On the 3rd of August, on a surprisingly sunny day amidst this year’s rainy Irish summer, Dáithí Downey, geographer and policy analyst with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), kindly agreed to lead us on a tour of some of Dublin’s long-standing social housing communities and incoming developments.
Social housing plays a crucial role in ensuring equitable access to safe and affordable shelter for all members of society. It helps alleviate homelessness, poverty and inequality. It contributes to building inclusive communities, fostering social cohesion and offering individuals and families a foundation from which they can pursue education, employment and a better quality of life. Moreover, investing in social housing demonstrates a commitment to addressing the fundamental human right of adequate housing and promotes a more just and compassionate society.
The tour began at the Fatima Luas stop and wound around various neighbourhoods in Dublin 8. Stops included the Herberton Development (former Fatima Mansions site), Dolphin House, Donore Project (St. Teresa’s Gardens) and Margaret Kennedy Road. At each of these stops, Dáithí arranged meetings with associated architects and/or community liaison officers. Stefan Lowe (DCC Architects) and Laura O’Gorman (DCC Architects) explained to us how community life was addressed through the construction of social housing.
The Team also met, Laura Kenny (Project Estate Officer for Dublin South Central) and Katarzyna Batraniec (DCC Architects) to discuss their work overseeing “rapid-build” volumetric developments near Weaver Park. After, we managed to squeeze in a brief rest stop in Bridgefoot Street Park after spending 3.5 hours on foot, where Dáithí pointed out the completed volumetric developments facing this lively public park.
As the Data Stories team works on housing and property data, an understanding of social housing is essential for a complete analysis. Social housing data not only offers insights into the well-being of marginalised populations, but also highlights broader societal trends. By examining social housing models, it is possible to measure the effectiveness of government policies, identify housing disparities and assess the impact of urban development on vulnerable communities.
That is why we would like to thank all the individuals who made time (and handouts!) to meet with us and to educate us on the history and future projections for these evolving neighbourhoods and communities. A very special thanks to Dáithí for his bespoke tour and willingness to share his in-depth knowledge of a growing and changing Dublin.