Re: Re: Urban Sprawl destorying economy
Dublin has a lot in common with London and it might make more sense to look at London for comparison than the likes of Copenhagen (I haven’t been to Helsinki) or other “mainland” European cities when trying to figure out what is wrong (or even right) with planning and development in Dublin. Modern Dublin is a conurbation containing a city, a couple of towns and numerous villages. Most European cities I’ve been do not feel like they are conurbations; maybe as they grew they absorbed surrounding towns and villages but if they did, they didn’t leave much trace of absorbed towns or maybe it happened so long ago that the traces of these previous settlement patterns have been obliterated by time. London still feels like a collection of cities and towns. Actually it’s more than just a “feeling”; it’s a very noticable aspect of life in London. Like, sjpclarke, I’ve spent time in Brixton (I loved it too) and after a while it becomes the centre of your world; going into the West End felt like taking a day trip to a different city. You did nearly all of your shopping and socializing locally. Living in the Ranelagh/Rathmines area of Dublin now, there are similar forces at play but obvioulsy not to the same extent – it is more obvious when you visit places like Dun Laoghaire.
This is a fundamental difference I think between Dublin and other European cities which have similar populations. I suspect that this means that the planning models which are suitable for the compact European cities we all love may not be particularly suitable for Dublin. I don’t know enough about planning but it is often suggested that we should aspire to developing Dublin along the lines of some or other European city which has histroically grown in a completely different way. I’m not sure that this is a realistic proposition.