Re: Re: Dublin skyline

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There’s no doubt that higher densities are desirable and I’m strongly in favour of tall buildings in Dublin. High density development is required to make public transport viable and creates a counterbalance the strong economic forces which support sprawl and the destruction of the countryside and structure of traditional villages and towns in the vicinity of Dublin and to a lesser extent the other cities. These forces are caused by the fact that most of the costs associated with sprawling development are not externalised (i.e. borne by those who benefit – the developers, residents and to some extent the local councils).

Unfortunately, I feel that the popular sentiment against taller buildings in Dublin has been replaced by what people imagine to be a more sophisticated attitude which is that we should dot very tall buildings randomly around the city. This is a failed model which has damaged many UK cities but is one which our city planners seem intent on replicating in Dublin. Instead, I believe a Parisian (La Defense) model for high-rise development would be far superior. It would mean that all high-rise buildings are concentrated in a particular area or maybe in two areas. These areas would be identifiably modern in the same way that parts of the current city are identifiably Georgian, Victorian or even medieval (at least in terms of street patterns). The docklands would have been absolutely perfect for this. It was a huge central brownfield area containing little of architectural merit within walking distance of the traditional centre of the city and it’s near public transport hubs. Unfortunately the DDDA insisted on using City West as it’s “inspiration” for what a low-rise docklands should look like instead of trying to create a living urban centre with proper street scapes and incorporating high rise buildings to increase density.

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