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Dublin - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

What is Public Space?

category dublin | environment | event notice author Sunday March 12, 2006 17:29author by redjade Report this post to the editors

The St. Patrick's Festival Symposium in association with Dublin City Development Board presents... 'What is Public Space?'

DATE: Wednesday 15th March 2006
VENUE: Dublin Castle, Conference Center
TIME: 9:30am - 5:00pm

The St. Patrick's Festival Symposium in association with Dublin City Development Board, now in its fourth year, provides a platform for conversation and discussion on a wide range of issues. Building on the success of previous symposia, the theme for 2006 is "What is Public Space?" The Festival Symposium aims to create an event which looks at the many faceted responses to "What is Public Space?" and what this means for the changing communities in Ireland and the public at large.

In 2006, the festival will increase the international scope of the event; ensure an interactive day conducive to participation making the event accessible and appealing to a wide audience. Discussion topics on the day will include Public Ownership & Civic Engagement, Corporate/Civic Development, Public Art, Virtual Space, Urbanization & Heritage, and Public Vs Private Space. A number of prolific speakers will be invited to open discussion on each area.Tickets are available through the Festival Shop for concessions please call Carrie on 01 6763205


author by lizpublication date Tue Mar 14, 2006 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

have heard the public space symposium is 30 euros.
can anyone confirm this? is there anything about unbranded non-sponsored public space on the timetable?

author by jack whitepublication date Tue Mar 14, 2006 18:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tickets are €35 or €25 for a student....

author by Tank Girlpublication date Tue Mar 14, 2006 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the conference space is not very public. It might be better to picket it rather than attend it. Who are these goons? They obviously want to exclude ordinary people from the conference by charging such a high entrance fee.

author by attendeepublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 16:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It might be better to picket it rather than attend it."

The lifestyle of anti-everything-ism has gone to far. Get a life.

The seminar was okay I only went because it was covered by an organisation. The ticket WAS very high I thought, although there was a lot in the day, including various site visits and lunch. In my opinion they could have had less contributors, more public (it wasn't advertised very well), and so covered more ground more comprehensively, and then had tickets half that price. But there was a wide range of people attending, with a range of political and critical views, albeit generally professionally related (not just architects or planners, but community activists + activitsts, cyclists, academics, landscape people, street theatre + public theatre people, all giving their 2 cents)
Not as good as it could have been and yes it should have been more public but then so should most activist meetings (and before you say i "yes but activist meetinbgs are free" are more subtle ways to exclude people than ticket prices...remember Noam Chomsky at Teachers Club...if oyu don't its because you weren't invited!) but an interesting day all the same, with most of it based on audience/ panel debates and Q+A and the site visits (I chose to go to Fatima Mansions and listened to a great 1 and a half hour presentation by one of the locals and communtiy workers there). A little more complex than

"It might be better to picket it rather than attend it."

if that's the level of debate...

author by Tank Girlpublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is no comparison to the Noam Chomsky TC meeting. That was specifically for Libertarian activists. The conference above was a money making venture which had an outrageous attendance fee which was specifically designed to keep out the unwaged and low-waged.

author by Terencepublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 18:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Would it be same to assume no challenging questions were asked, considering the irony of having a conference on Public Space and then charging for it.

author by dunkpublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 19:39author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

a few things
1- velo city + sheriff st forum
2- audio archiving, live streaming, archiving
3- lets make our own conference

you think this is pricey: velo city, a similar forum back in early june brought the worlds cyling community together in dublin, €900+ a pop- mostly professionals and those part of groups that could afford to send them. we were trying to establish a greenway for the city (a dynamic public space) and asked could we go and were told no. they were having a bikeride around the city leaving from the docks, so we organised another one the following day for dublins first greenway cycle but we also organised a FREE forum in the community centre in sheriff st that was open to all to discuss biking in the city, the coming down of the canal wall, greenways, bike safety and workshops, etc etc, many people had said they would come.
unfortunately due to circumstances beyond everyones control the forum was cancelled, we still went ahead with the bikeride.
highly pricey forums for profesionals who end up dictating OR bottom up grassroots all inclusive free methods of organising, access to information, discussion, action etc..............it is felt in most progressive systems both the little and the big that it is ESSENTIAL for grassroots organisation - without it all fails, with it ; things sometimes go better
Majority World Velo City Special - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70101
Dublin City Greenway Cycle - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/70281

while not everyone can get to a forum such as this, due to work mostly, many can still listen live and sometimes participate without being there.

A- we tried to record parts of this forum and unfortunatley there was a tek hitch, if it had suceeded all who wanted could have listened to an archived version from the day - hopefully we will get a full enough written report from those who went there.
also, a thing i try to do, is let those who dont know about imc-ie know about it, send email with thread link and ask them to CARRY ON THE DISCUSSION online

B- the other option is to live stream, so those that have access to a weblink can listen to it via web radio of sorts. this is efficiently using the technology that is here for us now, that we are still not maximising on. "some" of indymedia sucessfully turned this idea into a reality back in october, there will be more
also in october: indymedia irelands first live stream, set up by "some" of imc-ie - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/73626#comment133312
Darklight Symposium 2005 - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/72507
Alternatives to Neoliberalism - audio files - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74802
Anarchist Bookfair 2006 - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74661

3- this is a very import issue, there are people actively engaging with and trying to create more interesting public space and events that for the short term make a space more exciting.
i propose we set up our own forum on this and invite all those professionals out to the streets and the parks- those interested can bounce a few ideas up at an example of this:
Sowing spuds on Saint Patrick's Day (dolphins barn community garden) http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74816
new community garden up and running in Phibsboro - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/74524
Bringing Nature to Man's Domain -previous imc-ie feature about dolphins barn garden - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/69689
calling all those lovers of this town -The Moore Street Lending Library -S27 - O15 - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/72169
Seomra Spraoi collective invites you to a night of play, art, discussion, film, food, disco - http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=71888
Take Back The City - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/71773
Critical Mass Cycle-Dublin City- Photos - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/66715
Hundreds Reclaim Streets In The Rain - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/69655

as a city liver, activist, cylcist, gardener, audio head, architect, urbanist..........dreamer i feel it is of the utmost of importance that more people actively interact with and shape their own space, no matter how little or how big, as opposed to being dictated to - and if it leads to confrontation so be it (personally in a non-violent way):
a healthy city is only so as its citizens activley play a part and enjoy doing so.

while there have been some very good moves by the city council in the last 10 -15 years, unfortunately much of the real city has been eroded, now that the inner city is desirable again inner city communities are being driven out "ethnic cleansing" is how one community activist i spoke with refered to it.> sheriff st area is now 14million an acre, spencer dock is rapidly growing

the council said that what the city needs is a sense of "neighbourhood identity" but the reality is big business is the driving force. = BAD
whats needed is a radical, critical, all inclusive dialogue, in different forms, areas, times etc to excite, to listen, to understand, to dream, to attempt, to enjoy

sorry for going on, perhaps this will prompt some discussion.
that eco city idea is starting to take off in china - http://easa.antville.org/stories/1294501/
greening city, connecting communities update: (Dolphins barn, Moore street, Chamber Court and Weaver Court ) http://easa.antville.org/stories/960542/#1117154

bottom line is - people need stuff to do in cities

what day suits people for the public forum in a public space about public space, hhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmm sounds like a day out for a picnic to me

greening the city, connecting communities, having stuff to do
greening the city, connecting communities, having stuff to do

author by Tank Girlpublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The bottom line is that this conference was priced at a certain level to ensure that ordinary people would not attend. You may be happy with that but I am not. How many ordinary working class people from the communities you work with attended this? How many could afford it?

author by attendeepublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 20:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tankgirl come on..take a look at this sentance again:
"That was specifically for Libertarian activists. The conference above was a money making venture which had an outrageous attendance fee which was specifically designed to keep out the unwaged and low-waged. "

As someone who was at the two largely middle class talks I can say people were exluded from both, the former because they did not meet social or intellectual criteria (and I know of at least one libertarian specifically not invitied because he would have upset the orderly flow of the WSM set questions...but I won't drag his name into this), and one through economic exclusion and lack of advertising outside of professional circles. So there are comparisons in the idea of a group of people only inviting likeminded individuals.

Actually, i doubt alot of money was made out of this. Again my last post states I didn't agree with the price of €35/ or €25 for students and dolies (me), and I stated how it should have been reduced (or made free...fair point,Terence), which is why I didn't pay it but found a way to blag in as work by reporting on it. In that reporting I will probably take your basic point (exclusion through economics) though definatly not your b/w style. At best it was an ill concieved event by people not used to
organising outside of the functionary/academic circles. I have seen this several times before as someone involved in community arts, and it usually comes down to tragic ignorance rather then design. My point being emotive in these circumstances probably won't help, it only confirms the stereotype for the organisers that you can't hold a reasoned debate so they were right not to include you. Sharp well placed questions are better. Be above them. In my opinion, allowing for the fact that these events cost money to put on, there should have been a more concerted effort to bring in a range of people, perhaps by being completly free or having a more sympathetic scale of ticket prices, specifically inviting community groups/users for free with professionals and those on a work junket having to pay.


"Would it be same to assume no challenging questions were asked, considering the irony of having a conference on Public Space and then charging for it."

good point Terence, and one of the reasons I pulled a few tricks to go. I was pleased to say that the demographics of the audience were not as monocultural as maybe you presume (and i presumed before I went) and there was a majority time for "throwing it open to the floor". To paraphrase a few things that I found of interest:

John Bowman (I was surprised at this) had asked a Dutch friend his main memory of Dublin:
"How your motorists treat your cyclists"
This a heated conversation on cycling in Dublin which I can't all remember now, but one young landscape architect and self-proclaimed city cyclist did take the DCC representative to taks about why in the new 11m Transport infastructure plan there was NO mention of cycling. I was shocked at this. Not even a tokenistic mention

All the cultural events and spaces of the city are designed primarily for a middle-class audience and there is a real fear of "the mob" is design of public spaces. Shane O'Toole (architecture critic)made this initial point but it was well picked up on by audience members, and reiterated in relation to seating (see below)

A french street theatre representative Marc Mirales recounted his experience of initiating free informally organised public events or festivals which eventually are co-opted by city officials when they get big and popular, under the guise of policing them andd making them safer, but usually to control and charge admission. I should have pickedup on the admission for this event at this point but it was five o' clock I was tired. Good point too in relation to the obscenely commercial St. Patricks Day.

Use by Dublin city of Public Private partnership to get things built was heavily criticised as us mortgaging our city in a way that our children will have to pay (we may be last generation to be able to retire was a scarey statement made by someone way older than me).

Commercialisation of public space was a big discussion actually, a lot of stuff about promotions and advertising in public squares and spaces, in particular the LCD screen now up in Temple Bar Sq and the blaring mobile radiostation often outside Stephen's Green.

RTS and critical mass, and the increasing pressure to use physical garda presence to stop them, were brought up albeit briefly. As was a mention in some quarters of people calling for ALL protests to be cancelled in wake of O' Connell st. riot.

Lack of public seating came up, with queries to DCC and architect present that how can you talk of public space if you don't encourage people to use them in outside of an aesthetic way.

Actually, DCC came in for a lot of criticism, to the point that I was almost sorry for the representative Mary Conway, but not so sorry I didn't have a go at her when I got my chance at the mic ( PPP and the new Dundrum..cough..Town Centre were my own particular bone of contention)

There was more, but phew, I'm tired.

At the Fatima Mansions talk needless to say DCC came in for a bit of slack, but it was measured by experience of playing the game, taking control of the game (in a breath-takingly admirable way..they were the heroes of the day fro all who attended) and getting things done for their community.

Okay, that it, my last word on this event, your lucky its so cold outside so I'm happy to stay in at the internet and draft such a long response.

I'm not an apologist for this event it could have been so much better and inclusive, so will not be dragged into a big arguement about the symposium. I've said my piece now as an interested party who was actually there.

LAST WORD... TankGirl and all, if you are serious about this issue I work with you and all other interested parties to try organise a real public discussion on Public Space. I mean this very genuinely, its something I'm interested in. As an anarchist I believe in organising alternate stuff rather then just criticising which is what Dunk was trying to get at too I think, but maybe you missed that bit. It would be a lot of hard work but it's obviously something your very committed to, as are others, so...lets show em how its done!

author by anonpublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They put a price on them to make they _seem_ worth going to, it attracts business people.

author by Tank Girlpublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 20:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Chomsky meeting was specifically for activists. There were other larger meetings which those interested could attend. None of the meetings had an entrance fee. The Space meeting was intended to be exclusive and exclude activists who could not afford or didnt want to pay an outrageous fee.

Libertarian activists are not going to have their agenda set by an anonymous middle class pro business activist. Good night and good luck.

author by (Circle) A Tendeepublication date Thu Mar 16, 2006 22:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The point about the price in relation to making it seem attractive to business people is a good one. The most concise yet perhaps.

But tankgirl ah now your just repeating yourself.

"The Chomsky meeting was specifically for activists. "

Maybe this symposium was specifically for middle class pro business people(public space though it was ironically called). So some big heads organised a symposia for another lot of big heads. A few of us smaller heads (my head is literally quite thin and small, i can never wear a cap without looking like a mushroom) blagged in or paid a concession in had a little say and I'm sure the big head will just carry on, no suprises there, why the hysteria, why cry, why not organise a counter event to show them up if you are really interested? A really effectual one rather then the talking shop that this symposiaum was (and this thread is...).

"There were other larger meetings which those interested could attend. None of the meetings had an entrance fee." (..read my earlier post about money not being only exclusion device)

Did you not have to join Amnesty for those? Did they not have big business media exclusivity interview deals? Was the Chomsky talk advertised in the Northside People ( I hope so) or other local papers in that serve working class communities? (Can I safely say then your are a snivling middle class liberal activist person?..no I cannot and I would not for i do not know you. or, hilariously, maybe face to face we do. such is the internet)

My basic point is there is a lot of anger at this seminar, whereas the correct response would have been to ignore it, it had almost nothing to do with the common experience. (Read above about big heads and little heads) A few things of interest were said, lamentably, possably to no effect, I went on a great site visit with ten other people (If you would even think of also calling the people working on the ground in Fatimia pro business becuse they deal with things like this and other big organisations and companies just to get tangible benefits rather than keeping a purist stance you are extremely, extremely misguided.) Anyway there are lots of exclusionary seminars for functionaries and academics every week in Dublin, some wear a more liberal mask like this one, some are technical, some are totally capitalist, I don't expect to go to them all. Everything is not for every one as you agreed with me viz-a-viz secret Chomsky gig. For personally known activists (including me).

and brilliantly at last...oh dear, i saw i coming why did jump back online after dinner, why?!...

"Libertarian activists are not going to have their agenda set by an anonymous(yes TANK GIRL) middle class* pro business (okay...that's the normal closedown response by somebody who dosen't have really good arguements to give or want to work towards any real output on the issue...i take the hint, i'll stop haranging you) activist. Good night and good luck"**

*(incidently, I really take that as an insult to my poor off dad and mum who worked very hard so I could be the only one in my family to make it to third level education,...I'm very thankful they did that for me, if not for the real chances it might gave me, but so that I can have the leisure of debating these points in such a non-practical manner on this economically exclusionary medium of the internet)

** I'll publically take back telling you to "get a life" right now if you take back this generalisation. Look at us, just look at us. We've become monsters. Your last comment makes neither of us look good, and i like to look good, as anyone who see me dancing at the bookfair can confirm.

happy st. patricks day!

author by dunkpublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

we had a very nice day shapim our space in the garden yesterday - get over the moaning- tale it from the virtual to the real- are ye on for a PUBLIC gathering to discusss all this?

author by anarchaeologist - GrassrootsDissentpublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 13:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dublin Shell to Sea is hosting an Anti-Authoritarian Assembly next Saturday (25th March) in St. Nicholas of Myra Parish Hall just off Francis Street in the Liberties from 16.00 onwards.

This is a perfect opportunity to discuss notions of public space, how and why such spaces are being commercialised, privatised and in the case of Glengad beach in Erris, turned into potential killing zones.

author by Tank Girlpublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its obvious that you are just out to diss the Chomsky meetings. No, you didnt have to be a member of Amnesty to attend their meeting, it was a case of applying for the (widely advertised) tickets. At the UCD meeting it was first come first served, you just had to queue early to get your seat.

As for anonymity, I have made it clear where I am coming from politically, you have not. That is why I suspect you are either a Dublin City Council employee or a business head. Doubt if you were on the demo today or the breakaway!

Good idea to discuss open space at the AAA.

author by HumVee Boypublication date Sat Mar 18, 2006 21:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any chance of getting some of the speakers from the expensive event along to the AAA. Thats if Dunk knows them or how to contact them and they will do it for free.

author by dunkpublication date Fri Dec 22, 2006 13:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

it is interesting to see how much of a network there is in barcelona that has been exploring the nature of "public space" and pushing it to the limits, in all senses; pyhsically, politically, as an idea to explore: where is it, what is it....

as an example of this

see http://rotorrr.org/terrats/index.html
the terrats (roof space level) project by rotorr collective where they had urban adventures at roof level, creating new public zones, new maps, new networks that played there.... amazing

also, in regard to the social centre movement and their constant creation of "public" spaces in "illegal" zones...
more of that at
Barcelona: 3 early morning raids on 3 squats, including MAKABRA

see also another example of this world from an architectural collecive here in barcelona : straddle3 http://straddle3.net/
also nau21 who are interconnected in this
http://nau21.net/project/public_domain.en.html is their bit with links on public domain

lastly heres a little photomontage we put together of the "barcelona and the adventure at top of the world"

feliz navidad


barcelona y la aventura arriba del mundo
barcelona y la aventura arriba del mundo

author by dunkpublication date Wed Jun 04, 2008 11:54author email d.crowley at ecointelligentgrowth dot netauthor address bcnauthor phone Report this post to the editors

Did anything come of the above online discussions, what with the seomra spraoi, its position(s) in the heart of part of dublin facing threaths due to speculation. plenty of opportunity, did the "activists" get out of the bubble / ghetto and connect with their neighbours... when "politics" gets that bit realer?
Not being in Dublin, i was unable for the face to face contact that is needed to make this happen, but, the idea was posted emailed to seomra spraoi and included on a feature...no response, and i feel, little of these connections made, perhaps they were? i / we (those reading whats going on from afar) didnt hear if so, and i dont think i saw any outcomes if they did.

In Barcelona there is much to be learned, and much learned already. specifically on the connection of "activists" to local struggles, the use of "activism" to help in struggles, the use of "activist spaces" for these interactions and more...

This summer, EASA, europes largest architectural student network will be in ireland in August, from 9th till the 24th, I would propose to you, that you try to set up the above discussed idea in a public space and have a discussion. Why not make it a lot of fun, as well as being a highly important urban system: bottom up architecture and urban planning. Personally I feel Ireland has still a lot further to go in this direction, this is a criticism yes, all be it a small one, but its also a challenge.

Last weekend the Grassroots gathering happened in Dublin, what came of it, what was discussed there, is there plans for above activities. There was a satirical spoof feature about the gathering, but perhaps it pointed out a lot of truths, hopefully these were adressed at the gathering.

Lastly, 1 concrete proposal: as part of the EASA gathering, i have been asked to lead an eco walk around the city on Sunday 10th of August, we will visit sheriff st park and talk about the greenway and how space is used there, it would be great for all of ye above to come and see each other face to face and let the discussions begin, in the FREE physical world.

Please see the last article i posted that includes more about concrete design solutions to halting climate crisis and views and experiences regarding the creation of a participative human architecture:

Adapt Or Die: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/87770

related: http://www.spacehijackers.co.uk/ and temp space for climate camp: http://www.climatecamp.org.uk/invite.php

regards from Barcelona

youtube vid: Botanic Spine : Sheriff street park part 2

The Botanic Spine is an architectural project for Dublin city in Ireland.
Sheriff Street Park is what part of that idea might look like tomorrow.

botanic spine + sherriff street park model
botanic spine + sherriff street park model

Related Link: http://www.youtube.com/user/fuspey
author by dunkpublication date Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

the post i mentioned regarding outreach, or simply saying hello, to the local community regard to the seomra spraoi experiment was posted at

It went with the image below, pointing out possible areas for investigation.

Here in BCN and in many other cities around the world there is a collective called KRAX, who also examine urban situations, have conferences (yes free, yes in a shared activist / community space) the recent one had representatives from collectives all over planet working on huge and deeply important urban struggles / issues. Again, news re this collective and their findings / actions were posted to seomra spraoi with no response. Some are squat collectives, some are working with Turkish communities being removed "because they are a tumor in the city" (istanbul), some anarchist new york social centres, some many thousands of people doing art to combat drugs and crime in mexico...

One such example of a successful project in a profoundly different part of the world to dublin or Barcelona:

Urban Typhoon says:
"The Urban Typhoon brought together artists, architects, activists and academics from all over the world with the residents of Koliwada, Dharavi to collectively generate ideas, visions and plans, and archive biographies and histories. The workshop's philosophy is based on the idea that communities should be allowed to determine their future and that everyone, no matter the age, language or qualification should be allowed to participate in the process."

see their presentation in english at http://krax.blip.tv/#864482 clik on "PUKAR / URBAN TYPHOON"

another amazing point of reference is POST IT CITY, the exhibition that finished last weekend, we went about 3 times in all and still couldent take it all in:
http://ciutatsocasionals.net/ + http://www.cccb.org/es/exposicio?idg=16445,
see accompanying POST-IT-CITY experiments from Bogota, Colombia

re KRAX:
autonomous cultural spaces : KRAX conference @ BCN

KRAX @ BCN 23-26, wander in or tune into stream

KRAX archived videos found at http://krax.blip.tv/
info navigation system is http://kraxcargo.citymined.org/


Regarding the previous post, sorry, I forgot a few links to supporT the above discussion:

spoof feature:
Provisional Lineup for Grassroots Gathering 2008 (Friday & Saturday)

acutal GG call:
Grassroots Gathering 2008 update
(with presently 1 short report back, 4 days on)

Grassroots Gathering Reader

regarding seomra spraoi

A Hidden History of Social Centres In Ireland…

Seomra Spraoi presents Scoil Spraoi - Social Centre gathering Friday 11 and Saturday 12 April

Seomra Spraoi: We got us some space! ... September 20, 2007
Seomra Spraoi launches new social centre this weekend

Give Us Some Space: New Initiative to Create Dublin Social Centre ...December 01, 2004

More musings on social centres in Ireland... December 08, 2004

seomra spraoi : a (past) position for community interaction?
seomra spraoi : a (past) position for community interaction?

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