The place of social housing in the urban regenerations project lead by the city of Paris : 2024 Olympic Games taking over ?

By Liza Jabbour

Paris-2024-Célébration-au

With the upcoming Olympic Games of 2024, Paris is facing a real challenge by keeping up the social housing project in the surroundings of the capital and trying to fit in the new structure sport complex into the very crowded (yet not completely explored) districts of Paris. 

The urban regeneration is a process that involves improvement or restructuration of derelict or delapitated buildings to a whole district of a city, through redevelopment. According to the Human Geography department of Oxford, it is more of “a term for the various strategies to restore profitability  and/or repopulate areas of the city deemed to be in decline”. In a way, it is one of the many purpose of urban regeneration. But does it involved the habitants already living there in the restructuration ? Most of the time, it is followed by an expensive regeneration, i.e., very modern and luxurious compounds with a secure area, beautiful very artistic landscaped gardens and private parks, new trendy and very post-industrial styled shop, with façades that sometimes have taken over the district identity with words that does echoes to the ancient factory that were standing here. Le parc de la Villette (picture below) is a very good example, to show urban regeneration of an old factor area, that is now a cultural landmark in Paris, with an Theatre, an Opera, a science department museum, an exhibition room which is the old “Les Halles” renovated. They hosted last year the James Bond 007 exhibition.

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But that does not go without expenses led by the townhall, or  the private company and new market company. Sure, the French law assures the stability between low and high incomes families by asking each town to have a minimum of 30% of social housing. The fact is, it is not always the case where the law protect the population in need. By giving those projects to private investors, towns allow the private actors to rise up the prices and by doing so, regenerate also the population classes. The procedure is very simple and sadly legal. They allow the buying and the renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper and middle income families or individuals, raising property values but often displaying low-income families and small businesses. This is called Gentrification.

17parisAs Paris is running every project possible to be the best host for the 2024 Olympic Games, the city hasn’t stopped the renovation projects in the city centre and the periphery. While trying to please everyone, that is to say the tourist industry and the Parisians by rising the number of housing, Paris is also struggling to make some place for the new project of sport centres and olympic complexes that will be incorporate into the Capital. With all that, we are adding the enormous problem of having roughly 18% of the French population living in the capital and it’s surroundings.

The National Agency for Urban Regeneration (ANRU) has announced for the period of 2014-2024 three new urban regeneration programs, that will promote a cross-cutting approach to issues related to employment, social cohesion, urban environment, living environment and urban renewal in priority neighbourhoods.

The amount then announced by ANRU is 5 billion euros. With the financial assistance of Action Housing, the final amount will be more than 20 billion euros of investment. So, we understand that now Paris is betting on renovation while keeping the history of the city preserved. But what about the purchasing power of the Parisians with low incomes? Are they taken into consideration into those marvellous and expensive urban projects ? Are Paris and the surrounding towns giving up on those priority cases by means of the future Olympic Games?

To illustrate my argument, here’s a good example of urban regeneration program and its consequences over the city population and housing dynamic.

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Caption above : One of the urban project launched for the Plaine of Saint-Denis, delivery expected in 2018.

One of the biggest urban regeneration project in Ile-de-France region (IDF) is the Plaine of Saint-Denis restructuration. That includes, new compounds and disabilitated areas that were once hyper dynamic during the industrial era. The main fact about this area, is that it encountered different phases of evolution in its regeneration. At first it was slow and didn’t have much popularity over the Parisians. But after the World Soccer Cup of 1998, the area started to become very popular and dynamic. By building Sport centre complexes and especially the Stade de France, it totally changed the way people saw The Plaine of Saint-Denis.

According to Paul Lecroart, who wrote a paper on the urban regeneration of The Plaine of Saint-Denis in Paris region, the “urban decline can be a rapid phenomenon, but regeneration is slow at first”. Every regeneration project encounteres bad criticisms and not much support. It only takes off when you have an actual result, like for example the Plaine Saint-Denis took off after the French soccer team won the World Cup in 1998 at the Stade de France.

France

After that, the Stade de France welcomed hundreds of events such as sport, music concert and is continuing to gain an important place into Paris cultural dynamic. “Initial ambition and government support” is the key to most of the urban regeneration projects. To quote a paper on comparative study between NYC and Berlin about The financialisation of rental housing ; “These dynamics were most apparent not in housing but in commercial property, as growing financial and business services sectors increased demand for prime commercial real estate and local governments remade downtowns into elite consumption spaces.”. For example, Châtelet-les-Halles in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, right in the centre, had very bad attempted. When they decided to restructure the area by renovating the Mall that took over the area like a spider web. By going underground and being linked to the subway transportation web,  it took about 3/4 of the arrondissement itself. By putting luxurious brand store and new trendy and chic coffee shops all around it, and also by landscaping a great public park, it pushed away the drug dealing and the  massive pickpockets groups. The restructuration of the area was followed by the gentrification, inevitably, it raised up about 10% of the rental housing and over 50% of the sale-market housing.

In conclusion, we can see that Paris has given the place of social housing in her urban politics, however, it does not solve the problem. By also supporting the regeneration of the city, its spirit, culturally speaking, allowing private markets to take over the projects and pin the prices in the area, the urban regeneration became the synonym of gentrification. Capture d’écran 2017-11-09 à 13.50.32.png

 

Bibliography

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/jan/19/urbanists-guide-paris-sides-city-violence-tragedy
  2. https://unhabitat.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/GRHS2009CaseStudyChapter08Paris.pdf
  3. https://www.archdaily.com/635801/the-transnational-urbanism-of-paris-an-interview-with-assistant-mayor-jean-louis-missika
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/03/paris-sarcelles-housing-estate-culture-closing
  5. https://www.archdaily.com/635801/the-transnational-urbanism-of-paris-an-interview-with-assistant-mayor-jean-louis-missika
  6. http://theconversation.com/paris-is-leading-the-world-in-progressive-urbanism-heres-how-54792
  7. https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/home/paris-launches-unprecented-city-wide-urban-regeneration-contest/8672097.article

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Urban Entrepreneurialism

By David Duggan

One of the best example of urban entrepreneurialism, in Ireland, is seen in the Temple Bar, in the heart of Dublin City. The once proposed hub for the State transport company, Coras Iompair Eireann (C.I.E), has evolved into the cultural and tourist Capital of Ireland. This has been a direct result of a growth coalition beginning with Charles Haughey and a number of restaurateurs, publicans and entrepreneurs (Irish Times, 1996). It is a clear example of the post industrial city in Dublin.

The Temple Bar urban regeneration project was originally to accommodate the European Capital of Culture in 1991 (ECOC). However, this project coincided with the transformation of Ireland into a knowledge based economy and it also acted as an opportunity to rebrand Dublin into a ‘cultural city’. In 1991, there was a shift in Government policy and expenditure to resurrect the Temple Bar (Irish Times, 1999). This included direct public funding as well as the foundation of Temple Bar Properties Ltd (TBP). This was an independent company whose objective was to oversee the urban development.

 

The Government put forward £40.6 million from 1991-1999, whilst TBP Ltd borrowed £60 million from the European Investment Bank and Bank of Ireland, to put the total investment during the eight year period to over £100 million (Irish Times, 1999). Along with this Government expenditure, capital allowances on expenses from the refurbishment of factories, double rent allowance for traders leasing refurbished or new buildings, and tax relief for owner occupiers were all introduced to incentivize investment. This lead to the growth coalition whereby the private sector also invested a further 100 million pounds in the Temple Bar area.

Original Tax Break Documents

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It was during this period speculative urbanism began within the Temple Bar area. Derelict and abandoned buildings were rejuvenated and transformed into retail units. The regeneration was not one dimensional however, there was a number of cultural infrastructures put in place, including activities for children, a number of music forms as well as film, photography, and photography archives (2,3). These included the Ark (Children’s theatre) and the IFC. This ensured that the original image of the Temple Bar, as a place for artists and creative individuals, was preserved and also enhanced.

Similarly, a number of pubs including the Temple Bar Pub, which had been in ruins, was regenerated to accommodate the influx of tourists into Dublin city. Along with The Temple Bar Pub which was purchased in 1996 during the urban development period, there has been many new restaurants and cocktail bars founded in the area (Irish Times, 1996). Examples of new restaurants and bars can be seen in the Eden café, the Badass café, the Clarence Hotel and latterly Robertas and the Vintage Cocktail club. These pubs, restaurants and bars all combine to convey the image of the Temple Bar being a trendy but cultural area at the same time.

Temple Bar 1991 – Extremely run down

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Temple Bar 1997 Regeneration

TB DEV

Temple Bar 2016 – Results of regeneration

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This process of urban entrepreneurialism is still ongoing within the Temple Bar today. There is an ongoing application process to regenerate the Temple Bar square in order to allow more cultural activities, whilst preserving the protected structures (4). “Our vision sees the potential for a more diverse square, with many potentials, including diverse cultural activities, markets and events that could potentially be organized around an annual cultural calendar” (Dublin City Council, 2017).

Temple Bar Square proposed plans

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Similarly, the former building of the Central Bank of Ireland was sold for €75 million in August 2017 and there are proposed plans for refurbishment. The plans include a pub and a roof top restaurant with a capacity of over 300 people (Irish Times, 2017). This shows the ongoing urban entrepreneurialism in the Temple Bar with numerous cultural developments taking place now and into the foreseeable future.

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Despite many people being resistant to agree to the regeneration of the Temple Bar area in the early 1990s, substantial revenue figures from the ever growing tourist industry in the area coupled with thousands of jobs there has seen a change in the attitude to urban entrepreneurialism. Similarly, another major aspect that has changed the mind of numerous people including journalists has been the preservation of culture and architecture in the area.

 

Media coverage of the regeneration process has reflected the change in view in Ireland in relation to the Temple Bar Project.

 

1996

“Temple Bar has become the brashest example of the cash that is sloshing around Dublin in these boom days. If your needs in life include designer spectacles, sun dried tomatoes and a pub every five yards, it is heaven.” (Irish Times, 1996)

 

2016

“The next time you reject at the idea of Temple Bar because of your notions about the kitschy tourist bars and wild late nights, I would suggest giving it another shot – do a bit of exploring beneath the surface. I promise you will find something unique that grabs your interest, and you’ll want to return again soon.” (Irish Central, 2017)

 

Temple Bar is the most profound example of urban entrepreneurialism in Dublin. It demonstrates clear characteristics of an area where a flagship event, the ECOC, led to a growth coalition of investment from the state and entrepreneurs. The derelict buildings have been rejuvenated over the years as the area has evolved into a highly profitable cultural and tourist hub. In my opinion, urban entrepreneurialism is an extremely beneficial concept that does not create a ‘squeeze’ in the same way gentrification does because of the benefit to the local community, which in temple bar’s case still remains there today. It seems clear that the resounding answer to the question posed is that people have preferred a cultural center to a poorly located bus station.

 

 

 

 

References

Consultation.dublincity.ie. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: https://consultation.dublincity.ie/parks/temple-bar-square/supporting_documents/Temple%20BarPart%208%20report.pdf [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

Deegan, S. (2017). The roof of the old Central Bank could become a new pub and Temple Bar residents are worried. [online] TheJournal.ie. Available at: http://www.thejournal.ie/central-bank-building-temple-bar-3598755-Sep2017/ [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

Irish Car Rentals. (2017). Irish Car Rentals. [online] Available at: https://www.irishcarrentals.com/abouttemplebar.php [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

Irish Times. (1996). Temple Bar: a dream gone wrong?. [online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/temple-bar-a-dream-gone-wrong-1.109955 [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

IrishCentral.com. (2017). Why you should give Temple Bar another chance. [online] Available at: https://www.irishcentral.com/travel/why-you-should-give-temple-bar-another-chance [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

The Irish Times. (1999). Scheme renews the heart of decaying town centres. [online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/scheme-renews-the-heart-of-decaying-town-centres-1.165557 [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

The Irish Times. (2017). FUNDING TEMPLE BAR. [online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/funding-temple-bar-1.67378?mode=sample&auth-failed=1&pw-origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.irishtimes.com%2Fopinion%2Fletters%2Ffunding-temple-bar-1.67378 [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

The Irish Times. (2017). Tourism numbers up 7% as The Gathering exceeds expectations. [online] Available at: https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/tourism-numbers-up-7-as-the-gathering-exceeds-expectations-1.1630842 [Accessed 12 Nov. 2017].

 

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London 2012 Olympic Games: Just a sporting event, or a tool for urban regeneration?

By Caolan MacGrianna

In 2012, London hosted the Olympic Games for the third time, giving it the record of holding the most Olympiads of the modern era. The event was hailed as a major success and a huge source of pride for Londoners, and indeed the country as a whole. The main objective, of course, was the promotion of sport, with creating a sporting legacy across the United Kingdom being within its stated aims, but also included in the central aims was the regeneration of London’s East End. Then-Mayor of London during the bidding process, Ken Livingstone, stated;

“One of my key priorities over the next seven years will be to ensure local people and businesses benefit to the greatest possible extent […] The London Games in 2012 will be far more than just a four-week festival of sport. They will be quite simply the most sustainable ever, leaving a lasting legacy of jobs, homes and environmental improvements for East London, London and Britain.”

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Aerial view of Olympic Park (jasonhawkes.com)

Urban regeneration as a theme of the Olympics is not a new concept. When Barcelona hosted the games in 1992, they used funding that would have otherwise been unavailable to them to achieve commercial and social aims, by using the Olympics funding in the context of ‘a post-Games regeneration legacy’. Since then, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has appropriated a significant weight to the idea of ‘legacy’, partly in the need to justify such large expenditures as are associated with hosting the Games (Imrie, Lees and Raco, 2010). Indeed, the focus of the London bid on these themes was central to its success; its commitment to furthering the existing regeneration initiatives in East London and the importance of legacy were emphasised in Parliament on the day following the announcement.

A path to rejuvenation

The core area of regeneration for the Games was the Lower Lea Valley, which incorporated parts of four of the five designated ‘Olympic boroughs’ – Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest. This area was previously described as “a deprived part of East London”, “one of the most deprived communities in the country” and a “run-down environment with an industrial history, suffer[ing] from a lack of infrastructure” (Geocases2.co.uk, n.d.). It is clear that these areas and communities were viewed as ‘a problem in need of a solution’, though this was often in contrast to the views of the residents themselves. In an effort to rejuvenate and revitalise these boroughs, it was within this area that the new 500-acre Olympic Park would be built.

“A well-planned and well-managed environment around the Olympic Park will attract business investment and promote physical activities. It will also encourage community and cultural use for years to come that is consistent with government targets and policy to reduce anti-social behaviour and crime, including improved crime prevention. […] This includes an anticipated £7 billion of private sector investment flowing into the area as a result of the wider regeneration” (Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk, 2008). This indicated the intended scale of the regeneration project, how central the concept was to the Olympic bid as a whole, and how the Games have been used to accelerate regeneration initiatives.

Thinking beyond the Games

Central to the regeneration initiatives was the development of transport in the area, including improved cycling and walking routes, upgrading of existing heavy rail platforms, refurbishment and re-opening of the disused Underground lines, Underground station upgrades and long-term transport frequency increases. The most significant of these were 50km of new cycle paths, major upgrades to Stratford Station, new lines for the Docklands Light Railway service and major investment in new rolling stock. These initiatives were of course, of significant importance to the operation of the games, but the aim was always to think beyond the Games.  Through consultative processes all along the way, local communities and businesses were given the opportunity to have an input in the planning framework, ensuring that the new developments would be of maximum benefit to them post-Games (Webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk, 2008).

An important aspect of the development was the provision of new housing and green spaces. The Olympic Village alone would provide 3,500 new homes, and a further 5,500 homes would be built on the rest of the Olympic Park site, totaling 9,000 new homes in total. These new developments would vary in size and tenure, to encourage a mixed and diverse community – 4,500 affordable houses and 4,500 others to be sold on the open market (Imrie, Lees and Raco, 2010). The Olympic Park itself would be the largest new London Park since the Victorian era, and would be developed partly by means of land remediation on urban wasteland on brownfield sites. Included in these developments would be Olympic-standard sports facilities for use by the public, and new business facilities that would in turn benefit the local community.

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (formerly Olympic Park) with Velodrome in background. (Wikipedia Commons)

Community dissatisfaction

These developments were not without opposition, however. The point is made by (Raco and Tunney, 2010) that, unlike usual development or regeneration projects, these were required to be completed within a fixed timeframe, regardless of local consultations planning and infrastructural challenges, and that these visions were orientated first and foremost towards fulfilling the Olympics’ criteria and satisfying the International Olympic Committee. Once the project is underway, “there is a political imperative for it to be delivered, whatever the objections of local and extra-local interests”. This was reflected by opposition groups to redevelopment efforts, who were strongly critical of such decisions as the demolition of the Clays Lane housing cooperative and compulsory evictions in places such as the Carpenters Estate in Newham (Watt, 2013).

Opposition groups were often critical of the perceived gentrification of the redeveloped areas, citing the reduction of social housing units in certain areas, and former residents being displaced due to increased accommodation costs. It has been argued that these processes of gentrification were already underway in large sections of East London, with the Olympic boroughs seeing the greatest relative price increases in percentage terms in London between 1995 and 2006. Though these processes were already underway (Florio and Edwards, 2001), the Olympic Games sped these processes up significantly (Watt, 2013).

Legacy

In short, the ‘legacy’ envisaged in the lead-up to the Games was perhaps different to the end result. Substantial redevelopment works did succeed, but benefitted some while others lost out. The Games were undoubtedly a catalyst for the upgrading of transport, housing and services in an often neglected East London, and these improvements led to increased interest in the area, resulting in some instances of gentrification. As can be seen, the Olympic Games will have a lasting effect on a host city, and are certainly more than just a sporting event. It is, therefore, the task of host cities to harness the potential of the Games, and to make sure the investments required are used efficiently and effectively.

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Olympic Rings on Tower Bridge. (geograph.org.uk)

References

Geocases2.co.uk. (n.d.). GEOCASES: Case Study: Urban Regeneration: The London Olympics 2012. [online] Available here. [Accessed 2 Nov. 2017].

Imrie, R., Lees, L. and Raco, M. (2010). Regenerating London. London: Routledge, pp.132-148.

Raco, M. and Tunney, E. (2010). Visibilities and Invisibilities in Urban Development: Small Business Communities and the London Olympics 2012. Urban Studies, 47(10), pp.2069-2091.

London 2012 Transport Plan, Olympic Delivery Authority (June 2011). Available here.

Watt, P. (2013). ‘It’s not for us’. City, [online] 17(1), pp.99-118. Available here.

Before, during and after: making the most of the London 2012 Games. [online] Available here. [Accessed 2 Nov. 2017].

Woudhuysen, J. (2017). The ‘Regeneration Games’, London, 2012. [online] Culturewars.org.uk. Available here. [Accessed 3 Nov. 2017].

Florio, S. and Edwards, M. (2001). Urban Regeneration in Stratford, London. Planning Practice and Research, [online] 16(2), pp.101-120. Available here.

Further sources of interest

Learning Legacy, a dedicated site for information regarding the Legacy of the London Games. Available here, and a detailed baseline report available here.

Candidate file for London 2012. Official bid documents submitted to the IOC. Available here.

The Olympic struggle of the London 2012 resisters – a short article about those opposed to the development efforts. Available here.

Towards a good enough Legacy: the long term impact of London 2012 – A piece reflecting on the idea of ‘Legacy’ after the Games. Available here.

 

This piece has been re-blogged from https://urbangeographytcd.wordpress.com/

Bringing it back to basics: The Dublin Docklands – Cities for whom?

By Ina Caul

With current discourse in urban geography concerned with the future of urban theory, it is easy to look beyond cities today. Cities, have experienced rapid, large-scale transformation in the last 100, more specifically, last 50 years, which has sparked such debates. Before getting concerned with the potential future of the urban and its studies, it is important to understand the city today.

Some people such as Glaeser (2011) consider the urban age we live in a triumph, while others such as Davis (2006) have a less positive perception of our urban world. Jonas et al. (2015) discuss a critical urban geography approach when looking at cities, and this is the kind of approach which will be taken when looking at the Dublin Docklands. It is often summed by the question cities for whom? 

Dublin has experienced tlarge-scale transformation in the last 50 years. Transforming itself into a 21st Century city with a knowledge-based economy. The Dublin Docklands area has seen a significant amount of change, being transformed under several urban regeneration projects. The focus here being on the north-side of the Dublin Docklands area and the initial phases of urban regeneration.

What exactly is meant by urban regeneration? Urban regeneration, (renewal or reconstruction), is a term for the various strategies used to restore profitability and/or repopulate areas of the city deemed to be in decline, it promises “physical, material, or spatial solutions to social and economic problems” (Castree at al., 2013).  Sounds like what has happened in Dublin, right?

With critical urban geography in mind, let’s look at these three questions in relation to the docklands; Who is building the city? Who are they building it for? Who lives there now?

Who was responsible for building regenerated docklands area of Dublin?

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Dublin Docklands in the 1930s (Image credit: http://www.ddda.ie)

The docklands, formerly home to a working-class population, fell into decline as its traditional industries did too.

In 1986 the central government introduced the Urban Renewal Act and the Finance Act one year later (Attuyer, 2015). The main objective of these acts was to promote urban redevelopment, in areas of disrepair or experiencing urban decline, by providing generous tax incentives to stimulate private investment in areas (Brudell and Attuyer, 2014). Two authorities were established to redevelop the area, the Custom House Docks Development Authority (CHDDA) which lasted from 1987 until 1997, and the more well-known Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) which was established in 1997 and dissolved in 2016.

The redevelopment can be divided into two phases under each of these authorities respectively. What is significant about the CHDDA, is that they were given full planning power, which would usually belong to Dublin City Council. Also in their Plan in 1994 they state ‘It is anticipated that the Authority will rely on partnership with the private sector to achieve many of its goals for redevelopment’ (Custom House Docks Development Authority Planning Scheme, 1994).

Walking through the docklands it is clear that flagship buildings of this renewal are the offices and commercial buildings, with the residential units further away from the river Liffey backing on to Sherrif Street. It seemed to have a binary land use function, either commercial and residential. It’s been said that the ‘character of the original site … became that of a high-class business enclave rather than a vibrant, new neighbourhood’ (Reflecting City Team, 2008a)

 

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Map from the Custom House Docks Development Authority Planning Scheme, 1994 (Published on http://www.dublindocklands.ie)

The second phase of renewal, under the DDDA (who had less power than the CHDDA) had more community involvement under the Dublin Docklands Area Master Plan (1997), a more integrated approach. They pursued a policy of a more mixed land-use with residential units, an educational institution, the National College of Ireland, shops, and restaurants side by side which can be clearly seen in Mayor Square. It was also a requirement that all new residential developments within the area must reserve 20% of all units for social and affordable housing (Reflecting City, 2008b)

Clearly a number of players are involved in regenerating the area; the state, development authorities, private investors, the community, to name a few. Which makes the next question a little more complex.

Who are they building it for?

Investors

For one, the state promoted the development of this area to attract foreign investment to Dublin. Ireland, is part of a globalised market and Dublin is competing with cities everywhere for investment. This money in turn can be, and has been used to further develop the docklands area. The area has commercial tenants in banking, financial, law and other service sectors. In the eyes of the government perhaps, or some politicians, the regeneration was a success as they managed to reframe themselves as a centre for knowledge production and decision making. It can also be viewed as a success in terms of restoring profitability in an area that was in decline.

Skilled, high income workers

When it comes to repopulating the area; gentrification comes into play. Gentrification, is defined by Lees, Slater and Wyly (2008) as the transformation of a working-class or vacant area of a city into middle-class residential and/or commercial use. It has become part of urban regeneration strategies in Dublin. With the dominant presence of jobs in the area in the sectors just mentioned, the ‘builders’ of this area created an area of attraction for young people working in these industries, which can be considered members of what Richard Florida (2003) coined the ‘creative-class’.

With all this investment and the influx of a particular kind of worker, comes the question:

Who actually lives there now?

If we look at the population of the IFSC today, it gives us another impression of who this area was being built for and whether the targeted audience, for want of a better word, is indeed living here.

Looking at the development plans again, some potential problems which could, and have had an affect on who lives in the area stand out; there was a lack of involvement of the community in the initial phase of redevelopment, see here an RTE news report by Charlie Bird in 1986 highlighting some of these concerns. The extent to which any community involvement actually influenced development is questionable, and the reality of the local community being able to remain in the area is also in question, regardless of policies put into places when apartments were first being built.

The local community have difficulties keeping, renting or buying houses here. With rent prices as high as €2,177 a month for a two bedroom apartment in 2016 and sale prices for the same at €421,530, apartments are slipping further out of their reach (Reilly, O., 2017). The housing is further divided into social housing and affordable housing. The DDDA have no part in the review of applications or the management of housing lists, but have claimed to remain ‘committed to sustaining Docklands communities, in which housing plays a major role.’ (Dublin Docklands Development Authority, a). To purchase affordable housing, ‘the purchaser must be a first-time buyer, and an owner occupier, earning below €58,000 for a sole purchaser, and €75,000 for joint purchasers.’ (Dublin Docklands Development Authority, b). This rules out many people looking for affordable accommodation.

With streams of commuters flowing into the area every morning from Connolly station, off the Luas and off buses, it is apparent that many of the people employed in the area also do not live here.  Is this an indication that the property market here is inaccessible for some of its own employees too?

The area seems to have a distinct 9-5 lifestyle, and despite efforts by the state and others to make it a more integrated area, a feeling of emptiness remains. I experience this sometimes as I pass through the area on my way to and from college. In the evening the area is eerily quiet (compared to other places in the city) and the presence of a culture rich creative-class cannot be seen. There is little life outside the work or college day, there is a lack of community.

Was this the aim of the regeneration of this area? Or does anyone, and by anyone, I mean the state and private investors care once they reap the financial benefits?

 

Reference list:

Attuyer, K. (2015). When Conflict Strikes: Contesting Neoliberal Urbanism outside Participatory Structures in Inner-city Dublin. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(4), pp.807-823.

Brudell, P. and Attuyer, K. (2014). Neoliberal ‘Regeneration’ and the Myth of Community Participation. In: A. MacLaran and S. Kelly, ed., Neoliberal Urban Policy and the Transformation of the City: Reshaping Dublin. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.203-218.

Castree, N., Kitchin, R. and Rogers, A. (2013). A dictionary of human geography. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Custom House Docks Development Authority Planning Scheme (1994). Available at: http://www.dublindocklands.ie/planning/planning-history/historical-schemes/custom-house-docks [Accessed 10 November 2017]

Davis, M. (2006). Planet of Slum. London: Verso.

Dublin Docklands Development Authority, )(b. Affordable Housing – Dublin Docklands. [online] Ddda.ie. Available at: http://www.ddda.ie/text/index.jsp?p=219&n=229 [Accessed 11 November 2017].

Dublin Docklands Development Authority. (a). Social Housing – Dublin Docklands. [online] Ddda.ie. Available at: http://www.ddda.ie/text/index.jsp?p=219&n=228 [Accessed 11 Nov. 2017].

Florida, R. (2003). Cities and the creative class. City & Community, 2(1), pp. 3-19.

Glaeser, E. (2011). Triumph of the city: How our greatest invention makes us richer, smarter, greener, healthier and happier. Penguin.

Jonas, A. E., McCann, E., and Thomas, M. (2015). Urban geography: a critical introduction. John Wiley & Sons.

Lees, L., Slater, T., and Wyly, E. K. (2008). Gentrification. Routledge.

Reflecting City Team (2008a). Custom House Docks Development Authority. [online] Reflecting City: Reconstruction of Dublin. Available at: http://www.reflectingcity.com/docklands/planning/custom-house-docks-development-authority/ [Accessed 11 Novemberd 2017].

Reflecting City Team (2008b). Masterplan 1997. [online] Reflecting City: the Reconstruction of Dublin. Available at: http://www.reflectingcity.com/docklands/planning/masterplan-1997/ [Accessed 10 November 2017].

Reilly, O. (2017) The Docklands Residential Report. Available at: http://www.owenreilly.ie/media/docklands-residential-property-update/ [Accessed 11 November 2017]

This piece has been re-blogged from: https://urbangeographytcd.wordpress.com/

 

Congratulations to Aisling O’Boyle!

Congratulations from all of us here in the Geography Department to Aisling O’Boyle! Aisling has been selected by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to be a Youth Delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The event will take place in New York in March.

More information can be found here: https://www.wagggs.org/en/what-we-do/speak-out/62commission-status-women/delegates/new-york/

Green Week: February 12th – 16th

A variety of events are scheduled across campus for Green Week, these include:

  • 13 February: GSU has an event booked:  The Simon Perry Sustainability Symposium and will be held in the HLT in the Museum building from 6-7:30 pm. Oisin Coghlan, president of Friends of the Earth and graduate of Trinity and a woman from the environmental engineering sector will speak. They will then focus on how students and the community can get involved in living sustainable lifestyles.
  • 14th February: “Optimising Power at Work”  Energy Awareness Stand – Trinity Medicine Centre & Trinity Translational Medicine Institute. For further information see: www.tcd.ie…
  • 15 February: Global Development Society are organising a talk in collaboration with Environment Society about the exploitation of Africa’s Natural Resources. Padraig Carmondy is going to address this topic. It will take place at the Synge Theatre, 6.15pm. It will be a talk followed by a Q&A session.
  • Duration of the week: Residents survey to identify sustainability issues of importance in their area. Goldsmith Hall. Residents will collate results and place on a sustainability ‘tree’, highlighting issues identified.

    For more information, please see: Green Week Information