Sharing public spaces


Sir, – The announcement of the continued weekend closure of Portobello Plaza in Dublin 8 is a case study in the failure of civic life in our capital (“Portobello Plaza to remain closed for next three weekends”, News, May 21st).

It crystallises debates about shared space, public amenity, the rights of local residents and the needs of citizens generally, all heightened by Covid. It highlights the poor provision of basic urban necessities: seating, toilets and bins in safe, shared collective spaces. It reveals the cracks – and sometimes competing visions – between local authority governance, local communities, day-to-day maintenance and policing.

Let’s employ the underutilised skills of architects, urbanists, and collaborative designers to tackle this problem and act as an exemplar for use of public space countrywide.


Dublin 8.