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This is Where We Live

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This is Where We Live is an audio podcast and transmedia series exploring what it takes to shape great places to live and how Ireland is facing up to its future.

A story of housing and homelessness, of living and waiting, and of challenges and solutions.

This is Where We Live is an independent production made by Helen Shaw & John Howard of Athena Media Ltd.
25 Episodes
To tie in with the exhibition on show across July 2019 in Dublin City Council at Wood Quay we hosted a live radio discussion around the topics in Dublin City fm with Dr Mary Murphy, Senior Lecturer, Social Sciences Institute (MUSSI), Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director, NESC, Oona Kenny, Researcher, Dublin Housing Observatory, Dr Dáithí Downey, Head of Housing Policy, Research & Development, Dublin City Council.You can find out more on and to listen to the series go to www.thisiswherewelive.ieIn the photo : Rory O'Donnell, Oona Kenny, Dáithí Downey and Mary Murphy.The exhibition The Vienna Model is on display in the atrium of Dublin City Council at Wood Quay
In this the last episode in our 4 part series The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century we're bringing out the stories and conversations of those most affected by housing and homelessness, in particular community voices from St Michael's Estate in Dublin. St Michael's Estate has had a long, protracted and painful experience of regeneration with over a decade lost due to the recession. In this series we're showcasing the seminars that took place in April 2019 as part of a discussion around solutions for the housing crisis in Ireland, particularly in Dublin. In this podcast you hear Eilish Comerford, a community worker from St Michael's Family Resource Centre in St Michael's Estate who is also part of a grassroots activism network around housing. Eilish talks of the need for new funding sources to ensure the affordability of these new cost rental homes planned for St Michael's Estate and we hear from the European Investment Bank on its role as a potential funding source to secure affordability housing. Cormac Murphy is the Head of the EIB here and he described the new Land Development Agency, the LDA as a game changer in providing affordable housing. Ireland, he says, has a profile with just 10% social housing and that's out of step with other European cities and this change in models and funding is critical to making an attractive, sustainable city that works for all. nterestingly we also hear from David Joyce, a solicitor who works with Mercy Law Resource Centre, who works in the field of housing and homelessness, and is himself from the traveller community, who responded to the discussion by drawing on the comments that Michaela Kauer from Vienna made earlier ( and in Podcast 1) that in Vienna housing is for all, and is invested in heavily because it is seen as a human right that underscores society. 'We stigmatised social housing', he said and stigmatised the people who live there. 'The provision of homes as a right should be our target', he said. Rita Fagan, a community activist, who is also with the St Michael's Regeneration Team, made the case for a fairer, more equal city and for commitment and action to provide fair and equitable housing for people in the city. 'Who gets to live in the city?' she asked and pointed to places like The Liberties, where she comes from, where local and long rooted communities are being replaced by student accommodation and hotels. 'A living city needs local people', she said underscoring her support for cost rental housing but warning she, and many in the community, feared that the State did not have the will, and commitment, to implement change.If you want to find out more about the speakers and the topics in this series go to and for our full channel go to
In the Vienna Model: Housing for the 21 Century podcast series we're showcasing highlights from the conversations and talks in seminars held last April in Dublin. The events, and the exhibition, were co-sponsored by Dublin City Council and the Housing Agency and hosted by the Dublin Housing Observatory. Seminars took place in several venues in Dublin City including two days of discussions at the Rediscovery Centre in Ballymun where people shared their sense of where Ballymun had come from and its potential development in the future. In this podcast we've brought together some of the voices; Dr Sarah Miller, the scientist heading the Rediscovery Centre, Pamela Connolly, a Dublin town planner for the area, Robert Murphy, the chair of Ballymun 4 Business, and Padraig Flynn of SOA Self Organised Architecture who presented on co-housing models.You can find out more about the topics in the series by visiting www.housingmodeldublin.iePictured: Dr Mel Nowicki (left), Oxford Brooks University, Daithi Downey, Dublin City Housing Observatory , David Silke, Housing Agency, Pamela Connolly, Dublin City Planning Excutive and Padraig Flynn, SOA Co-Housing - image credit: Arthur Carron PhotographyMusic: Ballymun Lullaby from the suite of music composed by Darragh O'Toole with the Ballymun Music Programme.
In this short podcast series we're showcasing talks that took place in April 2019 in Dublin under The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century, an event with exhibition and seminars co sponsored by Dublin City Council and The Housing Agency. In this podcast, the second in the series, you can hear Irish voices exploring how we create affordable housing in Ireland. You hear Jim Baneham, of the Housing Agency, describing what the cost rental model is and how it can work, as well as the first pilot using this model.In 'cost rental' homes, often apartments are provided at cost not profit in a public housing initiative with tenants paying rent which will cover the cost and maintenance of the property. Since Jim Baneham talks of the critical importance of land you then hear John Coleman from the new agency, the Land Development Agency (LDA)exploring the role of the LDA and how it is seeking to ensuring public land is used to achieved quality housing. Professor Michelle Norris, a social scientist from UCD who is an expert in housing policy and in particularly social housing, then shared her comparative research between Ireland and Austria so we have a better understanding of how both systems work and what we, in Ireland, can learn from Austria. Professor Norris is Head of School, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD. Check out a recent publication : Byrne M, Norris M. (2019) Housing market financialisation, neoliberalism and everyday retrenchment of social housing, Environment and Planning A,'s a piece from January 2019 on the affordable housing scheme that Jim Baneham is referencing on Enniskerry Road…yford-1.3778016Pictured are: Prof Michelle Norris, UCD, Dr Rory O'Donnell, Director BESC, John Coleman, CEO, Land Development Agency, Ailish Comford, Fair Rent Homes, Jim Baneham, Housing Agency and David Silke - image credit Arthur Carron PhotographyAnd the music you hear in the podcast is by Michael Gallen.For more about this short series The Vienna Model : Housing for the 21st Century go to and for our main podcast channel visit The producer/presenter of this series is Helen Shaw, the audio editor is John Howard.
In this series we showcase highlights from the Vienna Model : Housing for the 21st Century exhibition and seminars held in Dublin in April 2019. The events were co sponsored by Dublin City Council and the Housing Agency and hosted by the Dublin Housing Observatory. In this first podcast we feature Michaela Kauer, Director of the Vienna House in Brussels and Rory O'Donnell Director of NESC, the National Economic and Social Council in Ireland. Michaela gives the background and history of the Vienna Housing Model and why Vienna sees housing as a human right and also why the city is so keen to export its ideas on public housing to other parts of Europe. In his response Rory O'Donnell explores the opportunities and challenges the Vienna Model presents to Dublin and Ireland and looks at how a massive investment in public and affordable housing could be funded.For more information on the topics and speakers go to www.housingmodeldublin.iePictured: Grainia Long, Commissioner for Resilience, Belfast City Council, Dr Rory O'Donnell, National Economic Social Council and Michaela Kauer, Director Vienna House, Brussels and spokesperson for the City of Vienna. credit: Arthur Carron Photography
Architect and cyclist activist Ciarán Ferrie says a living city is one that's designed for both children and the elderly, for families and young people, not just for transient populations or tourists to visit."Fundamentally we want Dublin to be a liveable city. You want it to be a city that people want to live in. And people of all ages and particularly that it would be a place where young families would be would feel comfortable living in so making making Dublin a city where you know you a seven year old can cycle on the streets. If we can focus on getting the city working in that way and it means reducing the amount of cars in the city and that means improving public transport. But most of all it means making the place more comfortable for people to walk and to cycle. And for people of all ages to walk and cycle around the city" he says.Ferrie is an architect and one of the co-founders of Fumbally Exchange, the creative co-working community in the Newmarket district in Dublin City. He is also one of the forces behind Ava Housing, formerly the Abhaile Project, a not for profit scheme for older homeowners in residential zones to reshape their home for multi-family units, keeping the elderly in the community and also opening up new rental capacity. Ferrie wears many hats and he is also a passionate advocate for a cycling city and part of I BIKE Dublin, a community of people who cycle and want a safer cycling city for all.For this episode of This is Where We Live Helen Shaw met up with Ciarán at his open plan offices in Fumbally Exchange overlooking the massive development in the area including new hotels and student accommodation, but not much new housing.You can follow Ciaran on twitter at for more information on Ava Housing go to www.avahousing.ieCatch up on our housing and cities conversations on www.thisiswherewelive.ieand please do share the podcasts and consider becoming a supporter through patreon thanks to our sponsors Happy Scribe the new tool for automatic transcripts of audio for content creators, and the Dublin Housing Observatory.
For this episode of This is Where We Live, Helen went back to chat with Mark O'Brien, Director and CEO of Axis Arts Centre, in the heart of Ballymun about how the arts and creativity can help shape place, community and belonging.The Dublin suburb of Ballymun has a rich story to tell us about creating community and how we plan new urban villages, particularly when we put public housing at the heart of them. Over ten years ago the famous tower blocks of Ballymun, a social housing project from the 1960s, came tumbling down as part of a massive regeneration scheme for the area. Across 2008 producer Helen Shaw recorded in Ballymun for the Athena Media radio documentary 'Tower Songs' a project where the children and young people of Ballymun told their story of how their place was changing through music and song. a Patron thanks also to support from Happy Scribe the Dublin Housing Observatory at Dublin City CouncilTower Songs: The Athena Media radio documentary won Gold at PPI Radio Awards 2009Athena-media – Tower-songsMusic credit: Ballymun Lullaby scored by composer Daragh O'Toole with the children and young people of Ballymun Music Project. Watch this short video to get an idea of what the Ballymun 7 Towers looked like:The Story of Ballymun and the 7 (credit: Dublin City Libraries)
Dr Ellen Rowley is a cultural and architectural historian, a Dubliner with an eye and an ear for the stories of the people who lived in the buildings around us. 'If walls could talk' she says they'd tell us a multi-layered story of the lives of the people who passed through and made it a home. Ellen is the editor of the book series 'More than Concrete Blocks, Dublin's 20th Century buildings and their stories' ( She is a Research Fellow with the School of Architecture, Planning & Environmental Policy, UCD and previously worked as an Irish Research Council Fellow on heritage projects with Dublin City Council and that included working as a curator on the new Tenement Museum, 14 Henrietta Street, Dublin which is now run by the Dublin City Council Culture Company. Ellen's interest in people as much as buildings ensures 14 Henrietta Street brings to life the rich tapestry of tenement Dublin and in this episode of the podcast This is Where we Live, recorded in Henrietta Street, she talks to producer Helen Shaw about how the past shines light on the present as we once again grapple with the challenge of housing shortages, of high rents and private profiteering landlords and the need for affordable and public housing.Follow Ellen on Twitter : tour of Dublin with Ellen (Video) do book a tour of 14 Henrietta Street : ( Henrietta St is run by Dublin City Council Culture Company)Watch this little video to see pictures of what Ellen and the team created: "Set in a Georgian townhouse, 14 Henrietta Street tells the story of the building’s shifting fortunes, from family home and powerbase to courthouse; from barracks to its final incarnation as a tenement hall.The stories of the house and street mirror the story of Dublin and her citizens. house features film and audio storytelling and has a powerful bed chamber centred around women and birth that uses poetry by Paula Meehan.www.thisiswherewelive.ieSupport us on Patreon credit: Michael Gallen 'Graceful' michaeljgallen.comOur thanks to our sponsors Happy Scribe a fast and efficient way to transcribe audio and to the Dublin Housing Observatory.Dr Rowley's recent book titles are :2019: Architecture, Housing and the Edge…ok/97811381038012019/2016: More than Concrete Blocks, Vol. I and Vol.2 Credit : The Irish Times
Kieran Rose is a man who has had two passions driving his life, urban design and planning and human rights, particularly rights for the LGBTQ community in Ireland. He hails from Cork himself but works as a city planner with Dublin City Council while campaigning and fighting for rights and was a founder of GLEN the Gay Lesbian Equality Network in 1988. Helen Shaw met up with Kieran in his neighbourhoodThe Liberties in the courtyard of the digital media enterprise zone The Digital Hub and in the shadow of Guinnesses to talk about his life as a city planner and how activism informed Support us via Patreon series is sponsored by the Dublin Housing Observatory and credit: Ana Gog - Easy Rider(instrumental)
Eoin Carroll is a housing researcher with 13 years experience working with the Jesuit Centre for Faith & Justice in Dublin's city centre. Eoin has just moved to a new role as Policy and Public Affairs Officer with EXTERN, an NGO working with marginalised people including the homeless. Helen Shaw met Eoin for the podcast in Mountjoy Square, in the heart of northside city Dublin, just before his move to the new job to talk about Eoin's work and his take on the need for a formal right to housing and shelter and how he sees Government policy shaping the housing environment we have in you support the concept of this independent podcast series and want to see it grow and continue then support us. Go to our website Link to our website - and click on support us and consider becoming a Patron of the podcast by contributing as little as a euro a month to make our work sustainable. Beside our patrons, the podcast is now sponsored by Happy Scribe a clever online tool which provides automatic transcripts of audio and which grew out of DCU's start up lab. We've also got the support of the new Dublin Housing Observatory led by Dr. Daithí Downey.Our thanks to our patrons and supporters - like and review the podcast online and share with your own network so more people can hear our stories.Music: Ana Gog 'Study of Her Painted Face'(Instrumental)
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