The creation of vibrant, socially engaging residential villages that enhance and integrate with the wider University is a central focus of UCD Strategic Campus Development Plan 2016-2021-2026. A series of residential courtyards, amenity spaces and leisure areas will combine to create an attractive and sustainable residential environment. The existing residential villages of Belgrove, Roebuck, Merville and Glenomena will be modernised as appropriate and integrated with new developments in order to create a cohesive Residential Character Area.
The provision of additional student residences on the campus is a significant ambition over the life of the Plan. It is proposed to increase existing accommodation from c.2,815 to c.6,000 bedrooms of which 354 rooms will be available for occupation in September 2016. This ambition is aligned with the recently announced Government Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.
Existing and new developments will be linked with enhanced physical and visual connections for cyclists and pedestrians. The character of new buildings will complement a residential environment. Building design will respect the landscape of the area and inform wayfinding links to the academic core of the campus. An appropriate palette of materials and landscaping typologies will be promoted.
Ancillary and support facilities will be provided, with emphasis on meeting places, social interaction and fostering of the residential community.
Building form and height will complement the courtyard models with a mix of accommodation types to include both halls of residences and apartment style development. The campus height and massing strategy will respect the sensitive nature of a number of the Campus boundaries, and take due cognisance of the amenity of adjoining developments. The height of future residential buildings will be considered carefully to address sustainable land-use, the site specific location, boundary sensitivities, and the need to promote wayfinding and the creation of a greater sense of place. The height and massing strategy for future buildings in this Character Area will provide for a transition in scale to the neighbouring properties.
The area will contain local shop, catering, dining, laundrette and other facilities. The increase in student accommodation on campus will create the basis for a constant vibrant presence on the campus adding to the levels of activity and security.
Growing the on-campus residential accommodation will increase the University’s pedestrian population and enhance the vibrancy and sustainability of the University.
Access to other transport modes for this population will include quality cycle parking, set-down and pick-up areas, and strategically located surface and structured car parking.
This Character Area will reinforce the healthy campus ethos, promoting the well-being of its inhabitants, and providing a safe and secure living environment through design elements such as legibility, external lighting and modern security technologies.