need to have to move away to get work.

And that bigger companies will look within Ireland instead of having to outsource talent.



Shane Daniel Byrne, Comedian

I hope Dublin finds/builds homes for people who are homeless and I hope that Dublin can then continue to support these people in this transition. I hope that Dubliners change their attitudes to those in addiction and ramp up the compassion and kindness we’re capable of.

I hope we can stop building hotels. I hope I can still afford to live here.

I hope nightlife is reclaimed from the rich and powerful companies who seem content to homogenise the whole town. Nobody needs a pub that pretends to be a hardware shop.

Also please build the lido, we’d love it.



Barry Sun, Chef

I love Dublin, I’ve been here since 2002 and can’t imagine living anywhere else. My hope would be that Dublin can get back on its feet and continue to thrive post-Covid.

We just opened Volpe Nera at the end of 2019 and it felt like there was so many other cool restaurant openings and great things happening in Dublin, and then Covid hit just a few months later, so I hope we can get back to where we were quickly.



Aisling Phelan, Artist

It would be brilliant if the government recognised the impact of what they’re doing to the city by building massive Amazon office blocks and endless amounts of hotels.

I don’t think they understand that they’re losing our most valuable spaces in the process, places that tourists would probably love to see, but instead, they’re sleeping over their ruins. There’ll be less and less reasons to visit Ireland if we keep going at this rate.

I think a diversity of spaces is really what’s necessary for Dublin right now. We’re a diverse and extremely creative community of people, and I think our spaces should reflect that.



Grace Enemaku, Designer and Illustrator

My hopes are that Dublin will one day become a cultural hub and a place that creativity can flourish. I hope that housing and rent will become more affordable for everyone and the arts will be supported. Art and culture is what adds depth and life to a city and makes it enjoyable for the people who live there. I hope the powers that be will recognise that and make it a reality.



Eric Ehigie, Podcaster

I hope that Dublin city continues to maintain and preserve a lot of Ireland’s distinct cultural heritage, for people across Europe, and the world, to perceive. As alluded to above, I would like for Dublin to truly champion the principles of equality and human dignity enshrined in the Declaration of Independence- by extending these rights to the most vulnerable within our society. The cost of living crisis is an issue that I hope Dublin can overcome, to ensure that young students can study in Dublin without accommodation costs acting as an impediment; and to allow professionals to choose to work in Dublin, and not be deterred by housing costs. I also hope for public transport in Dublin to reflect the more efficient transport systems across Europe, and for Dublin to become a more green, and sustainable city.



Interviews: Kerry Mahony & Eric Davidson

Image Credits:

Jialin Long by Raisha Dong

Shane Daniel Byrne by Brian Teeling

Colm Keane by Al Higgins


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