thebig C wrote:You are spot on as regards the economic reasons. As Walter Chrysler said "Skyscrapers are a way of making the land pay"...its that simple. However, I think there was huge arrogance which crept into pampered planning authorities during the boom years. They seemed to think that we Irish could do things our own way and were exempt from the normal and natural laws of economics. Put simply if land costs 50 million per acre only allowing 6 stories is going to limit the returns and push up rents, land values and demand!
That's not at all true. The evolution of the skyscraper lies in a distinct lack of space, ie being forced upwards due to the constrictions on Manhattan island or the loop in Chicago.
Demand here never outstripped supply. Land only cost 50 million per acre due to a flawed planning system which allowed a small number of individuals to horde land and drive up costs by rezoning on a wholesale rather than case by case basis. Rampant speculation was the only thing which underpinned Irish land prices, not demand.
Your logic suggests that just because Sean Dunne paid a ridiculous sum of money for land which any sane business person would have known was an incredible risk, he should be allowed plonk a 30 story skyscraper regardless of the effects. (incidentally I thought the skyscraper was beautiful - the rest of the scheme was trash and would have significantly harmed the city centre).
There is definitely a case to be made for some tall buildings which provide the large floor space demanded by the worlds largest companies. We need to provide the infrastructure necessary to attract these companies to Ireland.
Their location is crucial. The docklands in Dublin were intended to be a residential quarter and as they stand they are beginning to achieve a density which matches best practice models across Europe. Go any taller and you begin to alienate families, exacerbating and justifying the exodus to placeless suburbs.
We could definitely build a couple of beautiful tall buildings in the locations that have been identified - The U2 tower site, Heuston etc but they are not the be all and end all of a city's ambition or a natural and inevitable result of 'the market'.