Smart Government
DublinDublin City

Docklands 3D Virtual Model Future Planning & Citizen Engagement

3D modelling technology is transforming the way cities undertake spatial planning and engage with their communities. It provides developers and city planners new opportunities to better understand and communicate the impacts of existing and proposed developments through a virtual environment. In 2018, Dublin City Council procured and made open-source a 3D Model of the Docklands Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) from D3D to explore how such a model could bring value to the city.

Project Activities

Following the procurement of the model, Dublin City Council held a hackathon where it invited the public to ‘hack’ the 3D Docklands datasets. The outputs of the event highlighted the enormous potential the model brings to help address a diverse range of city challenges including planning consultation, emergency response and energy modelling.

Dublin City Council has utilised the model to enhance the planning and engagement  process for proposed developments in the Docklands area. We are exploring how we could enhance the consultation process to allow people to access/interact with a model of a proposed development and provide feedback whenever it is convenient for them.

We are also exploring how the model could be used to understand and communicate energy consumption within the Docklands SDZ to inform the District Heating Project and provide a baseline for measuring the impact of energy reduction initiatives.



The model has already provided great value to the city in the planning process. The model supported the initial design phase for the proposed Bloody Stoney Bridge. Council planners were able to virtually walk along the bridge and experience what it would be like – the result leading to changes in the design of the proposed bridge.

The model was also used to bring to life the designs of the proposed White Water Rafting facility. Gaining over 160k views this project demonstrates the incredible ability 3D modelling technology provides to enable planners to better communicate proposals and engage the public.

Through exploring new ways for people to access the model we will also be about to enhance the consultation process by reducing barriers inhibiting participation such as cost, time and technical knowledge.


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