Dublinspirations

Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 29, 2004 2:56 am

DUBLINSPIRATIONS

A new report by An Taisce’s Dublin City Association says Dublin needs a full draught of the imagination that mayor Ken Livingstone brought to London if it is to improve the quality of life in the city.

However, the voluntary environmental body said that a little inspiration and a radical approach to planning could transform the streets of Dublin and add to sucesses such as the O’Connell St. Plaza and the Spire.

The report - ‘Dublinspirations’ - suggests a range of measures designed to ‘green’ Dublin city, including mandatory roof gardens, a clampdown on visual clutter, and a rethink on the Phoenix Park.

“Imagination and innovation are needed in our thinking and planning if the city is to build on the promising start that it has made at regeneration in the last ten years,” said Kevin Duff.

Dublin without the Phoenix Park would be one of the least green cities in Europe, says the report. There should be a concerted effort to create new parks in the city centre, or at least an inventory to identify potential parks.

Initiatives such as the obligatory provision of roof gardens in new developments are also proposed.

It includes graphic visions of how the Quays could look if afforested and how the Phoenix Park could comprehend outdoor swimming facilities and even a beach, along the lines of the Paris Beach project.

Dublinspirations suggests the need for a strategy to regulate and minimise the profusion of visual clutter that has degraded many streets and spaces.

It also calls for an improvement in public transport, the creation of a “truly cycle-friendly city” and measures to improve the lot of pedestrians.

Dublinspirations is available from An Taisce, The Tailors’ Hall, Back Lane, Dublin 8, Tel: (01) 4541786.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:13 am

It got a piece in the Irish Times property supplement on Thursday. Their picture editor had requested two pictures from us - a ‘before and after’ of College Green without & with clutter - to go with the piece, which I sent. But they only used the ‘after’ pic in the end. Here's the ‘before’ (late 19th century view):

Image
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:18 am

And the ‘after’ (modern view) they did use:

Image
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Lotts » Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:36 am

Sounds very interesting. Is there a charge for the report? I looked on the antaisce website nd there's no mention(!). Would love to read more.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:32 pm

Extraordinary how our field of vision has diminished in 120 years :) And who do those people think they are cluttering the place up like that?!
Francis Firth took a similar ghostly photo a little later in the 1890s - the difference is certainly marked even taking into account pedestrians. And today it's a view you often don't see beacause of the buses parked/pulling up on Grafton St.
At least decent traffic signals are going in at the moment in place of the terrible old ones - here's hoping the sequencing will be tweaked too.

It sounds like a very interesting report - I'd like to get hold of it too.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:53 pm

Yes Graham, a narrower view, but taken from roughly the same spot. The trees are also excluded as examples of 'clutter'.

Ye can have a copy of the report by calling in to The Tailors' Hall, which is opposite Mother Redcap's pub in Christchurch, and picking one up - there's no charge. Or if you're not convenient to the city centre, phone or email - info@antaisce.org - and request one to be sent to you (save postage by calling in!).
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:33 pm

Lotts, it should be in Press Releases in the website now (it may have been missing over the weekend).
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:51 pm

Thanks Devin - might wander over soon
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby StephenC » Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:34 pm

And another mention for it in todays Independent...so plenty of good publicity. A response from the City Manager or Lord Mayor would be very interesting.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Wed Dec 01, 2004 6:26 am

Yes the piece by John S Doyle in the Indo was very nice :)

Think the Lord Mayor's too busy with the Save Bewley's campaign (bah!).
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Frank Taylor » Wed May 04, 2005 9:45 am

Street sign clutter in rural areas was a top story on BBC news this morning. They showed a bend in the road, that was marked by 20 signs each with yellow backgrounds. Here's a link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/05/04/nclut04.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/05/04/ixhome.html

I was surprised but pleased that this was newsworthy.

On the subject of street furniture clutter in Dublin and College Green, here's a 3d viz of Dame Street without street furniture.
Image
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby shadow » Wed May 04, 2005 11:12 am

Dublin as part of a DOOM scenario
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby shadow » Wed May 04, 2005 11:26 am

No people either
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Peter Fitz » Wed May 04, 2005 8:27 pm

The trees are also excluded as examples of 'clutter'


I think in College Green's case the trees are 'clutter' ... they manage to block views of trinity from dame street and the bank of ireland from grafton street - they're just in the wrong place, dividing what is quite a large space and sure grattan might as well not be there at all.

As far as i know they are london plane's ... not a good idea to plant plane trees in a group ...
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby PVC King » Thu May 05, 2005 2:26 am

I agree trees have a place but on vistas that have a t-junction type pattern that they generally constitute clutter and in this case the architectural quality is so high that the buildings need no embelishment.

The Ulster Bank looks particularly stark in that image, does it normally blend into the streetscape better?
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 05, 2005 11:19 am

No, it really does look that bad from this location - just usually there's buses blocking the view.
That's about the only decent thing the trees here do too, they hide the view of the Ulster Bank from College St.

Agreed that the trees are inappropriate for the location; they aren't needed. Saying that, the row of three of the same that run along the entrance to Grafton St in front of Fox's look well I think - and they add a pleasant maturity to the area.

An interesting view you've posted there Frank - whatever about the absence of all forms of life :), how the vista up to Trinity is opened up is quite impressive. It's always something of a let-down in the summer when you look up from Dame St and all you see is a giant bush of leaves hovering over the slight mound at the entrance to College Green, concealing Trinity.

The potential for a piazza-like space here is blatently evident - so much so it appears as if the place was originally planned as such, like one of the great squares of St Petersburg, a city from which I've often thought the West Front could have been plucked right out of - got a lovely eastern European feel to it.

If the trees are ever removed, the problems with Grattan's monument will truly become apparent - there's some serious cracking going on with the plinth that needs attention.
Also two replicas of the famous seahorse lampposts should definitely be cast for the site to replace the two that were removed from what I can gather in the 40s/early 50s. Then again, surely even then they wouldn't have been thrown out or dumped, they would've been quite valuable. They must be kicking around somewhere, either in a Corpo yard or someone's back garden more likely :rolleyes:
There should be some record as to what happened to them...
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby StephenC » Thu May 05, 2005 12:53 pm

Im sure I remember there being 4 lamps here in the 1980s. Maybe I am wrong. Agreed Grattan (and Moore) need some TLC and perhaps they are next on the list. Im not sure what is going on with the Davitt monument as work started, then stopped even though the OPW announced it would be completed by spring.

There is so much cluter in this area. They very least that can be done is a reduction (elimination) of the street signage and the installation of some new lighting. Im not entirely tured off by the trees but if they go it should be in the context of the whole Green being pedestrianised. I would hate to see the area devoid of greenery though..... it being a Green and all.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 05, 2005 1:11 pm

Agreed about the need for greenery - of a lower level though, and of a kind that flanks the space rather than dominates it.

The lampposts definitely disappeared before the 80s. Lots of pics depict them as such - indeed there's loads of interesting pics of College Green from the olden days worthy of posting - must dig some out...
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 05, 2005 1:19 pm

Image

This pic from around the 1870s shows they're not original either!
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Thu May 05, 2005 2:58 pm

Peter FitzPatrick wrote:I think in College Green's case the trees are 'clutter' ... they manage to block views of trinity from dame street and the bank of ireland from grafton street ...


I know they do. But they were excluded for the purposes of our report, which just looked at the need to reduce and coordinate the mess of signage, electricity boxes, flagpoles and other items in the city streets and spaces.

I think the late-19th century 'before' photo makes all the argument necessary for the way College Green should look now (with people of course :) )

The bollards around Grattan look nice in the above photo...such a wealth of detailed street furniture. .we'll never see the like of it again!
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby J. Seerski » Thu May 05, 2005 4:55 pm

Did anyone notice on that pic that there is only a two story building to the left of where tha present-day Ulster Bank stands?!!!
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby Devin » Thu May 05, 2005 10:40 pm

Could it be the projecting entrance bit of a higher building? I must look at some other old Coll Gn photos & see if I can see...

Had a look at that group of three trees on their own outside Fox’s/Thomas Cook’s - they’re nice; - they could definitely stay if everything else was to be removed. All of the trees in College Green now are indispensable to ameliorate the awfulness of the traffic, but could all be disposed of with major traffic calming (except perhaps for the three mentioned).


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Image

Image

Also, in these winter/summer views (albeit winter a few years ago), notice the difference trees in bloom make to the view of the House of Lords/BoI portico from College Street.
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 05, 2005 11:31 pm

What view? :)
I've always been of two minds about those trees - from under the BoI looking over I think Moore looks great under the canopy now they've been trimmed back - with the sun dappling down through. But then this view of the portico from College St is completely wrecked by them...

Here's a couple of other pics, first from the 1880s, showing the newly installed lampposts with incadescent fittings evident:

Image

(As well a replacement one-storey building shown a little more clearly)


Also a pic from just a few weeks ago - look at that ghastly signage. College Green really is a shambles in terms of the amount of street furniture, and its quality, and that of the paviong and road surfaces which are appalling. It is strange how such an important place in the city is still in a 70s time-warp.

Image
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby phil » Thu May 05, 2005 11:42 pm

Devin wrote:Could it be the projecting entrance bit of a higher building? I must look at some other old Coll Gn photos & see if I can see...

Had a look at that group of three trees on their own outside Fox’s/Thomas Cook’s - they’re nice]http://img83.echo.cx/img83/1935/90s2a8wa.jpg[/IMG]

Image

Also, in these winter/summer views (albeit winter a few years ago), notice the difference trees in bloom make to the view of the House of Lords/BoI portico from College Street.


What is most striking to me about those images is the lack of the two concrete lamp-posts on front of the facade of what is now the Westin. I remember these being discussed before by Graham Hickey? Anyway, unless I am imagining it, it would seem that they were replaced with lamps resembling earlier styles!
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Re: Dublinspirations

Postby GrahamH » Thu May 05, 2005 11:49 pm

They were yes - that's what that thread was about!
It seems they were put there directly as a result of the Westin's restoration - to 'fit in' with the heritage look on that side of the street.
College St now has a completely disjointed public lighting scheme - 30s lampposts on one side, 2003 silver replicas on the other, and 80s ulititarian tat at the top in front of the BoI!
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