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The Big Debate: What Kind Of City Do You Want?


The Big Debate asks What Kind Of City Do You Want?

Event Information

The Big Debate: What Kind Of City Do You Want?


6:30 pm—8pm


Event Information

The Big Debate: What Kind Of City Do You Want?


6:30 pm—8pm



Irish Architecture Foundation is delighted to invite you to The Big Debate on the eve of Open House Dublin, which asks a panel from politics, culture, architecture, innovation and business What Kind Of City Do You Want?

Dublin is changing and people are talking about it.  Its shape, development and identity are a hot topic at the moment. Dublin aspires to grow and operate on an international scale, while at the same time retaining the essential character of place, but does Dublin need to work a bit harder to achieve its aspiration? Does a city that is rapidly transforming signal a future of great potential and opportunity?  Or do we need to pause and check ourselves before we lose sight of what makes this city great?

Chaired by Linda Doyle, Dean of research TCD, each of the panellists are given 5 minutes to visually and provocatively present their perspectives on the question before the discussion is open to the floor.

Ciaran Cuffe MEP will talk about shaping a zero carbon city, Jamie Cudden Smart City Programme Manager DCC, will talk about how we need to take the opportunity to shape the future in a way that benefits our city and communities. John O’Beirne is Director of Products for Bank of Ireland Group, and will talk about the role of the banking sector in enabling Dublin to thrive. Clare Lyster, an Irish born architect based in Chicago, will discuss ways to leverage communication infrastructure to productively invigorate collective life in the built environment. Jennifer Jennings, co-Director of pop culture outfit THISISPOPBABY will talk about the massacre of culture in this city, and put forward some ideas to affect change.  Dominic Stevens, director in JFOC Architects, will talk about diverse housing typologies and how we need to consider alternative ways of living in the city, and how architects can help.

It’s a FREE event and not to be missed so get booking.

Image Credit: David Soanes

Linda Doyle
Dean of Research and Professor of Engineering & The Arts, TCD

Linda Doyle is the Dean of Research and Professor of Engineering & The Arts in Trinity College Dublin.

John O’Beirne
Director of Products, Bank of Ireland Group

John O’Beirne is Director of Products for Bank of Ireland Group.  He is also MD of the Mortgage Bank and is a regular speaker at financial services, technology and property events.

Jamie Cudden
Smart City Programme Manager, Dublin City Council

Jamie leads Dublin City Council’s Smart Dublin programme of work. His work cuts across industry, academia, start-ups and public sector bodies. He is passionate about the potential of new technology innovation and how it can solve city challenges and be applied to create better outcomes for communities. He has delivered successful collaborations with companies such as Google, Softbank, Microsoft, Mastercard, Vodafone, IBM and Intel. He loves working with startups and entrepreneurs to bring fresh thinking in how we address city challenges – the Small Business Innovation Research programme in partnership with Enterprise Ireland has seen over 40 companies deliver real projects and validate their solutions in Dublin.

Jamie holds a science degree from Trinity College Dublin and a Masters in Geographic Information Science (GIS) from University College London. He previously worked in roles with the Home Office, Met Police and Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science.

Jennifer Jennings

Jennifer Jennings is co-Director of pop culture outfit THISISPOPBABY, best known for international smash-hit show RIOT, electro-pop musical Alice in Funderland, the Where We Live programme around St Patrick’s Festival and their notorious POPTENT arena at Electric Picnic from 2008-2010. Jennifer has previously been Arts Director of Neon Lights Festival (Singapore), Arts Programme Director of Harvest Festival (Australia), Programme Director for Dublin Fringe Festival and Marketing Director for the Festival of World Cultures.

Dominic Stevens
Director, JFOC Architects & TUD Lecturer

Dominic Stevens is a director in JFOC Architects and lecturer in TUD. JFOC Architects specialise in housing and urban design. Dominic has won numerous architectural awards and his work is published widely.

In ‘The Full Irish’ (Princeton Architectural Press’) Dr Sarah Lappin said “His thinking about practice is careful, but simultaneously rational and unusual. This …results in ideas that may very well have some of the strongest resonance for a new, reconfigured Ireland.”

Clare Lyster
Founding principal, CLUAA  Associate Professor, UIC School of Architecture

Clare Lyster is an Irish born architect based in Chicago. She is founding principal, of CLUAA  and an Associate Professor at the UIC School of Architecture.


Ciarán Cuffe

Ciarán Cuffe is an architect and planner. He has served as a Dublin City Councillor, TD for Dún Laoghaire, and Minister of State with responsibility for sustainable transport and climate change. In government he reformed the Irish planning system to limit rezoning, link transport and planning decisions and focus on evidence-led decision-making.

He set up a Masters Programme in Urban Regeneration at TU Dublin. In 2019 he graduated with an MSc in Cities from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for the Dublin Constituency. He is passionate about walkable, bikeable and liveable cities.