Fianna Fáil Local Election candidate in Dublin’s South East Inner City, Elizabeth Watson has said protecting parks and green spaces in inner city communities is central to sustaining a healthy living environment.

Elizabeth, who is a Social Worker and born and raised on Pearse Street said, “Our city has expanded in recent years. The Pearse Street, City Quay, Grand Canal Dock district has grown significantly, and its landscape has been transformed. But among the variety of contemporary developments should be green spaces or parks acting as a refreshing contrast.

“It’s not just important to preserve parks for recreation or amenity, but equally to safeguard the psychological and physical health benefits of green space. Nature needs to be a greater element of rest and recreation in the inner city.

“Enhancing the ecological value of our area is an urgent matter given the level of interest in prime, vacant land in the vicinity. Foremost, planners strive to improve the architectural appearance of our city, and address deficits in housing or commercial space. But as residents in high density, urban communities, improving our health needs to be considered too.

“Living in the inner city can sometimes feel claustrophobic or as though you’re confined. Green spaces and parks are a place for neighbours and other locals to meet and bond, especially across all ages.

“The inner city is home to more than office space and transient guests, for the majority I know and aim to represent on Dublin City Council, it’s their long-term home and has been for decades. There are parts of the South East Inner City such as City Quay that would stand to benefit from a Local Environmental Improvement Plan and to that end one should be considered.

“The remaining parks and green spaces are essentially local biodiversity initiatives and maintaining these as well as adding vegetation makes complete sense. A city worth living in is one that places an emphasis on improving the environmental quality of its urban communities and residents.”