JC-Safety in the Markets Area. « Designing Dublin: Learning to Learn

JC-Safety in the Markets Area.

This title implies that there is a danger/safety issues in this area. Not so?

This project emenated from our street conversations, titled ‘Open day’.

As each of us spoke to people in differant locations, inside and outside buildings, we had constant referances to how dark and unsafe the area was. When asked, everyone could tell me of a friend of theirs or a friend of a friend, who had an unhappy encounter in the area. this was a common occurance during our street and scheduled conversations in the city at large before christmas.

I had a chat with Lindsay after our open day conversations and we came to the conclusion that darkness wasn’t the difficulty and the lack of safety was more a presumption than a reality, as it is in many areas of the city.Tthis doesent mean that there is no crime in the area, just that it’s not as bad as presumed.

So what leads to the presumption?.

This is where i am at the moment, reading ‘The death and life of great American cities’ by Jane Jacobs.

Of course one book doesent supply all the answers to the problems of a city and this one is no differant.

It looks at ‘The North End ‘ of Boston (USA) and why the streets in that area work and others don’t.

My big question at the moment is ‘Everthing Jane says in this book makes sense, very pragmatic and easy to implement. Why hasen’t this happened’. This book was first published in 1963, still we make the same mistakes in our cities, while in Ireland our cities are more and more heading the same way as all cities of the world. i accept there are some exceptions but exceptions are not necessarily the answer.

Again another question? ‘Is it the drivers of change that matter’. Janes ideas are driven by principles that put people before everthing else in the living city, while most cities are driven by economic principles that see people as ‘an economic resource’.

Out of these questions will come a project in the market area around the topic of ‘Safety’.

Dublin- A city defined by searching for answers.

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