Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability - Volume 164 Issue 1, March 2011, pp. 59-69.

Available here.


The physical structure of a city frequently defines how people interact with each other and their environment. This paper examines the use of personas as a user-centred design tool for the re-engineering of a city to promote sustainable behaviour and social inclusion of its citizens (the Eight Eyes of Dublin Project). The research was carried out through the adoption of personas and collaboration with design partners to identify barriers to sustainability, and resulted in recommendations for the future development of Dublin city, Ireland. These recommendations are then compared with the draft Dublin development plan 2011–17 to determine the effectiveness of personas as a design tool for identifying key issues for sustainability in the built environment. The results suggest that personas may be an appropriate tool for universal design and may act as a good diagnostic tool in the early stages of the re-engineering of urban areas towards sustainability. It is concluded that personas may work most effectively when used in combination with other user-centred design tools, such as participatory design