Reply To: Dublin needs this approach

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i think that the public at large are often wary of the terms ‘high rise’ and ‘high density’ because they automatically presume congestion, poor development standards, overcrowding and unsightly building forms. Ask any Dub about their opinions on high rise and they will almost certainly mention Ballymun or St. Michaels. (which are not even high density schemes). It will be important, in the proper development of Dublin and other Irish cities to get the message across that higher densities in cities are essential for sustainable urban development, and that with good design, they may offer very pleasant living/working environments. For example, the particular problems with Ballymun, for example, are not simply due to the fact that they are medium-high rise, even though these are often the quoted reasons. Layout, location, unit design,accessibility, public transport provision, community facilities, open space, social mix, tenure, maintenance and management have more to do with the problems of Ballymun, rather than height or density. Pressure groups probably do have disproportionate influence, however, they often have public support. I believe that people who maintain they have a right to live their lives in low-density suburban environments at city edges on large land plots, who complain about traffic and poor public transport need to have the irony of this situation explained to them. eg the reason it is, and will be, so difficult to serve the public transport needs of Dublin, is largely due to the existence of these sprawling, low density suburbs for miles outside the city (and county). I dont mean to be condescending here but i do believe that the public need to be convinced that their choices have an impact on the services thay end up with, and that land uses and transport systems are interdependent.

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