**Abstract** : We define and illustrate the novel notion of dual integrable hierarchies, on the example of the nonlinear Schr\"odinger (NLS) hierarchy. For each integrable nonlinear evolution equation (NLEE) in the hierarchy, dual integrable structures are characterized by the fact that the zero-curvature representation of the NLEE can be realized by two Hamiltonian formulations stemming from two distinct choices of the configuration space, yielding two inequivalent Poisson structures on the corresponding phase space and two distinct Hamiltonians. This is fundamentally different from the standard bi-Hamiltonian or generally multitime structure. The first formulation chooses purely space-dependent fields as configuration space; it yields the standard Poisson structure for NLS. The other one is new: it chooses purely time-dependent fields as configuration space and yields a different Poisson structure at each level of the hierarchy. The corresponding NLEE becomes a {\it space} evolution equation. We emphasize the role of the Lagrangian formulation as a unifying framework for deriving both Poisson structures, using ideas from covariant field theory. One of our main results is to show that the two matrices of the Lax pair satisfy the same form of ultralocal Poisson algebra (up to a sign) characterized by an $r$-matrix structure, whereas traditionally only one of them is involved in the classical $r$-matrix method. We construct explicit dual hierarchies of Hamiltonians, and Lax representations of the triggered dynamics, from the monodromy matrices of either Lax matrix. An appealing procedure to build a multi-dimensional lattice of Lax pair, through successive uses of the dual Poisson structures, is briefly introduced.