As chair of Dublin City Council’s Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), I also chair the advisory group on Dublin’s next Local Economic and Community Plan (LECP). In September of 2022 I brought a motion to the Council asking that we would underpin that plan with the principles of Doughnut Economics, following in the footsteps of cities like Amsterdam, Portland, Copenhagen and others now using ‘Doughnut thinking’ to tackle inequality and guide their cities towards sustainable futures.
To briefly explain Doughnut Economics – it sets an outer ceiling on environmental impacts, an inner baseline for social wellbeing, and establishes a safe space in the middle where economic activity is socially just and ecologically sound. The short video below from Climate Action Leeds explains it really well.
I’m glad to say that my motion was agreed by the majority of councillors, and so now, as we work to establish the actions needed to promote and support the city’s economic and community development over the lifetime of the next LECP, we have a chance to think differently about how we measure what success looks like.
As a councillor, I’m acutely aware of the challenges facing our city: Growing inequality is evident in all areas of life, and as we navigate the fallout of Covid, we’re grappling with climate breakdown and nature loss, a housing crisis, inflation, an energy crisis.
I’m aware too that many of these crises are global as well as local, and in housing, climate action and cost of living we’re not alone in finding we need to think radically about how we can provide our citizens with a good quality of life, now and into the future, without putting any more pressure on our planet than is sustainable.
In preparing the next LECP, our challenge is to draft a roadmap for both prosperity and wellbeing; a plan for the city’s economic development which leads to the best possible outcomes for our communities.
It’s a plan that has to combine the economic with the social and the environmental so that it helps us realise the strategic vision in our Development Plan for an inclusive, climate-resilient, circular, 15 minute city.
I believe Doughnut Economics offers us a framework to weave those strands together.
If you agree, you can join us for Dublin City’s first Doughnut Economics / LECP workshop on January 13th. We’ll be ‘stepping into the Doughnut’, examining the LECP’s High Level Goals through the lens of Doughnut Economics, and workshopping the actions and objectives that can help us draft a roadmap for both prosperity and wellbeing – a plan for the city’s economic development which leads to the best possible outcomes for our communities.
Through a series of exercises and activities, we’ll evaluate how our city is serving communities; identify where social inequalities are being created or exacerbated; and establish how we can best meet the needs of all our people while operating within our planetary boundaries.
This workshop is an important element of the public consultation for Dublin’s next LECP. It will help us sharpen our focus on what Dublin needs to be a thriving city with thriving communities, but more than that, it can inspire and empower community leaders to start using Doughnut thinking in their local level planning and decision making.
To join us on January 13th, at a city centre location, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit Eventbrite to reserve your place. As places on the workshop are strictly limited, we would ask people to please only reserve a place if you’re sure you can attend.