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 Post subject: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:06 pm 
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I always think (thought?) of Dublin as being unusually low-rise and low-density amongst other internationally comparable cities. While searching for numbers to back this up, I came across this article which actually shows the exact opposite to what I was expecting (in a comparison with Amsterdam).

Quickly googling a number of other middle to large sized cities in Europe I was surprised by how many we were roughly in line with. Liverpool city centre feels like it's denser than Dublin - there's a lot more tall buildings clustered together - but actually we're very slightly denser. Same with Manchester and Berlin. We're way denser than Rome, Edinburgh and Krakow, and only slightly behind Madrid and Munich (there are a few of the handful I checked which are far denser too, including Barcelona, Lyon and Paris).

Does Dublin feel less dense because people in the city centre live in smaller accommodation? Or is it my imagination?

Does my "just build up!" solution fall apart a little in the face of the fact that, actually, we're at an appropriate density for a city our size?

Thoughts welcome, as I try to wrap my head around being so comprehensively wrong*




*At least according to Wikipedia's figures


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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:07 pm 
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Interesting question and not easily answered.

For a start, it depends on what you mean by "Dublin" Is it the area of Dublin City, the four Dublin county councils, the built up area? In the third case, how far is it built up? When does a suburb cease to be part of the city and become a separate urban area? After 200m of open space with no buildings? 500m? 1km? 10km?

What does strike me about Dublin, is that there's relatively little variation in density across the city. The fairly low density housing starts quite close to the centre and continues almost to the edge, without much variation. It has a medium density core and then drops to lower-mid density in most directions almost as soon as you pass the canals and doesn't vary much from there, apart from a few obviously low density areas like Foxrock and those parts of Howth outside the town centre. It mostly lacks the upper medium density inner suburbs that a lot of cities of its size have, particularly large British cities, that have a fairly similar political and social history.

And now for the personal subjective rant. :wink:

I've said before that while Dublin could take some more high density city centre housing, particularly in places like Docklands and around Inchicore, the main problem is that the inner and inner-mid suburbs consist of far too much Crumlin and not enough Phibsboro. Those 1920s to 1960s suburbs are very wasteful, in that they use a lot of space, without giving much sense of space. That kind of bastardised garden suburb design made the streets take as much space as country lanes, while the houses and gardens felt like they'd been jammed in as urban leftovers. The balance between precious private space and useless public void was entirely wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:16 pm 
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muirgheasa wrote:
We're way denser than Rome, Edinburgh and Krakow, and only slightly behind Madrid and Munich (there are a few of the handful I checked which are far denser too, including Barcelona, Lyon and Paris).

Does Dublin feel less dense because people in the city centre live in smaller accommodation? Or is it my imagination?

There maybe something in property size metric, for example we didn't see the same sprawling suburbs of Britain in the 60s and 70s where two up two down with a garage and garden was a norm. Instead we were building Ballymun and Tallaght and other terraced/semi-D high density developments where car space wasn't as prominent.

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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:34 pm 
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catbear wrote:
muirgheasa wrote:
We're way denser than Rome, Edinburgh and Krakow, and only slightly behind Madrid and Munich (there are a few of the handful I checked which are far denser too, including Barcelona, Lyon and Paris).

Does Dublin feel less dense because people in the city centre live in smaller accommodation? Or is it my imagination?

There maybe something in property size metric, for example we didn't see the same sprawling suburbs of Britain in the 60s and 70s where two up two down with a garage and garden was a norm. Instead we were building Ballymun and Tallaght and other terraced/semi-D high density developments where car space wasn't as prominent.


Actually, Ballymun and particularly Tallaght are good (or maybe particularly awful) examples of that lousy spatial balance that I meant. They have neither covered car space, nor garden, but just barren monoculture ryegrass void between cramped homes that have no sense of privacy.

I still think that the typical late Victorian or Edwardian rectilinear terrace, with long, but fairly narrow gardens that form an enclosed square, where each household has its own private piece of greenery, not overlooked, is a close to perfect solution to medium density housing, whatever the shortcomings of 19th century building technology might have been.
It does, of course only work well with a maximum of one car per household, so it helps to have functioning public transport and this is where Dublin falls short (as the authors of that article point out).

I wonder if cities that entered the 20th century horribly cramped, like Dublin and Edinburgh (outside the northern area of the New Town and places like Morningside) then tried to compensate, but overcompensated and mostly in the wrong way, while those that spread out earlier managed a more progressive reduction in density. Dublin seems to go straight from urban to exurban, without much in between.

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People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.


Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Book I, Chapter X, Part II,


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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:34 pm 
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I've no source for this but an architect friend living in the UK says that Victorian redbrick estates with communal gardens achieve similar densities to higher apartment developments once you factor in the requirement for larger green spaces.

The issue with Dublin isn't the overall density. It's with the lack of clustering.

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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:08 am 
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There are clear links in many research papers about reduced levels of health issues where people live in denser areas and have close access to good parklands than people living in rural areas where often you`ll have a large garden but no parks (all farmland etc).

Higher density have a negative impact on mental health however. Urbanisation has occurred hard and fast over the last hundred years across the world. We went from a mostly rural species to a predominantly urban one.
It also isn`t necessarily the environmentally friendlier thing to do.

On such a small island with so many small towns/cities that could be relatively easily connected to Dublin we should probably consolidate Dublin, improve its infrastructure and then focus on a single town/city - somewhere not too distant - for development. How many jobs would move if every government department, then unspecific to Dublin, was moved? Half the workforces are probably commuting from places like Mullingar/Naas anyway.



https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/6bb1/a ... a2fba0.pdf

Quote:
Department of Psychology and School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia V8S 2H1, Canada


Quote:
Abstract: A full account of architectural science must include empirical findings about the social and psychological influences that buildings have
on their occupants. Tall residential buildings can have a myriad of such effects. This review summarizes the results of research on the influences
of high-rise buildings on residents’ experiences of the building, satisfaction, preferences, social behavior, crime and fear of crime, children, mental
health and suicide. Most conclusions are tempered by moderating factors, including residential socioeconomic status, neighborhood quality,
parenting, gender, stage of life, indoor density, and the ability to choose a housing form. However, moderators aside, the literature suggests that
high-rises are less satisfactory than other housing forms for most people, that they are not optimal for children, that social relations are more impersonal
and helping behavior is less than in other housing forms, that crime and fear of crime are greater, and that they may independently account
for some suicides.


http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q= ... 7F652C__6g

Quote:
Aalto University School of Engineering, P.O. Box 11200, 00076 AALTO, Finland


Quote:
A Carbon Consumption Comparison of Rural and Urban Lifestyles
Abstract: Sustainable consumption has been addressed from different perspectives in numerous studies. Recently, urban structure-related lifestyle issues have gained more emphasis in the research as cities search for effective strategies to reduce their 80% share of the global carbon emissions. However, the prevailing belief often seen is that cities would be more sustainable in nature compared to surrounding suburban and rural areas. This paper will illustrate, by studying four different urban structure related lifestyles in Finland, that the situation might be reversed. Actually, substantially more carbon emissions seem to be caused on a per capita level in cities than in suburban and rural areas. This is mainly due to the higher income level in larger urban centers, but even housing-related emissions seem to favor less urbanized areas. The method of the study is a consumption-based life cycle assessment of carbon emissions. In more detail, a hybrid life cycle assessment (LCA) model, that is comprehensive in providing a full inventory and can accommodate process data, is utilized.


How many people actually want to live in a high rise apartment block?
What do people prefer?? We should be planning for the kind of a life we want and making that happen, I`d love to see some surveys done in Ireland by councils planning departments before they get to work on their fancy development plans.

http://uli.org/wp-content/uploads/ULI-D ... Report.pdf
Quote:
If people could live where they wanted in the next five years, half would live in either a small town (26%) or a rural area (24%). Suburbs appeal to 17% of the population, medium-sized cities to 16%, and big cities to 12%.
Seventy percent of rural residents would choose to stay there in the future, compared to a tiny three percent of rural residents who would rather live in a big city. In contrast, only 36% of big city residents would choose to live in a big city in the future; 18% see themselves in a rural area and 17% in a suburb.


http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Site ... rature.pdf
Suburban V Urban
Quote:
Previous studies that have explored housing preferences and aspirations (in an unconstrained context) have generally found a strong underlying preference for suburban living (with associated larger house size, more land, and stand-alone houses) and a willingness to accept a trade-off with longer travel time. For example, a national study undertaken in 2010 found that 53 per cent favoured a larger house further out of a city centre compared to 23 per cent who preferred a smaller dwelling in the city (Preval, Chapman, and Howden–Chapman, 2010). In terms of commuting and space trade-offs, 56 per cent favoured more space and a longer commuting time, whereas 15 per cent preferred a shorter commute and less space (Preval et al., 2010).


Quote:
While studies highlight a strong bias towards stand-alone houses and lower density suburban living (Haarhoff et al., 2012; Saville-Smith and James, 2010), there is evidence that higher-density living appeals to some, and is often a trade-off that people make in order to be situated in a preferred location close to amenities and facilities (Allen, 2015; Carroll et al., 2011; Preval et al., 2010; UMR, 2009).



Dublin has a high population density relative to the city population when you look at the stats. It also has a decent sized hinterland. It needs better infrastructure to reflect all of this. It is also missing a focal point. I think this is why we all feel that something is amiss. I believe the post war of independence plan was to move the city centre close to the Phoenix park with an avenue running directly into it. Does anyone know anything about that? I think the money was spent on the civil war and it was shelved.


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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:00 am 
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I was a bit surprised by these findings because Dublin is so low rise, but after a bit of thought I can see why Dublin is in there.

But there are a few reasons why Dublin is in practice not as high density as this makes out.
-It is population per sq km, not dwellings per sq km. Ireland has very large households, so the dwelling per sq km is not as high
-Barring the Phoenix Park and St Anne's, Dublin does not have many large parks. There are actually very few on the southside.
-Dublin never had much industry, and the port is not really used for transshipments. The 'dense' parts of Amsterdam have quite a lot of port and industry in them where not many people live

The problem with density in Dublin is the 1930-1970s suburbs - both working and middle class - which consist of houses with very large gardens. Crumlin and Drimnagh are good examples. So is Clontarf.

Short of CPO-ing large tracts of semi-Ds and knocking them (which would be politically impossible) it is impossible to densify these parts of the city.

Ideally it would be better to let people live where the jobs are (city centre).

The only hope for Dublin is building high in the city centre, but our planning gurus are prefer low-rise derelection over a spoiled view.


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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:22 am 
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Posts: 4543
I would have said that houses in places like Crumlin and Drimnagh don't have particularly large gardens, but these places do have enormous expanses of verge, driveways, winding roads, greens that consist of nothing but patches of boring grass and the like.
I'd say it isn't the gardens that are the problem, so much as the voids in front of the houses.

Still, packing other people into the city centre would suit me well enough, in that it would remove stress from the places where both the gardens and the jobs are (suburbia and the industrial estates therein). :D (Your professional and domestic habits might differ. :wink: )

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People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.


Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations
Book I, Chapter X, Part II,


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 Post subject: Re: Dublin - a low density city?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:57 pm 
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interesting.

What about really dense place with great transit like Barcelona?

really old data.
http://geographyfieldwork.com/PopDensity.htm


Quote:
The city proper has a high population density of 16,000 people per square kilometers (41,000/sq mi). This makes Barcelona one of Europe's most densely populated cities. By far the most densely populated area in the city is Eixample, with 36,000 people per square kilometer (or 92,000 per square mile), as well as the neighborhood of la Sagrada Familia with over 50,000 people per square kilometer.



btw.. Why there is not google map layer with density for big cities yet?

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