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  • I have to say I think the break in construction is a very good thing for Dublin (most of the new buildings are anodyne and characterless, just as in London), although I do realise it's contributing to causing sprawl. I was in Wicklow last year to visit a friend and one day took the bus into the city (well, to Blackrock and walked from there), from further out than Greystones, and it was very interesting to see how badly it was all developing.

    Unfortunately, before a city has made the same mistakes that London made, it's usually impossible to get politicians to realise why those mistakes shouldn't be made. It's obviously a matter of national-level legislation rather than at the local or regional level, but that doesn't seem to be taken care of.

    What I found interesting were some very run-down parts right in the centre of Dublin, with empty houses and the like. The problem is that we have lost the mechanisms of gentle modernisation that used to happen fairly automatically and have gone for concentrated development on large plot sizes as the way forward, which Dublin is currently largely spared, fortunately.

    As for commuting from the suburbs, it should really finally be grasped by politics that you don't want to follow the London model but that you want to create a well-balanced network of centres throughout the city, with good mixed use, i.e. jobs, education, commerce, nightlife, etc. Over-centralisation is bad and (especially in this day and age, with modern communications technology) unnecessary.

    And yes, the trains seemed superannuated. We took the DART a couple of times.


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