Dublin

Successful cities come in all shapes and sizes.Going pop any time soon

Successful cities teeter on the brink of failure

Some of the world’s most successful cities are succeeding just a little too much and policy-makers are struggling to keep the whole show from falling apart.  From Berlin to Barcelona, Venice to Dublin, it’s all getting a little bit fraught.  Dougal Paver takes a look at the issue. Venice had a population of 134,000 in 1931.  Now it stands at […]

Dublin's housing crisis shows no signs of abatingDublin: bursting at the seams

Ireland’s housing crisis won’t be fixed any time soon

Ireland’s housing crisis is harming the country’s competitiveness, just at a time when it hopes to exploit whatever advantages Brexit may bring.  Clumsy government intervention means it won’t be solved any time soon, however.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver takes a look at what’s happening over the water. When your author spent three years knocking around Dublin in the late eighties […]

Public transport is goodPublic transport use is about the opportunity-cost of getting across town, not provision

Public transport: it’s all in the numbers

The scale and quality of public transport provision in a city matters most where its economy is growing like Topsy.  Just examining the raw data doesn’t tell you the whole picture, argues Merrion MD Dougal Paver. We love a good map or chart here at Merrion Towers.  Geography ‘O’ level: it never leaves you. And so I had to dive […]

Someone's listeningYou get a better quality of busker in Dublin. To be sure

Someone’s listening

One city has twigged that good buskers boost tourism whilst bad ones with limited repertoires send poor shop workers potty.  Hats off to Dublin, says Dougal Paver. A while back my esteemed guest blogger, John Flamson, pondered on the challenges of ensuring buskers cut the mustard.  I added a footnote about the quality I’d seen in Dublin and Galway recently, […]

Johnny Depp for Manchester?  Why not?Deansgate: going up in the world

Johnny Depp for Manchester? Why not?

The UK media is agog today at reports that Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Depp is moving to Manchester.  Turns out it’s a load of codswallop, but does that matter, asks Merrion Strategy MD Dougal Paver. Depp apparently said: “I’m just tired of the L.A. lifestyle and I feel like, at this point in my life, I’d rather just live in a place full […]

Thank you for the music?Grafton St, Dublin, where buskers know their music (if not their fashion)

Thank you for the music?

Our regular guest blogger, John Flamson, offers an entertaining treatise on the merits, or otherwise, of trying to regulate the quality of buskers.  Enjoy. A couple of years ago there was a peaceful protest on Liverpool’s streets about the council’s proposed rule to restrict the busking community.  The authority believed that compulsory permits for street performers would enhance quality and stop […]

Cruising to successIt's not the leaving of Liverpool...

Cruising to success

It’s axiomatic that cruise ships bring prosperity to host ports, says Merrion MD Dougal Paver.  So why is it that not everyone welcomes them, he asks? There’s a certain delight – not to say drama – in walking through Liverpool’s handsome business district and looking up to see the world’s largest cruise ship parked at the end of the street.  […]

What price a Dublin metro?Heavy traffic is the curse of modern Dublin

What price a Dublin metro?

Ireland’s politicians have kicked the can down the road once again with news that the Dublin metro is to be shelved.  The city’s creaking public transport system can barely cope and with the population surging it won’t end well, predicts Dougal Paver. I’ve blogged before about Dublin’s unsatisfactory patchwork of public transport provision.  For a city of its wealth and size the absence of […]

Gather up your bailing twine - it's time for the National Ploughing ChampionshipsLeft a bit...

Gather up your bailing twine – it’s time for the National Ploughing Championships

It’s the largest exporter per head of population in the world and one of the ten most innovative nations on earth, but what was the most read story on its business pages this morning?  Why, the National Ploughing Championships.  Ireland, dear reader, is still a rural country at heart. One of the advantages for a townie like me of heading for […]

Doheny's pub, DublinBehind these doors lies greatness. Pic credit: the talented Patrick Donald

What’s the pub-ulation of your town?

Among the joys of blogging about cities are the random discoveries that illuminate the quirks of our urban life – such as how you can map the British Isles through the number of pubs in each town.  How much fun is that? Let me presage this blog with a big hat-tip to Tris Brown, who runs the office of Mayor Anderson here in […]