Re: Re: What to do about the SYSTEM?

Home Forums Ireland What to do about the SYSTEM? Re: Re: What to do about the SYSTEM?


There are some things to be vorne in mind in every system of approvals.

Allow for diversity.

Beware undue haste.

Allow everyone to be heard.

These all involve standards, checks and balances.

I agree that a voice supporting higher standards of design could help.

But we’ve seen demographic and single use ghettos developed in the name of design before.

Few archtiects have experienced enough of human existence that they should be the sole arbiters of how buildings should support it.

That’s why we are goverened by systems involving people with overviews and underviews, planners and engineers and urbanists all charged with addressing the fact that more people will shortly be livingin cities than anywhere else.

This isn’t the world I grew up in, where many familes lived on the land and in small towns, and local economies were self-sufficient withing a region and not dependent on goods provided through a globalised transport system in a shinking world.

The price of my TV has come down, but I’m not certain that the programmes on it are any better – the point being that seminal ideas that look good on paper and/or work in one country or society don’t necessarily work in others or when they are mass produced in reduced quality versions.

I remember the Seven Sisters in Ballymun, the point block remedy to inner city overcrowding. imappropriate to provide defensible space and a sense of place, of identity, and riddled with problems from poverty to drug addiction, they became the Fatima Mansions of their day.

Fatima Mansions were themselves hailed as the Irish New Housing of the Fifties, a place where you get piped clean running water and electricity – designed to house families in better environments than the inner city ghettos like Gardiner Street, and they went the same way.

Gardiner Street, before it was redeveloped, comprised of run down Georgian tenements. But these debased example of housing stock had started out life as dwellings as salubrious as the later Fitzwilliam Merrion Estates only to be let fall into decay by unscrupulous landlords

We need to think far beyond the individual building application or even an estate application, towards the Strategic Development Zone Guidelines for such as Adamstown, and develop not a Generational, 25-year view [we have a five year, not a twenty five year window on development plans at the moment] but a 100-year view looking forward.

To those who say how can we develop 100-year views when we cannot even deal with 25-year [Generational] views I say – how can we not?!

If we’re setting standard for development we have to start with setting out our terms of reference.

We need to think bigger, for longer, more in depth.

We need to become The Man with the Plan.

Because with the current avalanche of Bank-driven financial ruin facing Ireland Incorporated over the next five years, we surely need to be able to see beyond that in the hope of providing a better future for our children.


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