I am writing a dissertation on ghost estates in Ireland and I would love to hear some opinions and ideas.
A ghost estate is a media coined term for an unfinished and/or unoccupied housing estates or stalled site in Ireland. Since the start of the recession the Irish landscape has been littered with them. They are obviously not a phenomenon exclusive to Ireland but the number of them throughout the country has created a pressing problem of what should be done with them.
There are an estimated +2,000 housing estates classified as ghost estates across the country, which translates as around 120,000 empty homes. The majority of these developments are built in rural areas and have very limited infrastructure associated with them. Each development ranges in its stage of construction from ground works to being completed but unconnected to services.
At the moment the demand for new houses in Ireland is very low if not non-existent beyond council housing. The originally targeted young families / first time buyers for these houses have emigrated en-mass as a result of the economic crisis so currently there is no market to sell them.
In my opinion landscape architecture should play a central role in how these developments are dealt with. What I would like to know is if anyone has any opinions or experience on this topic and if anyone has any ideas for what to do with them.