Silicon Valley Seems To Have Moved To Dublin City

Dublin city center becomes ever more faithful to serving the trophy buildings of Silicon Valley’s trophy corporations, we “the locals” need to talk.

“We” actually means a much broader cross-section of Irish culture. The people of Dublin, if you will. These voices will need to be included in future planning decisions. These big decisions appear to prioritize adding more tech companies into a comparatively confined geographical area of our Dublin city.

For two decades now, the regular group of development firms, ministers, town officials, developers of property, and the technology business themselves, have massively weighted the measures towards the same upshot. More tech firms in Dublin city center, which will end up displacing the people who have lived in these neighborhoods for generations.

This strategy threatens to cement Dublin’s growing and unwanted reputation as one of Europe’s most expensive cities. One that will become less socially and culturally diverse as affordability swirls down the drain.

Let us call it the “San Fran”-fication of Dublin.

Social Inequities

San Francisco has been transformed but not in the right way. With an influx of technology companies, initially enticed by low taxation incentives. Since the town administration of this time felt that San Francisco was dropping out on the technology boom in the original Silicon Valley towns 40 miles to the south.

Though San Francisco has already been home to a growing section of new media and technology start-up businesses. That colonized old warehouses in the run-down South of Market area. Officials believed they wanted more significant, higher growth (however, little to no profit) organizations such as Twitter. And, in 2011, they left a tax deal worth $70 million with around 10 companies.

On the other hand, the firms helped drive further renovation and development on former industrial land near the bay. On the negative side, many argue the companies never met commitments to the current communities. The deal wasn’t formed in a way that allowed the city to gauge compliance or to well protect area citizens from continuous displacement. Social inequities festered.

More companies have come in. Rents increased rapidly (up to 45 Percent) after a 120 percent rise in computing industry workers between 2014 and 2017. Now, this week, as the Guardian published, even the tech workers who made this mass upscaling don’t like what they have wrought. With rents striking $3,700 per month to get a one-bedroom flat (making Dublin’s $1,169/month, about $1,320, look a deal), even techies are also getting priced out.

 

Many have shifted across the bay to Oakland. Where the same narrative of gentrification and displacement has been replicated. It’s not entirely because of the tech industry, but it has a prominent role and, ironically, its Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s firm Square that is growing hackles, just as Twitter once did in San Francisco.

Housing

We have proof that we are well on our way to replicating this unacceptable situation in Dublin. The continuous expansion of the tech industry, particularly of multinationals, is a major (although not the only ) engine behind those changes. In comes yet another organization, approaching a different section of Dublin’s Docklands. Up go pricey homes to settle high-salaried employees.

Developers arrange deals to take affordable and social housing demands off the table. Trading them out to already-saturated groups at the edge of Dublin without enough transport infrastructure. Then, in a pincer move, this confined market is further squeezed by landlords that AirBnB. Their assets as a new housing report this week argues. The shortage of new social housing in past decades adds more pressure.

Both the European Commission and the United Nations have blasted the inequities of the State’s housing policies. A failed system that looks financial gain for the few. (Significant among them, programmers and vulture funds) instead of the building of sustainable communities.

Continuing to bring in significant company developments to a city unable to house its present population. Without considering best practice elsewhere and without working with activists, communities, and informed experts. Means we lurch ever closer to the unnecessary example of San Francisco. A famous city now coping with problems greatly raised by the poorly planned-for expansion of the tech industry.

We need to take time for a complete society’s opinion of what type of Dublin they want to see in the future. We are or should be, striving for before the towering cranes turn into a point. To build yet another docklands steel and glass box to have more tech employees.

LinkedIn Unveil New Dublin City Campus

Image source: rkd.ie

The LinkedIn of Microsoft became the latest tech company to build a new office in Dublin city when it signed a 25-year lease to add three office adjoining blocks into its new European headquarters.

The social network for experts said last June that it would increase its Irish-based workforce to 2,000 out of 1,200 in the next year as it shifted into a new 14,000 square meter head office from the end of 2020.

LinkedIn agreed to include the remaining meters of office space at the Wilton Park development in Dublin. The campus’ landlord IPUT, the biggest owner of offices in Dublin, said in a statement.

The move gives the U.S. technology organization with adequate capacity to expand its headcount by over 4,000 workers, the Irish Times reported. Microsoft employs 2,000 people everywhere in Dublin.

Ireland is the European center for several major technology companies. Facebook signed the most significant ever office contract in Dublin in 2018. With proposals for a new 57,000 square meter office while Google acquired a 37,000 square meter development earlier. To add to its other offices in the town.

The expansions by some of the world’s largest companies come as new worldwide rules are thought on how and where large internet firms pay tax, which could test multinationals’ commitment to Ireland, where they spend a low 12.5% corporate tax rate.

The Irish state agency working to win foreign business. Said this week that there was no sign that corporations were thinking creatively about Ireland based on what tax reformations may arise.

IDA Ireland announced that hiring by multinationals raised 6% year-on-year in 2019. However, nearly three times the scale over Ireland’s fast-growing economy. Foreign companies employ nearly 250,000 people or just over one in 10 Irish workers.

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