The text comprises the evaluation of relationship between the qualitative planning tools and the Irish housing policy in the pre-crisis period, during the crisis (2009-2013) and the recovery. The tools that affect housing are understood as spatial planning, including governmental regulations on densification of the development and the housing quality as well as the special tools such as the urban design. Those regulatory tools were deployed with aims to safeguard the sustainable and socially viable housing structures. The Irish case illustrates the considerable innovation in introducing new housing standards and challenges with their efficiency. This can be attributed to the lack of integration with other elements that shaped the market – financing and actions of the private market, low efficiency of planning or the lack of the scale effect for the model developments. Despite their drawbacks these tools are continuously being used, as their foundational principles are still valid.
The transformation of the former docks in Dublin was one of the major urban regeneration projects in Ireland, which was built during the recent economic boom. Since the start of the project in the nineties, more than six thousand apartments have been built in the area. The construction of the apartments allowed for the diversifi cation of the character of this district into a living quarter. Initially the Docklands were considered as an offi ce district that would serve the Ireland’s service-based economy. New projects also allowed for the development of housing in a close proximity to existing city centre, although it did not happen not without avoiding the gentrifi cation and social polarization of this area. The key role in the process was played by the operator – the urban development agency (Dublin Docklands Development Authority). It acted both as a strategic landowner and the coordinator of the development. The agency was responsible for the delivery of the infrastructure and the sale of the land. The actions of the operator included setting up the of the housing standards, requirements for the development of the infrastructure, both social and technical and public transportation systems. In the hindsight, the agency was praised for the management of the development of such large site. On the other hand, the lack of procedural oversight and a few dubious fi nancial decisions, as well as the other eff ects of the neoliberal policies, such as gentrification, fi nally lower the assessment of DDDA efficiency in that matter. The article summarizes the main aims and achievements of the DDDA’s development policy and its assessment from the long-term perspective of two decades of transformation. This includes the eff ects of the actions in the aftermath of the fi nancial crisis. Such perspective allows to highlight the various stages of the development of the agency and to examine the efficiency and efficacy of these actions.