Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Leader - Development Models

  • Comment
Ireland has ignored the UK and followed the European model of development. Now maybe it’s time for us to follow the Irish model…
I had two very contrasting conversations about regeneration this week. On Monday, I heard about Adamstown, a new town to the south of Dublin in Ireland, plans for which will be launched to the public next week.
The masterplanning architect, Neil Deely of Metropolitan Workshop, talked of a culture unburdened by cynicism and the mistakes of the past, with high aspirations, a sense of patronage, and how all this might help to create a new identity for Irish architecture. Deely’s surprise at the openness of the
developer to ideas was salutary.
The next day I went to a meeting with a London developer, one trying to do good work and getting to grips with mixed-use in a serious way. We talked about space standards and design quality, and he said the market will provide – higher quality will be for those who can afford it. We pondered the rabbit-hutch apartments under construction in London and how they might be improved when those
consumers are rarely owner-occupiers.
Britain might like to think of Ireland as a place below in the development firmament, but the country has its first generation of rich entrepreneurs, and there is nothing naïve about their Celtic Tiger attitude.
We know that Scandinavia, the Netherlands, most of central Europe and Spain are ahead of us in residential design, and now we find our neighbour to the west has ignored what passes for best practice in the UK, looking to Europe for precedents. Ireland has space standards, visionary planners, and young, ambitious developers. It has all but banned single-aspect flats. Irish developers are commissioning the country’s best architects, rather than ignoring them.
Adamstown is one of the major new-town projects in Europe, as big as Almere in the Netherlands. We will be bringing you a lot more on the project, and those involved with new-town development in the UK would do well to take a look.
  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.