Granby Park, a pop up park created on a vacant site on Domenick Street in Dublin’s north inner city, has been in operation since 22 August and will run until 22 September.  The initiative incorporates a temporary space wherein “there will be free arts events, outdoor cinema & theatre performances, live music, educational activities and a pop-up café open to the public”.  Thus far, the reception has been warm and the park has proved popular amongst a diverse array of the city’s inhabitants.

Whilst temporary uses of vacant spaces can be a very positive way of breathing life into otherwise underutilised sites, the pop up phenomenon also raises a series of pertinent questions. These include concerns about the long term impacts that such initiatives might have on derelict sites and to what extent the structural features of urban property development are transformed through these incursions.

Rather than trying to offer my own perspective here, I want instead to point readers to two other pieces, both broadly supportive of the Granby Park initiative but offering diverging perspectives on the longer term impacts.

Gerry Kearns from the Geography Department in NUI Maynooth sees progressive potential in making creative use of vacant spaces in the interim of the downturn.

Mick Byrne and Patrick Bresnihan of the Provisional University raises some cautions about who will reap the long term benefits (longer piece here).

Cian O’Callaghan