Ballymun Regeneration

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    • #705722

      This months Irish Architect has a feature on Ballymun.

      I wondered what the forum’s opion is on the featured schemes?

      From the photographs the housing appears similar to that being built 30 years ago (mono pitches and little articulation to the facades…) and the public spaces look hard and unfriendly.

      As “europe’s largest urban regeneration project” I was expecting to see something a little more innovative!

    • #721092

      Heard some locals saying that they will miss their Manhattan style views from their very spacious flats – not much wrong with the blocks themselves (they seem to work in most other countries) its just the fact that they were built then abandoned by the Corporation and never managed. Take Trillock Tower in London and the way it was reborn and transformed for living by good management.

      On the new scheme(s) it’s what most local people want and especially families but there was a great chance to do something similar on the lines of what one sees now in modern Amsterdam.

    • #721093
      John Smith

      You can build what ever you like in Ballymun. It’s the people living there who make it or break it. Going on past form I think it will break.

    • #721094

      John I hope you’re not involved in any housing projects.. what you build has a huge impact on the people who live there. Planning and architecture play perhaps the most vital role in a communities standard of life. Proper planning, design and commitment is what’s needed, not a cynical attitude that leads to terrible experiments, ego design trips, political ineptitude and corruption. One upshot of “you can build anything” is that it can lead to some creativity but who has to live with the result?

    • #721095

      ……John is right in a way ……..Besides unfavourable economic factors and neglect from the council, it is down to the types of people who inhabit the buildings that results in either the maintenance or decline of the buildings condition…….Ballymun’s demise suffered from all of the above.
      People that have been neglected for years should be educated in the basics of civil urban living to include them in society.

    • #721096

      does anyone know what happened in the first round of their percent for art scheme?

    • #721097

      The original philosophy with Ballymun and other such developments was ‘house them high and keep them warm then run away and all will be OK’ and if that does not work feed them on soccer and chips.

      These places really come into their own during world cups with balconies plastered with paint and on the ground in the corpo estates – dare you not conform and paint your footpath ala Belfast or one would face exile. Someone remarked ‘one must educate’ but education is a dangerous thing and then what ambitions and awareness might be aroused.

    • #721098

      As a newcomer, I’m annoyed at the opinions expressed on the ‘types’ of people in places like Ballymun.
      Of course, if you filled a development of tower blocks full of middle-class home-and-car owners and hired a management company to look after it all, it would not turn out the way Ballymun did.
      The problem is, people with a bit of money will never want to live in places like that.
      Dublin Corporation populated those buildings with low-income families, provided no facilities to speak of, stepped back and left them to their own devices.
      It just wasn’t the right kind of design for a major local authority development and was a perfect breeding ground for the bad minority that took over.
      Of course the tenants have to shoulder some of the responsibility.
      But proper, appropriate design in housing is crucial to the quality of life of the people who live there. It helps shape the kind of community that develops in a place. If you don’t believe that, what’s the point of hiring an architect?

    • #721099

      I lived in (and was almost born in the lift!) of one of the flats in Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun.

      Although the flats inside were beautiful in their day, underfloor heating, the works, the problem was there was no facilities, and a sense of neglect was all pervasive. Many people, then and now, were cocooned inside the flats, due to dodgy lifts, lack of policing on the ground, wide open areas with no natural congregation aeas (such as cafés) etc.

      Around 1982 around 20 families (including ourselves) from our block got moved out to Fettercairn in Tallaght, again with no facilities. Shoving low income families into unsupportable environments is helpful how?

      I think you will find that the social problems of Ballymun (and places such as Fatima Mansions etc.) are functions of corralling people into ‘lets worry about it later’ urban projects.

      These people aren’t inherently bad, and I’m amazed that some of you would take that view

    • #721100

      ro_G – Although both environments had serious flaws; in your opinion which was better, Fettercairn or Ballymun?

    • #721101

      I believe Fettercairn, along with Brookefield, between 1982-1990 was probably one of the worst housing estates in Dublin. I still live there now by the way, but it is much improved.

      It took much vigilantism to get the place sorted out, as police or Dublin Corporation had little or no interest in the upkeep of the area. It became, in the Corporations eyes at least, a place to put trouble families, thus ghettoising problems. These days it is much more settled, and better run by Dublin South County Council, has a local café, stables for the horses, and along with Brookfield, many rehabilitation centres and Outreach projects. The travelling community is also well integrated within the community, something which is not often seen in other areas.

      I don’t believe Ballymun or Fettercairn were any worse than the other, but rather they were a product of the same attitute to low income families.

    • #721102

      I have to agree with ro_G,
      Ballymun simply put was the creation and neglect of a low income ghetto by dublin corp, the above views of these ‘types’ of people etc. shows the thinking that lead to the creation of these estates throughout Dublin.
      The solution lies in greater social integration throughout the city, which has started in the 20% for social housing scheme, which I now think is due to be scrapped……. would I be right in this……..?

    • #721103

      I came from a background of such ‘types’ ……an area of Dublin which suffered abject poverty and neglect -Ballyfermot……. and I had a sister who lived in Fettercairn in the early 80’s….I was long enough on the dole too……but we had a bit of dignity one could say. We did’nt go theiving, wrecking public property or other peoples property….one tried as best to maintain one’s home with what meagre resources we had at the time. Thank god things got better and there was a plentiful of work to be found with the boom. Hold the violin strings please…..and don’t shed a tear…….but is it not patronising of such people to think that they always have to be guided through life like a child.

    • #721104
      Paul Clerkin

      20% for social housing scheme is to be scrapped i think…

    • #721105

      Having an appropriate microstructure – i.e. a supportive family doesn’t always make up for not having an appropraite social infrastucture. The Council/Corporation does have a responsibility to maintain and supply resources and facilities to such areas, and when this doesn’t happen the product is such ‘types’, especially in 2nd or 3rd generations.

    • #721106

      Social/affordable plan will go ahead – with flexibility

      The Government is pressing ahead with its social and affordable housing scheme- and it is already working smoothly in housing developments where it is up and running. Although the Department of the Environment is currently reviewing the operation of the social and affordable housing progamme, many of the new developments going for sale already include some of these homes. Sources in the department have scotched newspaper reports that the scheme is to be dropped altogether.

    • #721107

      20% Social / Affordable Housing (now law under Part V of the Planning Act 2000) is typical of our right wing government – their policy is they have no policy – let the private sector do it for us. I have no problem with the private sector contributing to social projects in the same manner as income tax is used for the benefit of all but when the government were casting around for a sector of society altruistic and generous enough to be united with tehm in their aim to provide affordable housing to the less well off members of society how did they ever hit on property developers as the likely candidates? The scheme is unworkable as private industry is by its nature motivated by profit not social gain.

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