Yeah, the whole Dundrum thing has to be seen to be believed too. Nice renders of business people walking around open public spaces, but really.... The Leopardstown thing is fairly strange I think. Your point about being on the edge of DCC is about right I think, from my experience of these places.
I guess the image here, of 'medium scale development' is something like the development in Sandymount,
the spaces between buildings in Sandymount dis-allowed people to use them, things happening etc - they are policed, camera security dead zones. spaces do not join up in a sequence or order of spaces like in Temple Bar, but on a grander scale.
Notice all the 'road' in that image too - very Sandymount.
As one Intel boss said years ago, Only the paranoid survive.
I think one thing that could work in the Docklands, is where spaces become amenities - this was my point about the Convention Centre, that because it brings in hordes of 'foreigners' who tend to wander around an awful lot - the open spaces would have to become 'public' right from the off.
The absolute worst solution for a Convention centre I could ever imagine, is someplace like Sandymount, where we could not even wander around in the summer evenings after their tour of the convention centre, to clear their heads, before returning to another round two of 'techno product launchs and geek speak'.
If you had a convention centre in Sandymount, people would be trapped in some glass bubble and not allowed out. So in this sense, the wider spatial strategy you were talking about it needed.
I think the few sucessful things I have seen in Dublin, like this, even though it is only a small thing is the liffey board walk and campshires, how it changed the way people use those spaces.