Public spaces for recreation in Dublin, 1660–1760

Vandra Costello

Costello, V. (2007). Public Spaces for Recreation in Dublin, 1660-1760. Garden History, 160-179.

City Beautifying , Entertainment , Public Squares , The Promenade

Public squares and open spaces for promenade have been a feature of Continental European cities since the Renaissance. In the seventeenth century purely recreational urban spaces began to be created in Britain and Ireland. The development of Dublin's green spaces, however, was delayed until after the Restoration, which saw the city transformed from a medieval walled city into a large, modern conurbation. Some of Dublin's open spaces were completely lost to development; others were embedded into the fabric of the new city. Green spaces were regularized into geometric shapes and used to entice developers and attract smart residents to new areas. The paper examines the development and metamorphosis of Dublin's ancient public spaces, looking at the activities that took place on these sites and their evolution from utilitarian areas of commonage to fashionable squares for promenade

Main finding
This historic paper discusses the reasons that led to the development of public spaces in the eighteenth century. Private squares and places of recreation were created as a mean for the upper middle class to avoid mixing with the undesirables. At the end of the century, the importance of public open spaces had taken hold, and the new upper middle class professionals were developping their houses around squares and communal gardens.

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