The high demand for office space in Dublin is bringing about a change in the urban geography of the city.
In the 1960s Ireland’s economy boomed and the number of office workers in Dublin doubled. The demand for office space also increased. The city planners did not approve of skyscrapers and limits were set on the height to which any building in Dublin could be constructed.
Old and obsolete buildings were pulled down to make way for new office blocks often with little regard for the past. Close knit communities were pushed out of the city centre with disastrous social results.
This has brought about drastic changes in the urban geography of Dublin. Building in the city centre is difficult and expensive so the construction of office buildings moved to the suburbs and in particular to the south side of the city.
Many embassies moved to Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge. In addition the location to the south of the government office complex, the Irish Hospitals Sweepstakes office at Ballsbridge, Raidió Teilifís Éireann (RTÉ) in Donnybrook and relocation of University College Dublin (UCD) to Belfield all encouraged a southward move.
As a result Ballsbridge is now part of the central city and people can no longer afford to live there. The average worker in Ballsbridge is poorly served by public transport, shops, restaurants and other services compared to the city centre worker. In reverse the city centre does not benefit from the trade of those working in Ballsbridge.
As office jobs are better paid, young people will undoubtedly migrate to Dublin city and settle there. They will have to travel to work and will add to the congestion of the city.
This episode of ‘Telefís Scoile’ was broadcast on 11 February 1975.