New Urbanism in Ireland - What do you think?
I’m sure a few of you have heard this idea before, but in the context of how we have created an urban sprawl akin to a damp and cold version of Los Angelos, California. Is it not time we rethought how we want to live in our environments. One of the chief arguments for renting is quality of life, near to work, more disposible income more time, less exposure to interest rate hikes and freedom to move. Given that people have been increasingly taking out longer term mortgages (30/40 years) for properties that are smaller and further from their place of work, isn’t it time they and future buyers gave some thought to how you want to live? After all you are paying a premium for the privelge of eventually owning that property with no charges against it.

New Urbanism describes a movement begun by the American’s in the 80’s to design new and redesign existing suburbs based on principles largely derived from the older, successful parts of cities (grid layouts, higher densities, excellent pedestrian access to shops, public transport and recreational space and planning to encourage good public transport services)

More information:
New Urbanism could make the city habitable
24th January 2001 … -01-24.htm

An Irish Town Planner’s Blog … links.html

Irish planner should study New Urbanism in detail … anism.html

Academy of Urbanism

As both renters and home owners what do you want from your local environment? What would enchance the quality of your life? and would that influence your decision to buy or move in the future? or does it risk creating a ‘bourgeois utopia’ of gated communities?

I would like to see excellent quality high rise apartments in the city centre and the various planning bodies and An Taisce muppets told to f**k off and allow people live lives that don’t involve 4 hour commutes because it would otherwise ruin their view.

I would like to see those high rises built without it being turned into a social experiment where I could have the local drug dealers housed in the apartment next to me by the council, I’ve worked hard for what I have and I deserve the chance to enjoy it.

I would like to see streets that are not choked with traffic but also acknowledge that the mediocrity of public transport nationwide means that people will need to use cars occasionally.

More than anything else I’d like to see an integrated plan that creates entire communities rather than the current system of plonking down cycle lanes and the odd flowerbed in random locations. Entire neighborhoods should be demolished and rebuilt.

Now I’ll be amazed if this gets through in the way it’s meant to but it’ll be sweet if it does -

Now you’re talking, lets do it!

Nice posts GB, right up my alley and I can see a centre place for this in the new pin off shoot (OW pet project, some day … ).

Its also important to note that its not just recent US history, you’re talking about something that was inspired by various other movement particularly the openness of the western US cost, the re-looking at nature (even though there is still so much to find), tribes, ancient cities of Islam various medieval cities and human habitats in the world combined with the application of new technology, new understanding of how ecology is a whole system. To achieve it in a typical urban settlement, to utterly change it for the good. We are but a part.

Its not surprising form the land of super suburbia that you ge this kind of reaciton. It would never have happened in europe for exmaple as it is in many way already a very “new urban” place bar Dublin TBH.

All of us have the innate ability to feed & house ourselves, it’s an important realisation to think about for a few minutes to then realize how society has taken, no removed us from a position of control over that process and then try to tell us we are free, because we consume. HA! Pull the other one.

What I like about new urbanism and its something I’ve felt since I was a wee lad is that those in the context get to create the context, we become nest builders but on the grander scale once inhabited and enjoyed by lofty architects, politicians and centralized planners.

Right thats enough from me.

Can’t believe I missed this!

24 May 2007
SPACE, PLACE, LIFE Conference, Dublin Castle, Republic of Ireland

I think one of the most vital things in the quality of life is car use, I notice that in a lot of new estates they are gated off so you cant walk or cycle thorough them except by greatly increasing your distance travelled. Even if people are driving to work you shouldn’t have to get into your car when you get home to go to the shop to bring your child to a playground or to school for example. The estates that were built about 30 years ago when my parents bought were much better laid out, they have greens between streets, pedestrian walkways; just more pleasant and easier to walk around, you go for a walk now in newer areas and its all main roads with gated estates off them. Although I live quite a way out of the city centre I don’t need a car because I am beside a train station and I can walk to shops, library, post office, I think all areas should be like this.

There should be huge investment in public transport, the plan to link up the dart line, why won’t it be ready for eight years, why can’t they start it now? This is a huge problem in this country there are good ideas out there but we are always playing catch up because everything takes so long.

I think every building that is not being used in the city centre should either be seized by the government after a certain amount of time or huge taxes on them, maybe after five years of non use. There are huge numbers of buildings being allowed to slowly go derelict. This is a stupid waste of land and buildings and I don’t think this would be tolerated in a lot of other European countries. I also agree with the high rise idea but in run down areas like the docks which badly need it not in Ballsbridge which would ruin the whole character of the place.

My own experience of Irish (so called ) ‘planners’ make me believe that they are incapable of delivering this . I have never come across such a bunch of totally unaccountable incompetent and mendacious sleeeveeens in all my life :frowning:

There are indeed exceptions but the bulk of them are third rate pass geography graduates who need to be told which way is up on the plans :frowning:

It would best be enforced through taxation, they are more competent.

This is an interesting point. I am of the opinion that development plans should be put in place for each Dublin village/suburb. I believe low quality low density housing near to Dart, Metro or Luas stations should be CPO’ed and demolished where appropriate as part of these plans.

Harmonstown is an example of an area in serious need of this. Right beside a dart station you have awful looking 3 bed ex corpo terraces on one side and warehousing on the other side. Perfect for some good quality 5-6 story apartment complexes.

Raheny is another example. 3 churches and a car garage on the main intersection, 30m from Dart station. You’d have to keep the orig cottages though.

Most Northside DART stations have quite poor planning and housign around them.

However, I said this to my family members over dinner a few weeks ago. Boy where they horrified. Take peoples homes yada yada yada !!! So not sure if this type of planning would go down to well in NIMBY central.

Ongar & all the new stuff in Blancahrdstown is a text book case of how not to design an urban landscape. Its a kin to an open prison. fences everywhere, car only cutlure.

See it should be obvious but people have be worn down slowly to accept they need cars, in a way because cars exist almost that enough reason to have one (its your inidivudal right) and don’t realise they only have a car becasue the place they live has been so badly designed that its an instant falure before the first sod is turned.

I live in an area that has amazing period buildings numbering over 20 instances, not 3 miles from the city centre and many have been vacant from 5-20 years. No one cares. The law is there it is not enforced by DCC. You won’t get FF to give a flying fuck. Thats been obvious from day 1 (You can pick day one but its at least 3 elections ago).

If you want a society that works reasonably you must ensure responsibility is key and give it to people who know there stuff and will take the responsibility of “repsonsibility” because they are confident in there own specilised abilities thus feeling comfortable with it and nto having to create an onion skin fortress of consultancy after Authority after Tribunal. So politicians are out the door in my book. That would get us to a NEW-urban quicker than you could say "C J "Who??

As for Public Transport, Open Windows campagin soon to get underway (he hopes) for 2 Dart lines along the M50 with a new “4 km C-Zone” stretching right along the M50 to create Dublins future C City landscape is just the ticket.

This will create a complete orbital high capcity rail network for the city very quickly (connected to exisitng Dart). Stopping sprawl by ending the urban city at the M50 while actually letting it grow like a vine along M50 in a natural way. I believe this creates the only viable model for Dublins future, the best wiggle room we could hope for. So far all policies & planning up till now represent preplanned-inbuilt failure.

The M50 is not a motorway anymore and canot be viewed in the light anymore, its legacy thinking for a dead world.

The M50 is Dublins greatest in land assest and can help to revitalise the city. We all need to change our perceptions of its potential and see this happen at a state level.

It must only be viewed as a future high capcity conduit already purchased, leveled and ready to take whatever we throw at it.

The M50 is far to valuable to be parking cars on it everyday.

I’d also propose to rename it to the M50-C.


A property tax based on population density would be an idea. With property near important amenities such as DART and LUAS stations paying at a much higher rate. If you want to live in two story building with a nice garden within a stroll of the DART station you’re going to pay through the nose to do so.
This way no need for govt to get involved in CPO’s and the redevelopment, except to have minimum standards on the housing built.

What a missed opportunity the past ten years have been to build a sustainable people friendly city.

Indeed. I’m not a fan of TAX on primary income myself (to a threshold). I’m not sure a property tax is good either. I’m not sure ownership of property in some respects is good either. Tax implies you are not a free to hold property in my book. BTW I am not a property owner myself.

Its a simple case of the needs of the many out waying the needs of the few. SO why should a handleful of people live close to good amenities & services when thousands could instead per sq/km.

No good reason other than we repsect people right to hold proerty as is, and are told pwer displacement is bad. In the context of the greater good, I don’t believe it.

I think it should be obvious to people now that the concept of “profit” generating “people friendly” idea/situations/products is indeed a giant fraud especially when it comes to planning, housing, state infrastructure in general.

Tax is always a disincentive to do something - that’s the nature of it. It’s generally better to tax things you don’t want people doing, or things which have a cost to society, rather than things which benefit society - therefore petrol tax good, income tax bad.

Since ‘well located’ property is well located largely because of various public amenities, access to transport etc, it’s clear part of its value has come from public spending. Likewise, since it’s not possible to have everyone take equal advantage of this spending, there should be some payback from those who can take advantage of it - and if it’s low density housing, the payback should be all the greater, since less people are getting the benefits.

A property tax, based on land area (to encourage higher density) and some objective measure of ‘desirability’ of the area would seem to make sense.

Constructal Theory: Introduction to the Inverse of Biomimicry … al_the.php

I can’t explain how important this is but to say, it is so.

We have the BEST planners money can buy.

Yea, I’m surprised they haven’t tried their hand at ebay :wink: