Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuam Railway Maps

Some cool old railway maps here

Maybe a more informative alternative to the usual outline/roads network of ireland that we use in presentations?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tuam in words

While photographing the town for my personal response, I asked people on the streets to describe their town in 3 words

The larger the word the more frequent it was said.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mapping Studies and Photographs of Moyross, Limerick

Below are some studies of the Moyross housing estate, located on the north side of Limerick city. The estate was built between 1973 and 1987 to house local authority tenants who were relocated from the inner city. While the houses are quite well constructed, the urban planning of the estate has proved disastrous in hindsight, and has greatly contributed to social problems which have plagued the area ever since.

At the outset Moyross was built with no infrastructure to cater for the size of the population. Corpus Christi Church, Primary School and the houses of the Mercy Sisters and LSA provided the only community facilities until 1988.

From the 1980's Moyross experienced extreme levels of poverty and disadvantage with an unemployment figure of 84% at that time. The community has had very high dependency on social welfare and a disproportionately young population. In 2001 Moyross with, Ballynanty and Kileely was designated one of the 25 most disadvantage areas in Ireland under the RAPID programme.(www.moyross.ie)

One of the biggest the problems with the design of the estate is it's lack of connections to the rest of the city..

The estate is located on the northern edge of Limerick city, and is bordered to the east by the River Shannon, to the north and west by the Clare countryside, and to the south by a number of middle class housing estates, as well as Limerick Institute of Technology and Thomond Park.

Moyross is divided into 12 parks, and in 2006 contained a total 1,160 houses with 3,468 residents. The estate is divided in two by a railway line which runs from east to west. The area shaded green below contains the primary school and church (centre), a new commercial centre (south east), and the two largest green spaces.

By 2009 the housing stock had been reduced to 900 houses in preparation for the regeneration programme.

Moyross is almost completely closed off from the rest of Limerick by a series of high walls and fences. This has contributed to the neglect of the estate, as with virtually no amenities or commercial outlets, and no through road, there is no reason for anyone who doesn't live there to enter.

Below is a map of the connections between the estate and it's neighbours. It shows that there is one main entrance road, which runs though the entire estate to a dead end at the western side. The parks at this end have become the most neglected in the area as they are so isolated from the city. The are two small entrance roads to the south east and one to the north, as well as three pedestrian entrances to the south west. Two of these pedestrian entrances are currently sealed off.

Casey's Foodstore in Delmege Park, which for years provided the only amenity at the western end of Moyross, was the victim of an arson attack in 2009, and has since remained closed.

The houses in Delmege Park, Pineview Gardens and Craeval Park have all increased the height of fencing around their back gardens to keep intruders out..

There are 19 acres of open green space in Moyross but again these spaces are very poorly planned. Most of these spaces are at the western side but are located at the periphery, between the perimeter walls and the gables ends of housing blocks. Thus there is little passive surveillance and much antisocial behaviour in these parks, especially at night.

One of the parks even has a line of power cables running overhead..

However the estate does have a lot of potential if regeneration is planned carefully. One of its best features is its location among the hills, with views over the countryside as well as Limerick city..

The primary school and church are also great facilities at the heart of the estate...

Munster's famous Thomond Park stadium lies on the edge of Moyross, there is great potential for commercial activity if the stadium can be better connected with the estate..

And there is a high ownership of ponies and horses on the estate. At the moment residents are forced to race them illegally on nearby roads and fields but there is great potential in the suggested creation of an equine centre where owners could look after and keep there horses legally, and potentially run organised races which could draw tourism to the area..


Regeneration of the estate began in 2008 with a plan drawn up by former Dublin City manager John Fitzgerald to demolish every house and completely rebuild the estate. Opening up connections with the rest of Limerick is a crucial part of the regeneration plan, including the creation of a through road, and the incorporation of LIT and Thomond Park into the estate. Below are three excerpts from the Fitzgerald Report:

The estimated budget for the project is 3 billion euro, and the current recession has slowed it down immensely. At present many houses have been demolished or boarded up but few new ones have been constructed, however an attractive new family resource centre has been completed.

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Construction site at centre of estate..

There is an urgent need to find the money to continue this regeneration as there are still very few sports or other facilities for children in the area. There are also few employment opportunities in the area, and the estate remains isolated and shut off from the rest of Limerick..

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Don't judge a book by its cover

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Cinemagraphs from Brookfield Youth & Community Centre, Tallaght

This was research combining an investigation into what community spirit means, and a study of the centre itself.

It was good to get an insight into this award winning building and learn about the daily challenges the staff face.

The facilities are used by the immediate locals, as well as the itinerants across the road. Not without its problems (smashed windows, abuse of the staff, cars broken into), the centre seems to be in good use.

I spoke to two staff members and a girl who used to run the cafe. I tried to get to the bottom of what they thought community spirit meant, with different opinions arising. I took cinemagraphs (animated images that look static until you see movement) to echo the fact that not all is what it seems...in both good and bad ways.

Kiara, a youth worker not from the area, saw the people in the surrounding estates as friendly and welcoming, but thought the facilities would be more successful if the centre was located in the middle of the area, rather than on the periphery. Her idea of community spirit was seen in the daily interaction of the locals

CiarĂ¡n, not from this part of tallaght, mans the desk. He sees the place as "a different world", mainly in a nagative respect, telling me of the troubles they have with the halting site. He controls the front door (where you have to be buzzed in) and has had issues with kids running in when they're not meant to ("you can't get them out, can't put your hand on them, you'll get done for abuse"). When asked about community spirit, he replied "sure whats that?... not here".

Sarah, 18 and too old to run the cafe anymore, seems to be a success story and would be the romanticised version of the ideal building user. She misses the place and says she knows everyone from spending so much time there over the last few years.