Making Dublin better: The students

 

Anna Cosgrave, student of sociology and geography at Trinity College, also working with Wave Change, a youth civic action initiative

“At the moment I think there are pretty terrific things happening. As a student it’s kind of terrifying when your smartest friends are automatically emigrating. But if those people come back in a few years with new skills, that will also create new opportunities.

“ There should be a greater focus on young people because a lot of the solutions to the problems we’re facing in the city and in our communities lie in the hearts and heads of young people.”

David Andrews, student taking the Dublin Project, an MA in design practice at DIT

“There are really good, small opportunities to take up your own ideas and initiatives . . . A lot of work I’ve been doing is with disadvantaged communities. Some people do get left behind. The gap between classes is quite broad and is getting wider. We have to make sure that when things do get better, there are opportunities for everyone.”

Emmet Wafer,studying on the Dublin Project

“Dublin is a good sized city to test things. I was in a lecture the other day and someone referred to it as a ‘prototype’ city. It’s a good testing ground right now for new ideas and we are very open to innovation.

“There’s definitely room to make the city more liveable, not just the nuts and bolts. I think there’s more room for that now because people have more time to think about it. Planning is becoming more proactive rather than reactive, and there seems to be a drive to include the citizen in the city system.”

Rachel O’Dwyer, studying for PhD in engineering at TCD, and involved in the Dublin Art and Technology Association

“The economic crisis, in one way, opened up new opportunities for cultural activities due to a proliferation of unoccupied space; also you had a large number of capable and now unemployed people. I’d be interested in seeing ways that could be nurtured.

“I think there needs to be more investment in network infrastructure and information technologies. There’s so much panic surrounding economic recovery, it tends to be very shortsighted. Public wifi could be more beneficial than a closed network for example.”

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