New Urbanism.

Postby PVC King » Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:25 pm

I agree entirely with your interpretation of markets in Dublin. Except to say that you have forgotten to mention the 1980's incarnation of the private market that sells a different less aromatic product range (blackberry fair and blackrock and the harbour market before that)

The parisians established the peripheral Runges distribution market decades ago and freed up an entire quarter for gentrification.

I am not too sure how London deals with its mass distribution of fruit and veg but it clearly isn't moved through covent garden.

I am not convinced that markets don't have a role entirely, but I am convinced that small scale niche markets on private property or that supplied by DCC is required.

I think the Georges St arcade is a model we can all aspire to. Have you been in the market bar on fade st?
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Postby garethace » Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:32 pm

How about a contra-flow bicycle lane in Nassau Street? And getting those few car parking spaces all along Nassau st, into the Setanta centre or someplace underground even. Or would that be too much like doing something right in Dublin city centre. They are always selling flowers on Fade St, too and that is just beside the George's arcade where they could and should be accomodate - allowing Fade st, to become usable and a better st.

I was cycling along Portobello last sunday evening and was asked by a Guard not to cycle up there - having done so like everyone else for years and years. This is the kind of 'patrolling' and flow control we have now aspired to under the Bertie administration. I just think, this notion of pedestrian movment and getting out of the 'studio ivory tower' in architectural college needs to be considered. I mean, getting the feeling of walking around something one might design as a young arch student. The final Chapter is Ching, isn't bad on this actually.

Someone should do a Cartoon of a Rubgy player like Jono Lomo negotiating a LUAS tram, a Dublin Bus and a motorcar only to trip over a flower pot! :) And have some flower seller saying, are you going to pay for that! [angry]
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Postby PVC King » Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:40 pm

You don't need a contra flow up Nassau St it only has to go down Sth Leinster st to Kildare st as a right turn is permitted down molesworth St coming back out at Davy/Hibernian way on Dawson St giving access back to Nassau St but also back towards the Westbury and Grafton st as well. Therbye breaking up the oneway system and allowing preferential treatment for those who provide their own congestion freindly transport.

I think the solution to Fade St has to be urban renewal incentives targetted at focused uses. Take the new market bar that was the storeroom of a nearbye chinese supermarket on Drury st for years.;)
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 4:34 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora
[B]You don't need a contra flow up Nassau St it only has to go down Sth Leinster st to Kildare st as a right turn is permitted down molesworth St coming back out at Davy/Hibernian way on Dawson St giving access back to Nassau St but also back towards the Westbury and Grafton st as well. Therbye breaking up the oneway system and allowing preferential treatment for those who provide their own congestion freindly transport.


I can see how that would be infinitely easier to achieve, avoid the problems of bicycles running it 'right turning cars' going up Kildare St, and still as a solution, like you have proposed would still manage at least 50% of the improvement, that a total bicycle lane, the full length as I have suggested would achieve.

Don't get me wrong though, the footpath for pedestrians directly in front of Reads and Easons, formerly Fred Hannas, is a mess from a pedestrian point of view - it is a choke point, and thereby has means that over the years, pedestrians have began to avoid it - it would even help enormously if Dublin City corp shelled out for some kind of 'wall mounted' parking metres, so as not to 'wind' oneself hopping off of parking metres, in a desperate attempt to 'make some headway' through the crowd - That one single pedestrian 'black spot' is solely responsible for the deterioration all along Nassau St - that toward Nassau St, Leinster St, etc, the Setanta Centre, all along towards Merrion Square has become rather disused and dodgy at nightime. People don't know it, it is lost to the city. Despite having gone to all the trouble and expense of building a very fine new Art Gallery extension at the end of that route.

If the said pedestrian choke-point in front of Fred Hannas was fixed, somehow, that would greatly enhance possibilities for all Nassau St to become more than it is. All it would actually take in reality, is for a couple of rich dudes to have to walk a few hundred yards more to their own personal parking space in the underground Setanta centre or something. I mean, the situation is in Dublin, you need to get around on foot - so apart from providing multi storey car parking - it would also help conjestion considerably in Dublin city centre, if the people could walk around, do their business and generally not have to waste as much time as they do, getting stopped at pedestrian choke-points around the city centre. I would love to fly up in a helicopter some day, and watch all the sad, poor, fools having to que at certain points to walk around.

It goes right back to my old point, that we here in Ireland love sending out state paid 'troppers' in big, bright badged mechanised transport - Gardai uniforms in this case - to 'solve' the traffic problem. Over last xmas, I know from a lot of cases, that two and even three young inexperienced gardai were necessary to 'make some traffic conjestion problems worse' when only one could have managed to mess it up by themself. But perhaps if we invested less money in bright, shiny motorcycles and suits for cops, and tried to put a bit of money into relieving pedestrian choke points, things would 'flow better'.

I mean, the street traders in Dubin city, who sell their bloody flowers to 5% of the total pedestrian street population, who are probably grannies moving at 0 miles per hour anyhow, have been allowed to create artificial pedestrian choke points all by themselves. If it was any other product other than flowers they were selling, they would be brought properly into line. Effectively they manage to 'barricade' South Annes St, and the other St, going up past McDaide's pub - effectively creating a shop premises, free of rent where there should be a pedestrian street. But we here in Dublin have been incredibly naive about these things - pedestrianisation doesn't equal sentimental, picturesqe, conjested clutter - it means, taking some of the benefits of pedestrianisation - the ability for large popultations of people to march around the place in quick time like armies.

Some day, I will start a riot with the Street traders in Grafton Street by doing a 'Johnny Wilkinson special' to one of those buckets of god-damn flowers, and driving it down as far as college green. In general I can see, you have taught about this subject in detail, and while I do have a lot of respect for someone who has done so - I feel compelled to point out some of the more obvious example of 'pedestrian circulation' naievity that are staring people blankly in the face as you 'try to navigate your way on two tired old pins' around our nation's capital. I mean also, from the point of view, of running the nation's capital - keeping the economy afloat, contributing to peoples' reduction in stress levels, health probs etc, etc. A good example of changing the way, people use a space, in a positive fashion, is of course the Liffey Board walks. It is just a pity, they didn't shell out and do the same on the other side too.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 4:55 pm

did u get attacked by a flower when u were younger? but i totally agree with you. i don't often get to dublin but i must say when i do those f**king things annoy the crap outa me. i see no need for street traders at all. let them get a property or another business. why do they get to set up for free? molly malone my f**king arse.
i mean u have lots more office/retail space there than is being used so feck them in there.instead of getting in people's way when walking.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:04 pm

Careful, before we spoil what is really a strong argument, before it is even allowed to get 'aired' properly. Dispora was making some good points, in the flower sellers favour, which I liked a lot too - obviously based on knowledge and experience of high rent strategies of developers for shop space in Dubin city.

So let's just turn this into a bit of fun shall we?

To be perfectly honest with you all, I couldn't give a toss about flower sellers, or what pedestrian problems there are in Dublin city - as know one currently pays me money to worry about such matters. But that doesn't discount the easy opportunity it presents to sharpen some of my instincts as an Architect, using Dublin city as my real test bed. That is where Dispora and me probably differ a great deal - he/she obviously has some vested interest, or more than passing interest in these things - a career of worrying about the environment - it isn't my career yet.

A daft, left-of-brain idea that I have been working on goes something like this. (Think Parc De La Vilette) If DIT system of education here in Dublin were encouraged to be a lot more like the flower sellers - to pursue their customers, with their product - to put their 'buckets of education' out in the street as it were. Then if you take all the premises that DIT have around Dublin city, all the land that the state owns etc, etc, and take a product like fresh flowers - if the state was to provide some level of support to those flower sellers to sell their product.

DIT is scattered around the city in a million different 'little buildings' and you really don't know what is what anymore. The flower sellers are blocking up our streets, and need a fixed low rent premises. Why not exchange roles a bit? I mean of course, is some kind of park de la Vilette Bernard Tschumi way, where you overlay a map of DIT premises of higer education and then the low-rent, sort of 'permit-holding' street traders around Dublin city - whose beautfiul product, flowers bring as much joy into peoples' lives as education does. We might be able to strike a better balance between the two needs.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:13 pm

good thought...why not suggest it to the powers that be!
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:22 pm

Because as already mentioned a few pages back, the powers over the powers that be would realise just how much duplication of function existed.

Half the photocopy kings and tea barons would be dead headed. OK it would deliver better education at a more efficient cost but that isn't the issue for the mandarin classes.

One site would far to much visibility, it would be like asking the viet-cong to fight in a field, losing their terrain and camoflauge :cool:
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:23 pm

well I just heard Sean O'Laoire talking about a map of 'nigerian dublin' in a recent lecture he gave. So maybe a map of DIT dublin, and flower-seller dublin is needed too. :)
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:24 pm

Wow thats almost like DIT multiple duplicity of the same function!!!!! :)

Bolton St
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Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:28 pm

Wow thats almost like DIT multiple duplicity of the same function!!!!!

Mountjoy Sq
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:37 pm

To be honest with you guys, whenever i was asked to do these 'left-brain' projects in college I shyed away terribly. But I find, that when I base my arguments, ideas and assumptions on real sort of architectural foundation principles - people circulation, light as an element of architecture, degrees of spatial enclosure, open public spaces and so forth - that sometimes some useful observations can be brought forward into the basic framework stage for a good 'left-brain' kind of project idea.

What I cannot understand personally is why someone would want to do 'left-brain' projects without basing the exercise upon the opportunity to really sharpen one's own perception of very basic architectural problem solving skills and guiding principles. The last thing I want to do here is to insult any party, but using my knowledge of DIT as an organisation over the years, is just a way of learning, more about cities. A map of architects practices in dublin, would also reveal just as interesting a result, or observations. You could distinguish how one Architects wants the big Georgian building on Baggot St, while another wants a small discreet office development off Mount Pleasant Ave, in Rathmines. Similarly with solicitors, accountants etc, etc. Cities aren't made up of buildings and streets - but of people and circulation systems - that is what I have learned from my many years of education in DIT college.

Now, what really bugs me, is people who use new 3DS VIZ technology, without using some guiding principles and vocabulary similar to that of architects. I don't want to design a building on a computer using terms like 'Polyline, extrusion, UVW map modifier, parametric cube object'. Because it is not architectural vocabulary, and cannot ultimately lead to any architecturally defined solution. But there again, DIT with all the investment it has put in, still probably haven't some invested in anything other than a typical AutoCAD/VIZ geek teaching computers to architects, with no clearly defined ajenda on how to pull it back into design studio.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 5:47 pm

well said. architecture is about the experience of a building and in the wider context the city. a successful building is one that integrates the person and the city into one. someone just versed in cad/viz won't be able to properly marry the two as all they know is flashy elevations and trying to get the most amount of space into the smallest of sites. a shame as this could be an historic shift in the profession away from the end users of our creations.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:05 pm

Pro-active learning. . . is something the planning profession has embraced ... but given some luck, may some day trickle down into architectural education. A lot of this pro-active learning can be done on foot too - see Dubin city Council walking tours information on their web site for instance.

But an ideal exercise, which I can highly recommend to explore cities in a thorough organised fashion, is to split it up into areas, and locate all retail areas, the professionals, the entertainment etc, etc. Because generally speaking when you get a large mixed use master plan to do anyhow, you are going to be facing that problem. Not just drawing polylines in AutoCAD and extruding them to do a 'scanline rendering' in VIZ. (Insert AutoDesk jiggle)

There is just so much, real world, field-work that architects can do to teach themselves. The recent RIAI publication of housing in Dublin city isn't a bad one either - because you can find most of those schemes in Dublin, in reality. The Milltown/Dartry Road in Dublin is very interesting I think, since it contains a LUAS intersection and many, many religious type properties becoming high-density residential etc.

Space is a quite fascinating study, but you have to 'get out there'. It doesn't come to you inside a studio, holed up in some nice 'architectural college course' somewhere. Online places like Archiseek exist, which provide the best point of contact between various people thinking about these matters and comparing observations.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:15 pm

i agree. i am the sort that for a proper design i need to interact with the area. (now i do design without even seeing the site but i don't think it works) and that means getting out there. unfortunately this doesn't seem to be standard practice. people are too busy nowadays and our climate isn't best suited for extended stays out doors but i still think it's necessary. when i was in college i used to spend hours just hanging around the site. i'm sure i looked strange but sure i believe it worked as i saw who people reacted to different things. that is why i also believe that sociology is intrinsically liked with architecture.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:25 pm

All I will say, is that the RIAI Housing book was divided up into Inner City, Inner Suburban and Outer Suburban territories. It also included lastly a section about small towns outside of Dublin. But basically, it tried to suggest good ways to develop for each of those environments. I can ensure you, those different territories aren't imaginary either. whether it is Inner or outer suburban type of development. I mean if you look at the kinds of 3DS VIZ images that make their way onto places like http://www.cgarchitect.com you tend to imagine places like Consilla, or Foxs and Geese, or some really suburban place, with lots and lots of space around the building. Because in America where most 3DS VIZ images are done, you have large suburban types of car-oriented cities.

A lot of inner suburban dublin and inner city Dublin is much more packed than most American cities are. It is nice to just be able to look at a design, and instantly know what it is, based on actually experience of what suburban environments are like, what inner city environments are like. It does make a huge difference - they face different challenges. It is nice to have this thought at the back of your mind, when designing anything. I.e. That you don't try to design something, which would be suitable in Grafton Street, out in Walkinstown or somewhere. So, I would suggest that RIAI book on housing is a book you should study carefully. Each chapter has an 'experts opinion' bit, by someone who is experienced in designing in each of those different environments.
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Postby phil » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:26 pm

Fin that is an interesting way of looking at things, would you ever consider hiring someone to do that sort of thing for you? What I mean is would you ever get a sociologist or another social scientist to look at a site for you and to give their views?
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:33 pm

firstly, gareththe ace...i might scrummage around for that book, i am sure we have it here somewhere. thanks. and the building has to suit the setting. basic learning for architecture, i believe anyway.

and phil. as i am interested in it, but by no means an expert, and consider it necessary for architect's it should be given it's due in college. to answer ur question i would consider it strongly for large scale developments where my simplistict approach just wouldn't do but smaller ones then it would have to be up to the architect as i presume the client might think u crazy if you wanted to bring in a sociologist as a consultant. to hire one in a office! can't say that i would really. consultant yes, paid staff member no. unless i was doing large urban scale dev.'s or competitions all the time then it might pay alright.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:43 pm

and phil. as i am interested in it, but by no means an expert, and consider it necessary for architect's it should be given it's due in college. to answer ur question i would consider it strongly for large scale developments where my simplistict approach just wouldn't do but smaller ones then it would have to be up to the architect as i presume the client might think u crazy if you wanted to bring in a sociologist as a consultant.


Well I think that is why E-Learning should be a part of architectural education nowadays. There should be appointed staff in DIT and places to accomodate that - after all, after a one year's worth of interaction at Archiseek on various matters to do with the built environment, one could scarsely hope to 'dis-improve' as a potential young design skilled person. Anyhow, just to let you all in on a little bit of info - I was a fly on the wall, at a recent DIT forum about IT and education, held at Angier Street during June 2003. I overheard the 'big-wigs' talking about the concept of e-learning for DIT. I never heard such a bunch of old nannies talking in my life.

Basically, nearly all the people present seemed to dismiss e-learning as something that could ultimately become 'invaded' by (insert Miss Crabs voice) people who would disrupt the online community etc, etc. Body snatchers, etc, etc. I learned a great deal about online interactive learning from the IT community who are constantly in a daily fight with their job every day, to stay abreast of late-breaking technology news and events, which affect their own job too. They really seem to have embraced it and employed it for their own means and ends. Perhaps our universities should take a leaf out of their book.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:46 pm

the big-wigs are just scared of a new form of learning. it's pathetic really. they should be embracing it with open arms.they should be listening to the people on the ground. as usual too many chiefs, and not enough indians.
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:51 pm

The big-wigs have enough problems grappling with the bigger problems of inefficient, top-heavy institutions of education, costing way too much, and squeezing down too much what the student gets as an end-product.

Than to worry about fancy new ideas like e-learning. Solve the bigger stuff first, like the plethora of buildings DIT has to manage and run around Dublin, and then some of the other things will 'happen' as more funds and people/talent, man-hours and energy in Kilo Joules, of their existing workforce come on stream and available to actually do something.

I think DIT work very hard, to keep their system running at maximum efficiency - it is just the underlying structure which is so terrible to squeeze anything more out of - time to throw it out and upgrade the structure.

I could understand the structure of DIT, if it were say, a huge multi-national organisation like DELL with distribution and manufacturing branches world wide and billions of dollars in revenue to spend annually. But we are talking about a small educational institution, having to cope with a small number of students in the one small part of the one city!

And yet, it seems to need and consumer with gusto, the financing, facilities, structuring and regulations of a huge multinational organisation! Without even presenting the end user with a decent product that works? Please refer to American automotive industry versus the Japanesse one.
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 6:57 pm

sounds like experience so i will believe you as i have no idea of the structure. would e-learning cut the need for so many buildings?
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:00 pm

e-learning could be just as crap as any other form of learning, believe me. What would probably happen if DIT went into e-learning is that some €20,000 a year poor chap on a 1-year contract might be asked to 'put something together' with some other young chap a mile down the road in another building, with no real communication, and who could care less. Eventually it would probably all break out in some corridor scuffle and that would be the end of that, while the dust settled for the next 10 years.

I mean, you don't want to 'take on' the might of the DIT politburo - it has been more efficient than KGB at its height, in putting many a good agent into an early grave. :)
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Postby FIN » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:07 pm

sounds kgb-ish alright :D
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Postby garethace » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:58 pm

LIke I say, fine individuals have managed to keep the whole thing running longer than it perhaps should have - the underlying structure - is unsuitable to the educational needs of any modern first world country. But in times before economic boom, noone spent a great deal of time questioning things - it was mostly about survival - like Dispora said about housing developments on motorways.
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