Re: Re: The Building Boom Is Over!

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#801071
Anonymous
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It is silly to pretend that there has not been an improvement in our situation in general and in the built environment in particular. The quality of building has been improved, some handsome buildings have been built. The question is not whether things have gotten better or not, they have gotten better; the question is whether the improvement been as great as it might be, given the circumstances, the boom.

This site, or at least the community posting about Dublin, has two main factions; Jacobites, followers of Jane Jacobs, whose primary concern is the quality of the urban experience, and Royalist, those whose prime interest is in building as gestures, palaces as it were. I think both factions are dissatisfied and for almost the same reason, the Jacobites are unhappy because the initial intellectual energy underpinning the rebuilding of the city core, careful, modern but sympathetic infill seems to have petered out into ill-thought grasping at half-assed one-off schemes, the Royalists are unhappy because the most dramatic of these half-assed one-off schemes never seem to actually get built.

What I found irritating about the Keiron Rose article is that he claim the wrong allies; he talked about creative types and communities, ethnic minorities and gays and the urban experience, Jacobites all and then argued for the opposite, siding against heritage and what he called nostalgia, what I would call a respect for the layered textured quality of the living city. You can’t believe that the most important thing about the city is its history and identity and its creative communities and then decide the most important thing is to throw up a few landmark buildings that could just as easily be built in Heuston Texas.

I think tommyt nailed this. It is great that we now have a SoHo/soho area full of mid-priced Italian eateries and mid-level cultural institutions, every big city has one; but where is the new, edgy, artistic area that we lost to Temple Bar. It is great that Ranelagh is now an upend area full of elite facilities, but to get there it lost the faded bourgeois meets student village meets Baggotonia feel it had fifteen years ago and Baggot Street itself lost even earlier. Where is the new student area? The problem could be infrastructure; we need public transport to open up new areas. The only exception, I think, to our failure to gain new, distinct, organic areas are provided by the ethnic area, particularly in D1; everywhere else, we see big plans and DDDA-style community events and a belief in rejuvenation by gesture.

I think we need to get more ambitious about infrastructure and maybe a bit more relaxed about landmarks.

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