Re: Re: Welcome to Ireland’s ugly urban sprawl
quite an interesting thread which i must print out to read for the bus trip home.
my 2 cents. its easy for some people here to see what is and what has happened to the irish landscape and irish standard of living since the celtic tiger consumed all our lives and conversation. i still remember the days when property prices and its associated greed didn’t enter the conversation.
i never actually noticed before the mcmansions been built, the exposed houses on hilltops, the dvd roundabout 3 bed estates, the polished pvc windows on cottages and terraces until i went abroad for a number of years and returned this year to this country. its only when you are exposed to other cultures do you really see that like a flash gold encrusted necklace hanging around a pimps neck sometimes its too easy to spend money.
the article as written in the guardian is very true. unfortunatly too much harm has been done to the countryside to rectify it now. once you build a house it is there to stay for at least 100 years. and thats that. the one change that i can see (just because i am fammilar with the area) happening is a rediscovery of northside dublin therefore transforming this forgotten area into a old world treasure. by that time, taste and common sense will have prevailed thereby retaining its existing character of redbrick terraces.
i hate being a pessimist but i sure hope that the boom does not bust but if is does those travelling 2/3 hours commutes from soul-less negative equity estates will realise what a mess we have built. the only worthwile memento from the years of consumerism will be a simple spike on connell street.
The article had it right. Planning in this country is a shambles. The path of development we are on signifies a crass, ignorant and selfish society with no ideals left to aspire to.
Recently I was on a flight over Germany and was (as always) fascinated at the landscape, with rural towns and villages composed of clusters of buildings and the surrounding fields almost entirely unbroken until the next town. Down on the ground the high quality local roads that run between villages do not have houses along them and are all the better for that. Driving is a pleasure, driving through beautiful farmland scenery unspoilt by mcmansion after mcmansion and the associated gates and entrances.
At night the roads are not all floodlight the way they are here as the cars have headlights on them and people use these to see the way. So even though a motorway may be not far away you can still see the night sky. Which is nice. Something that we don’t have anymore in the city of Dublin, but something you should be able to expect if you are in the countryside.
The German use of land just seems so much more intelligent – and of course this is not limited to Germany. I noticed the same thing flying over the Netherlands – and this an area that we learnt of in school as being nearly all one big “conurbation” (and I remember thinking as we learnt this that god the dutch ruined their country!)
On a slightly positive point I’ve also noted that Ireland when seen from the air is not a total write off and there are very large areas that can of course be seen as rural. This may be what stira has in mind when saying that outside of Dublin there is nothing but countryside. The problem that you will see however is that every road in Ireland is a ribbon of development on both sides. And anywhere there’s a view it is spoilt by one off housing or holiday ‘vilages’. The result is that as you travel through Ireland outside of Dublin you find it increasingly difficult to experience the countryside. All the places that are accessible have been spoilt (not developed – spoilt). This did not need to be so and we could have looked to other countrys for example and plan development towards what we want or at the very least avoided the many obvious mistakes.
FIN – developer may well be driven by profit, but the market is not the only factor he needs to consider – he needs to address the regulatory framework he operates in and the law of the land. The sums are indeed skewed towards building crap inthe wrong place. This is where planning fits in and is where we are being let down with permanent damage to our counrty.