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Events ‘What was urban design in the 18th-century? The Wide Streets Commissioners in Dublin as case study’

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‘What was urban design in the 18th-century? The Wide Streets Commissioners in Dublin as case study’

12.10.2021, 18:30 P.M.

‘What was urban design in the 18th-century? The Wide Streets Commissioners in Dublin as case study’ by Dr John Montague

Abstract: The talk will begin by putting the work of the Wide Streets Commissioners into the broader perspective of the urban development of Dublin in the long eighteenth century. Secondly, it will summarise Dr Montague's findings on the sources for the Commissioners’ urban design strategies: in Dublin’s own taste for wide streets and its previous public and private planning schemes; in the broader European discourse on urban design and the ‘embellishment’ of cities; and by way of the direct influence of urban improvements carried out in London just before the inception of the Irish planning body in 1758. Finally, Dr Montague will consider the spatial principles that inform such urban amelioration: why widen and straighten streets? what are the social, commercial and civic consequences of such interventions? what kinds of spatial decisions were made in Dublin, and what was their effect on its overall design?

Dr John Montague is Associate Professor of Architecture, in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, at the American University of Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. His publications on the urban history of Dublin, and on Irish architectural history include: John Rocque’s Dublin: a guide to the Georgian City (2010), co-authored with Colm Lennon; Art and Architecture of Ireland, vol. iv: Architecture, 1600–2000 (2014), co-authored and co-edited with Rolf Loeber, Hugh Campbell, Livia Hurley and Ellen Rowley; and ‘From Rome to Paris and London: searching for the European roots of the Wide Streets Commissioners’, published in Irish Architectural and Decorative Studies (2019). He is co-author of the forthcoming History of Dublin Castle, with Seán Duffy, Kevin Mulligan and Michael O’Neill (2022), and is currently working on the draft of a book titled The Maps and Drawings of the Wide Streets Commissioners, to be completed in 2022.

Image: Detail from the Wide Street Commissioners map number 3621. Reproduced courtesy of Dublin City Library & Archive.

This pre-recorded Zoom talk will be issued at 6.30pm on Tuesday 12th October and will be available to watch for seven day from issue. Talks cannot be reissued after the seven day period.

This is the second talk in the Irish Cities in the Georgian Era: architecture and urban morphology series.

Supported by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage.

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