Dublin, the Georgian architectural gem, and Dubliners, the people immortalised by Joyce and Behan, share a highly romantic and idealised international image. The aim of this book is to examine through a comprehensive urban geography of the city how far the stereotypical picture of Dublin life and landscape mesh with the real facts of a modern industrial and political capital, absolutely dominating in size and influence a small country on the edge of the European Community. Andrew MacLaran begins his study by sketching Dublin's historical roots from Norse foundations through Irish and English influences to the emergent capital of an independent Ireland. He then examines the evolution of the urban economy since 1945 and political and land development issues. Planning within a city and national context is then studied, specifically transport and land use problems. Population, housing, environmental problems and management, and the built environment (including a detailed consideration of Dublin's incomparable architecture) are dealt with in successive chapters.
The final three chapters consider the city's cultural life and the complex attitudes, experiences and contradictions that characterise the Dubliner, the relationship between ideology and the urban environment and Dublin's future as a European and world city.