onq wrote:. . . . we need zones where hi-rise development can cluster, not isolated towers springing up all over the place in a . . . . haphazard fashion, subject to the will only of chance and the marketplace as opposed to someone with a handle on Urban Design.
Ok, but ''where hi-rise development can cluster''
is still a negative, it's still about limiting high-rise to where it can do the city little harm, there is an argument that we should be attempting to actively intervene in the 'design' of the city by deciding in what locations high-rise elements could be introduced to make a positive contribution.
I agree that the character of Dublin is low-rise. I also agree that it would be sensible, in the interests of creating an urban core with a viable density, that the existing [4 - 5] storey count which is an18th century legacy should be raised to a modest norm of six - seven storeys, where new streetscape opportunites occur, but I don't believe that we necessarily protect the city by seeking to effectively ban all high-rise development, or consign it to the margins.
As I see it, the problem is that it will not be enough just to have a policy on high-rise and a map with areas of potential high-rise circled with a marker, the concept of introducing high-rise into the city-scape must be inextricably linked to the quality of the design of the high-rise and the care taken with locating the high-rise, in other words, the city must determine the scale, form and location of future high-rise development, not circle the map and hope for the best that they'll be able to control the quality of what comes in by tagging on planning conditions.
My personal belief is that Dublin is a city sitting on enormous potential. We've been through all of this before: we have a coastal setting that other capital cities would kill for, we have a defining riverscape that makes the city center instantly legible and, despite our best efforts to destroy the place, we still have a built environment and layers of heritage that you simply couldn't make up.
What we don't have is a viable urban density, or an impressive urban scale, or a high quality public realm. It is not true that high-rise development is necessary to fix this, but it is true that the only thing that can fix it is development
. Now all we have to do is envisage the form, scale and location of the development that will transform Dublin into the great city it has the potential to be and it would be sensible to have high-rise as one of the tools at our disposal.