Click to print this page

The Concept

The concept is about a ‘highway’ that connects places, peoples and pasts – a route that facilitates flows of people, goods and ideas. While this ancient highway may have started as a simple functional pathway, it has been worn into the ground, the imagination, the social life, the economy and the complex network of the modern city which is Dublin. As a way of connecting ‘to and from’, as a marker of places, as well as a channel for traversing boundaries, the concept of route is embedded in tourism. The route allows and directs the journey, the excursion, the pilgrimage, the itinerary through place, culture and time. The highway also provides an important flexible and public space for cultural engagement, encounter and exchange. Along the route and along the streets, all life passes by leaving its mark in terms of settlement, signs, symbols and memories.

The simple premise behind this Project for developing the route is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Instead of functioning simply as an attractive setting for separate and sometimes competing attractions it is the aim of this Project to help current and future venues along the route to establish a new collective identity as a heritage tourism destination of international importance. If realised, this could transform perceptions of Dublin’s historic core and help deliver the kind of ‘step change’ so many of the key stakeholders wish to see taking place.

This Project could act as a catalyst for transforming the City as a tourist destination. Making this work will require support from everyone involved including the public sector, heritage and cultural attraction operators and custodians and the wider community.

The Project aims to promote for

Visitors: an interesting, engaging and enjoyable discovery of this ancient highway’s historical significance and contemporary appeal
Citizens: an awareness, understanding and appreciation of this part of their City
Business community: opportunities to benefit from this initiative through participation and collaboration
Stakeholders: a shared agenda for achieving respective objectives

Ideally, the Project should be viewed as the start of an ongoing process which aims to realise the City’s potential as a heritage tourism destination. The Project’s enabling framework described in this report is not intended to be a top-down masterplan but rather a way to provide guidance and an overall structure for those involved in looking after, developing and promoting this part of the City. It aims to highlight key issues and opportunities and suggest how these can be addressed. It also aims to highlight individual roles and responsibilities and how each stakeholder can play their part. To achieve this, ownership of the Project needs to be shared by all involved.

Go back to last page