Re: Re: Smithfield Wasteland

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That market, so far, is an absolute joke. For the past three Fridays I have passed by the sum total of two stalls that sell expensive bread and pastries. Passing by after work at around 5:30 have I already missed the ‘rush hour’? Anyway at that time they look very lonely indeed. They dont even trade on the square – instead they’re somewhat hidden under the group of trees next to the luas stop, presumably as this is the only space that might offer any potential to drum up some trade from the luas stop. What genius thought of the Friday afternoon slot anyway? People with jobs dont have the free time and people without jobs dont have the money.

DCC and DoEHLG: Take note of what the British Government are doing at the moment to inject life into their rapidly deteriorating high streets – ie relaxing change of use planning laws and providing micro-finance initiatives for the development of temporary community facilities in vacant retail units. Alas, this sort of proactive planning is alien to our culture but it is exactly whats required to save Smithfield. Could even become a highly innovative form of planned de-gentrification in Ireland! Im sure the arty types up in Stoneybatter and would be delighted to take on the programming of all the empty units. A handful of art studios/workshop/performance spaces would enliven the place no end. The presence of new social groupings on the square might even encourage the working class kids and the yuppy residents to interact a bit more and reduce some of the latent tension that exists when they cross paths.

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