Public gatherings, isn't there some strange law out there, that prevents people from gathering, due to causing riots or something.
The other thing, is that UCD was conceived at a time when student riots were big in this country.
In paris, marching and protesting still is a big part of the urban scene there.
It would be interesting to think about that in USA of nineteen sixties too. I think the notion of public space and public protesting became very much related in peoples minds in recent times.
Also the idea of cinema, people like Bernard Tschumi have argued that cinema, and for the first time actually seeing how people gather etc, in a space for a coup d'etat or something was something that affected how we now perceive space.
Most people experience urban space now, from movies etc.
I like playing a PC game software called Medieval Total War myself, which really does make you realise how medieval spaces/cities worked from the point of view of movement of large crowds/armies on foot/horse.
A lot of the best public spaces around the world date from these times. Much older times and different laws etc.
Again, my reply here to Pat;