Dublin docklands reinvented

The post-industrial regeneration of a European city quarter


Niamh Moore

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Catalogue Price: €24.95
ISBN: 978-1-85182-835-7
Catalogue Price: €50.00
ISBN: 978-1-85182-834-0

August 2008. 320pp; ills.

‘An interesting study of this significant urban revolution in a nicely produced book with plenty of attractive black-and-white photographs and plans’, Books Ireland (April 2008).

‘Niamh Moore’s new book, puts the affectionate old sobriquet [“dear, dirty Dublin”] to rest. Laden with photographs, charts, maps and meticulous documentation, this volume covers the past 20 years of Dublin Port’s reclamation and revitalization … Moore has created a text replete with the players, the particulars and the anecdotes that make local histories so compelling. Students of political science will be mesmerized by the coverage of governing bodies including the Dublin Docklands Development Authority, the City Council and the Dublin Port Company. Environmental and socio-economic studies, political wheeling and dealing, and commercial wrestling and wrangling enliven the saga … Adept at presenting the stunning cooperation of government, industry and business in creation of a “success urban core”, Moore is no less expert in her portrayal of the excruciating, delicate balancing act still required of them all’, Mary McWay Seaman, Celtic Connection (September 2008).

‘Moore describes the radical transformations in the physical and social fabric of the district over the past quarter century. The docklands used to be the heart of the historic port, and somewhat peripheral to main-stream urban life in Dublin, she explains, but is now the centre of the Irish financial world, and a host to trendy bars and cafés and student life’, Book News (August 2008).

'This fourth volume in The Making of Dublin City series focuses on relatively recent events in one part of Dublin. Largely addressing the changing nature of Dublin’s docklands in the last quarter of a century, it explores the global phenomenon of post-industrial regeneration in a Dublin context. In a meticulously researched account, Moore draws on a range of sources, including Dáil debates, newspaper and television reports, interviews and official documentation, to detail the redevelopment of Dublin’s former docks. Over the course of seven chapters, the history of the docks, from obsolete port area to glittering new quarter, is outlined ... Unlike the previous books in the Making of Dublin series, this deals with both recent and current events. Indeed, some aspects of the regeneration programme are still underway, as shown in the final section of the book which considers proposals to move Dublin port and to site an incinerator at Poolbeg. The consideration of these contemporary events will doubtless provide useful material for future historians ... Dublin Docklands Reinvented, although rooted in geography, has much to offer the economist, historian, student of politics and, indeed, anyone who is interested in Dublin city. This is a comprehensive, well-researched and exhaustive account of a rapidly changing part of the city which will become the standard text on Dublin’s docklands', Ruth McManus, Irish Economic and Social History (Winter 2008).

‘This is the fourth book in a series, The Making of Dublin City, under the general editorship of Joseph Brady and Anngret Simms of UCD. It is a detailed account of the transformation of areas north and south of the Liffey down river from Butt Bridge. The research has been thorough, and the result is a vivid description of designs, events and tensions over a period of nearly thirty years … The unfolding of the story is absorbingly interesting, and there can be no question that a very great deal has been achieved. Some will wonder if the cost in human terms was worth it. Others will be sure that the alternative would have been worse. If this book has done nothing else it has gone a long way to ensuring that the proponents on either side are adequately informed. It is a history of one aspect of our own times that we should not ignore', Dublin Historical Record (Spring 2009).

‘One of the latest accounts of wide-spread interest in the Dublin Docklands is Niamh Moore’s book … Moore starts off with a reflection of “the city and the sea”, Dublin’s relationship to its port, the sea and their economic importance over time. She then looks at the waterfront redevelopment from a global view point, setting Dublin’s waterfront regeneration alongside other development projects globally, before turning her attention back to the details of the Dublin experience. She continues with detailed descriptions and analyses of the planning processes, the economic and political forces which led to the transformation that is still ongoing. Illustrated with numerous photographs and maps, the book is a vivid and easily read summary of very complex processes which are still not completed. What makes this book particularly interesting for social and cultural anthropologists is the fact that Moore does not just focus on physical changes, urban planning and political decision making processes – as did most of her colleagues and which also characterised her previous articles – she also looks at the local level and includes the ongoing debates between developers, local residents, politicians, planning agencies and local authorities involved in the docklands … Her book is not just an interesting contribution to the study of urban planning, geography and history, it also provides useful information for sociologists and anthropologist', Astrid Wonneberger, EthnoScripts (Autumn 2009).

‘This book focuses on a key area of Dublin both as a port and a city – the docks. Although the docks were a much later part of the development of Dublin, the existence of sheltered water, albeit creating many difficulties in terms of shipping and the operation of a successful port, provided the basis without which the city would not exist as it does today. The book essentially deals with the most recent period of the city’s history from 1980 onwards when the move to start reconnecting the city with its waterfront began. After a relatively brief consideration of the historical context, the text moves quickly to the last two decades of the twentieth century to discuss the development process and how this has affected the environs of the docklands for both business and residential use … this is a well-written and detailed book. For those with an interest in the changes in port cities over the last two decades, it provides a wealth of information about where the port came from to where it is now, recognizing that change is an ongoing process and that the development of the new Dublin still has some way to go', Stephen Pettit, International Journal of Maritime History (Autumn 2009).

‘There are many layers to this fascinating story and Niamh Moore brings to light a number of the most important changes … the discussion offers considerable detail throughout – from documentary sources in particular, some of which are not easily accessible – and it is attractively illustrated with photographs and maps … the book makes a real contribution in presenting a detailed and carefully illustrated empirical account of docklands decline and renewal in Dublin', Michael Punch, Urban Studies Journal (2010).