Paper long abstract:
The docklands area of Dublin – in many ways a typical example of current waterfront development - is home to a number of dockland communities, who, until the 1960s, were almost entirely dependent on port economies. Even today, these communities identify strongly with their port-related history and culture. Port-related places and spaces, specific notions of the urban locality have always played a significant role in this context.
The current redevelopment has triggered many debates between communities, developers and planners. Many of these arguments concern the plans for the new built environment, as community activists consider locality an important means of maintaining culture, community and identities.
In this paper I will explore how urban places and spaces serve as a means of identity and community formation in the docklands. I will analyse how the transformation affects the relationship between locality, identity and culture, what strategies are used by communities to preserve old-established notions of locality, and how cultural meanings of urban space can be very diverse in different groups.
The local in times of change