APRIL 10, 1967: Capital idea to limit city's urban sprawl

 

BACK PAGES:THE LEAD story in today’s newspaper in 1967 was the publication of the report by a town planner, Prof Myles Wright of Liverpool University, on the future expansion of Dublin. His main recommendation was the creation of four new towns to the west of the existing city and a box-like road system around the city to take account, as an editorial noted, of “the accepted fact that the motor car is becoming everybody’s mode of conveyance”.

FOUR NEW TOWNS WEST OF DUBLIN

Wright’s plan for city problems

The first part of the Final Report and Advisory Plan for the Dublin Region, published today, describes a £1,000 million programme at 1960 prices for the physical development of the region by 1985. The report’s author, Prof Myles Wright, recommends that a special agency should be set up to carry out the plans which he outlines.

He envisages a population growth of about 280,000 in metropolitan Dublin before 1985 and about 40,000 elsewhere in the region.

The majority of the new population should be accommodated in four new towns near and to the west of Dublin. These new “Western Towns” would have populations of 60,000 to 100,000 and would be planned to provide employment for most of their working populations.

Prof Wright finds no valid argument for trying to establish within the region a single large new town as a counter-attraction to Dublin. In the outer region, development priority should first be given to Drogheda and to the Newbridge-Kilcullen-Naas district. Arklow and Navan would have second priority. The provisional target should be a doubling of their populations by 1985.

A main aim of the plan is to achieve the best conditions for greatly increased motor traffic by spreading the coming traffic load as evenly as possible over all existing and new roads.

It is recommended that metropolitan Dublin should be served in future by a grid of traffic routes, one to two miles apart, built up slowly from existing and a few new routes. This grid would be slowly extended westwards to serve the western towns.

The extensions of the road system are proposed in a way that would encourage cross-movements rather than radial journeys to and from the centre of Dublin. The report also makes proposals for main road developments outside Dublin, including the suggested construction of a new national route passing to the west of Dublin.

Prof Wright deals at some length with the problems of conservation in the centre of Dublin – the area within the canal ring – and points out that if the widest practicable conservation is to be attained, careful investigation by an expert body appears to be essential. The results of their inquiry should be made widely and cheaply available and should help to establish first priorities for conservation.

The report also advocates an impartial inquiry into the technical necessity of the Dublin Port and Docks Board’s long-term proposals for land reclamation to a line between the Poolbeg lighthouse and Merrion Strand. Prof Wright indicates that on the scale indicated it would break the sweep of Dublin Bay by the projection of a triangle of land nearly three miles long and several thousand acres in area.

To read the complete reports and comments on the plan – as well as all the other contents of the day’s newspaper, including a special article marking the centenary of George Russell’s birth by

Terence de Vere White and the hundreds of bargains at Clerys “price-cutting” sale – click on  www.irishtimes.com/150