Re: Re: Old Wives Tale????
So it’s Dublin and/or the ‘intelligentsia’ that’s responsible for rural depopulation and the blight of three-bed semis across the nation?.
The primary cause of rural depopulation world-wide is urbanism. It has been since the industrial revolution. In Ireland, the primary causes of rural depopulation have been emigration and the movement of people to our cities and major towns, in particular, Dublin Galway, Limerick and Cork. As we now live in an age of net immigration rather than net emigration, emigration can no longer be considered a factor with regard to depopulation. This leaves us with internal movement of people towards our cities. Dublin as the countryâ€™s capital and industrial, educational and administrative hub has the greatest gravitational pull in that regard. The projected increase in the population of the greater Dublin region obviously indicates that this is the case and will probably remain so over the next two decades. In this context, it is reasonable to argue that the unchecked growth of Dublin is one of the primary causes of rural depopulation in Ireland. The fact that the Government continues to poor much of the nationâ€™s resources into the development of the greater Dublin region (GDR for simplicity) simply perpetuates an already critical situation.
You mentioned the NSS â€˜the purpose of which was to redistribute development away from Dublin to a hierarchy of centres around the countryâ€™. According to this NSS, Sligo, for example, would be developed into a â€˜Gateway Cityâ€™ over the next couple of decades. Sounds great, but a couple of years on, the reality is clear. The NSS is nothing but a theory that is undermined by the reality of Government spending. Examine the reality of the Governmentâ€™s latest transport plan â€“ it is quite clear where most of the money will go. This is a non-debatable fact. If the Government was serious about reversing the trend of rural depopulation, it would actively encourage growth in areas such as the North West by providing it with the necessary infrastructure to allow for the development of industry which would sustain a population base and which might encourage a reverse movement of people. In short, the Government has two options: continue to feed the endless development of Dublin by throwing endless investment at it (which makes as much sense as a drug addict continually feeding their habit so as to avoid the pain of stopping) or attempt to gradually reverse the trend by seriously stimulating growth in the regions by providing serious infrastructural investment (just one example: a double rail line from Derry around the coast to Dublin) and by providing incentives for people to relocate out of Dublin. I do not see decentralization as undermining the potential of the NSS, as the plan for decentralization is as theoretical and unlikely to happen as the NSS is.
I am not faulting Dublin City Council â€“ I never said that I was. I understand that this is a national issue determined by national policies. It is obvious that for whatever reasons, the national authorities are sadly unable or unwilling to seriously intervene in the situation and reverse it. The effects of that unwillingness are most obvious in the Border Midlands region.
By the â€˜intelligensiaâ€™, I was referring to RTE commentators, various journalists of national newspapers and academics. I was also referring to Dublin-based individuals who criticise rural dwellers for wishing to build on their own land for not designing houses that are somehow visionary architectural constructs that are designed to specifically mould themselves to the landscape in which they will be sited. This, as I pointed out before, is a luxury for many if not most rural one-off house dwellers (many of which are farmers) in the same way that it is a luxury for many urban dwellers living in the likes of Crumlin etc. People should not castigate others who have a legitimate desire to build a house according to their own financial limitations on their own land, subject to reasonable planning regulations. Equally so, people should not be so short-sighted as to assume that all people can live near DART lines or bus-services. Incredible as it may seem, many people do not work in offices in city centres but actually need to live in one-off dwellings as they may be farmers who need to live near their livestock or they may consciously make a life-style choice (which they are entitled to do in a democratic country) to live in an environment away from others. If that means they cost the state a few more euros than someone else living in an estate on the outskirts of a rural town, so be it â€“ those living in Tallaght cost the State quite a lot too in terms of providing the LUAS and so on.
How does this tie into the one-off debate? .
If conditions are such that people find it financially difficult (due to strict design constraints) to build in the countryside, it will obviously not encourage or stimulate the re-population of the countryside. This is not to say that people should be allowed to build whatever they want wherever they want â€“ of course there must be regulations.
If the definition of rural re-population is to move people out of Dublin so they can be corralled once more in non-descript housing estates around our Gateway cities and towns, the we will go down the road of Britain where we have nothing but urban centres separated by green wastelands. What a model to follow. Oh, I forgot, we would also have a few thousand plush environmentally and architect-friendly homes in between. Phew, what a relief, I was afraid there would be no one to look after our cows â€“ after all agriculture still accounts for 7% of our GDP and 10% of our employment and those people and their families do need to live somewhere (mind you they could commute from Crumlin each morning)
It’s selfish in the extreme to expect the rest of us to pick up the tab..
Agreed â€“ so why should 2.9 million citizens outside of Dublin pay for the LUAS line for those selfish gits who chose to live way out in Stillorgan â€“ could they not have lived in some nice architecturally stylish high-rise in the Docklands. If they did we wouldnâ€™t have to extend the water pipes, the telecommunication lines and so on out that far. It would also be more environmentally friendly as they wouldnâ€™t need to drive so much. Oh, they were the arguments used against one-off housing in the countryside!
rather than petty chip-on-my-shoulder whining about poor little me and the big bad man who won’t let me get my way.
Ah, nothing like personal invective to further a discussion.