We’re driving families and small businesses out of our cities
The “doughnut effect” caused by poor urban planning is evident throughout Ireland. Residential accommodation in our city centers is occupied by students and short-term singles. Families are being forced out of our city centers due to high rents to the suburbs, followed by businesses and schools.
From now on, our town centers will only be venues for stag and hen parties, student clubs on weeknights, and AirBnB guests taking over much-needed accommodations on weekends.
This is what Edward Glaeser warns us against in his book city triumph.
As families move away to suburbs and rural areas, public transportation becomes less viable, public services become strained, and working parents have less time to spend with their children.
Small businesses in the city center cannot survive due to low footfall and retail spaces are being taken over by charity shops.
In the UK we see that in former industrial towns such as Huddersfield the town goes dark when university students return home at the weekend. Is this what we want? Is this what we have in the development plans of our cities, which will cover the years until the end of the decade?
If so, we will become one of the most expensive countries in Europe to live for families. At present, our sewage systems and water distribution services are unable to cope with this urban sprawl.
Nuala Nolan, Bowling Green, Galway
Rising stamp prices deter people from posting postcards
Stamp prices are rising (“Wanting to raise the cost of a stamp for the second time in a year is called ‘appalling'”, Irish IndependentFebruary 1st)?
Has anyone noticed at Christmas that they receive fewer Christmas cards than before? Certainly the increase in postage costs deters people from sending cards and parcels. Online giveaways are proving more effective and cheaper.
Susan Burke, Cahir, Tipperary
With this latest price hike, An Post, our fate is sealed
We can’t do much about rising stamp prices.
We are stuck with this.
Tom Gilsenan, Beaumont, Dublin 9
Rights violated with the aim of erasing cultural heritage
Amnesty International has once again demonstrated fairness and impartiality in shedding light on the situation in Palestine.
Palestinians endure daily flagrant transgressions of the inviolability of their basic human rights that threaten to erase their cultural and religious heritage.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob, London
It’s up to right-thinking Tory MPs to give Boris a boost
Boris Johnson showed little respect for integrity or honesty — even before he became a public figure. He was arrested twice for being saving the truth and awarding quotes to the wrong people. It’s fair to suggest that he probably wouldn’t recognize the truth if she bit his nose.
Yet he still has the support of the majority of his party. What does this mean for the integrity of many Tory MPs? With Labor too weak to move him, it’s up to well-meaning Tory backbenchers to give Mr Johnson the old kick – and soon.
David Ryan, Co Meath
Partygate Row highlights Johnson’s true attitude
As British Prime Minister Boris Johnson continues to half-heartedly apologize for his involvement in alleged rallies on government premises, it brings to mind an old adage: ‘Do as I say, not as I do’.
Leo Gormley, Dundalk, County Louth
Alternative view on how to solve the “townie” problem
It was interesting to read in this week’s Farming Supplement farmers talking about “townspeople” and their dogs (“Irresponsible townspeople accused of dog attacks at lambing time”, Independent of agricultureFebruary 1st).
Just recently, in a British agricultural journal, an article was published about British farmers facing similar problems.
There, however, some fence the unproductive/difficult land and rent it out by the hour to dog walkers.
Unused buildings are turned into grooming salons or cafes.
Two men looked through the bars: one saw mud, the other stars.
Name, address with publisher