And so the Reinventing Dublin
series drew to a close today with some more snippets and tweet sized pearls of wisdom from a selection of the usual suspects:
Michelle Fagan, from her lofty perch as President of the RIAI, would like Dublin to become a carbon neutral city: ‘. . . in a world where diamonds are more valued than water . . .’
which sounds like our world. Fagan continues, as if struck by a vision while tossing a giant inflatable globe, Charlie Chaplin style; ‘We can have buildings that are capable of creating energy’
she proclaims . . . power stations I think they’re called.
Alan Mee, the top floor planning consultant, doesn’t mess about with allegories, he gives it to us straight; ‘Don’t expect anyone to do anything for you in the next 10 years.’
For Mark Turpin, an architect; ‘The greatest untapped potential is how to go from O’Connell Street to the seafront’
Turpin seems to be unfamiliar with the solution to this conundrum; the no. 1 bus.
Yvonne Farrell of Grafton Architects returns to Mee’s gloomy theme; ‘Let’s say there was no building at all over the next few years’
and then goes on to look on the bright side of that bleak future which includes - bicycles, Open-House weekend, and not much else.
Overall, I think the series has been well intentioned but a grievously disappointing; Dublin not so much reinvented, as re-heated.
Wednesday’s offering was probably the pick of the lot with young Hickey of the Civic Trust frog marching mild mannered Olivia Kelly around the North Georgian Core pointing out one appalling crime against our civic heritage after another.
Elsewhere, Fintan O’Toole was desperate to drive a stake into the northside-southside myth while simultaneously channelling bolts of electricity into a cobbled together eastside-westside creature that seemingly relies on a dodgy demographic map that appears to show the entire wasteland of Dublin Port and the bird sanctuary of Bull Island as havens of full employment.
There was also some good stuff each day from Frank McDonald who, even at half speed, is always well worth reading. Perhaps the biggest disappointment was the scarcity of new ideas and the reluctance to hold anyone in Dublin City council to account for their shockingly poor planning record on important schemes [witness; the Bord Pleanala Liberty Hall decision today] and their failure to adequately protect the city’s built heritage or grasp its potential to be one of the drivers in Dublin’s quest to become more than just a city of scribblers and drinkers.