Originally Posted by murphaph
You're making the argument for me. Densification is the way to go. You do know that the London Underground's predecessors built their (largely overground) Underground out over green fields to places like Surbiton and then built houses on the land along the lines.
And I assume you do know that Dublin has not followed the same example? Developing along transport links is not a new concept, that's why so many cities are built upon rivers. Dublin is unique in that it has built the dwellings first and is now in the position where it must try to facilitate a transport system around that. Given that the density of the development is so low and scattered over a huge area it's hard to see what type of transport system could be put in place to accomodate such a dispersed population at any sort of bearable cost.
Such a transport project could never be paid for by means of a municipal tax regardless, given it's scale. Any metro or dart interconnector projects in Dublin would need exchequer funding and will take years to expand before they could be seen to service the wider Dublin community.
Incidentally I'm not opposed to centralisation or urbanisation as you call it. I believe that urban areas should be able to levy taxes and spend them on urban needs. I've lived in London for years and am currently residing in Stockholm. Here all residents pay their income tax up to approx. 30000 euro to the municipal authority. Above that salary point you'll pay in increasing bands to the state tax. And everybody pays regardless of their starting salary, there is no low income exemption. However public transport works such as the tunnelbann etc are funded through central government and private investment. For your municipal tax here you'll be covered for everything from health services to road sweeping, although there is a further residential 'avgift' to cover water and waste etc. You'll even pay a burial tax.
However the difference is that for all it's size Stockholm still only contains less than a quarter of the Swedish population. The population is spread into a number of urban centres with industrial centres and resources and their accompanying hinterlands. There is a distribution of taxes throughout and those areas that are less profitable will benefit from the proximity of the urban areas adjacent.
London is similar in that it still contains only about 15% of Britains population. It is offset again by external, interlinked urban centres. The nature of these urban centres is that they impose an influence on the surrounding hinterlands and offset their cost. I have no experience of Germany but would imagine that it's something similar with well established cities like, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt etc.
Ireland is different however. It can be argued that we only have one, well established urban centre, that being Dublin. In essence the remainder of the country, being the size it is, is Dublins hinterland. Also a huge proportion of the resources of the state are situated in the capital. It's not so simple to pull up the drawbridge and let the outlying areas fend for themselves. In such a scenario you're essentially withdrawing 40% of the population and the resources that accompany them. The inevitable result would be a migration to increase the sprawl and to compound an already stressed situation.
I'd be more inclined to support more regional urban centres than ringfence the one huge thing that exists. The continued urbanisation of the Irish populace is a given. I just don't see that the existing Dublin model is the way to go nor should it be encouraged. Does anybody want to see the entire population of the country living in a bloc on the east coast with the remainder devoted to feeding the mass?
We'd tip over into the Irish Sea for starters!