Suburbanization in Europe

A focus on Dublin

Authored by: Ruth McManus

The Routledge Companion to the Suburbs

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138290235
eBook ISBN: 9781315266442
Adobe ISBN:


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From medieval developments beyond the walls to nineteenth century middle-class speculative suburban expansion to more recent mass suburbanization and urban sprawl, Dublin’s suburbs can be seen as typifying the standard Western suburban history model. However, local particularities can also be identified, reflecting the city’s experience as a colonial, and subsequently post-colonial, capital. This chapter demonstrates how political, social, and economic factors influenced the evolution of Dublin’s suburbs. Nineteenth-century independently governed suburban townships reflected political fragmentation, while the decision after independence to build low-density garden suburbs for the working classes was, in part, an exercise in nation-building. Despite contemporary challenges around planning and sustainability, suburban single-family housing remains the preferred residence for the majority of Dublin’s population.

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