A City Re-Designed Using Design Thinking
Every time I travel anywhere in the world, especially in India, most of our modern cities show up as mad and messy spaces of chaos and confusion, polluted and populated in equal measure, lacking much thought or theme in their development. Whether its a humble pedestrian footbridge or a gigantic airport, an road intersection or a shopping mall, as a Design Thinker I am always hit by the apparent lack of design or thought that went into so many of them.
What can happen if a city, reeling from the recession and trying to rediscover its mojo, decides to innovate and try something totally new to design its spaces?
Dublin did. And how!
Ireland, one of ‘PIIGS’ economies, found the Great Recession hard to handle. During the heydays of the development boom, Clongriffin, on the north fringe of Dublin, was supposed to have a population of 30,000 to 40,000, with all the communal facilities they would need.
In July 2003, Dublin City Council had granted planning permission for a mixed-use development to be called “Clongriffin at Grange Road, Donaghmede now forming part of the Northern Fringe Development (from Clongriffin to Belmayne). Management plans were completed in 2004 and the development, comprising houses and apartments, started in 2005 and was planned to have educational, retail and service facilities, including a multi-screen cinema.
But construction ground to a halt when the bubble burst, leaving the area’s residents high and dry. The Dublin City Council considered many traditional — and expensive — revitalization projects, but its leadership saw a need for an injection of novelty.
And they tried Design Thinking!