August, 2015

Londoners' football allegiance, mappedIt's complicated, this football thing - just ask Londoners.

Southern glory seeker or die-hard Blue, your football allegiance tells us something about modern Britain

It marks one of the great urban and social divides in Britain, illuminating some peculiarly British linguistic, social and cultural fault lines.  Welcome to the complicated world of football allegiance, says Dougal Paver. This blog is about urban society and economics and it behoves us, dear reader, to cast a light on whatever we may find that illustrates the complexities of the social and economic ties […]

Doheny's pub, DublinBehind these doors lies greatness. Pic credit: the talented Patrick Donald

What’s the pub-ulation of your town?

Among the joys of blogging about cities are the random discoveries that illuminate the quirks of our urban life – such as how you can map the British Isles through the number of pubs in each town.  How much fun is that? Let me presage this blog with a big hat-tip to Tris Brown, who runs the office of Mayor Anderson here in […]

TV production LiverpoolFalkner Street, two streets from Chez Paver, dressed up in WWI garb for that memorable Hovis advert

Lights, cameras, action! How architectural variety is driving one city’s TV industry

TV and movie production in Liverpool has become an industry in its own right, finds Dougal Paver. But whilst the headline numbers regarding total productions are impressive, the economic contribution seems small. I spent much of yesterday working away on a client report from my dining room table whilst outside horse-drawn hansom cabs trundled up and down and young ladies sold heather […]

UK Ste[ping UpSomeone lend them a tenner.

Today’s CBI Stepping Up reports challenges the government to adopt a more interventionist line on business support.

The publication today of a report by the CBI suggesting that the ‘funding ladder’ for mid-sized businesses is broken is bound to catch the government’s eye.  The CBI Stepping Up report offers some interesting remedies to the problem of the absence of bank funding for fast-growing mid-sized companies, which has fallen by 22% since the banking crash. As the corporatist, provisional […]

London's congestion costs everyone - dearly.In London, everyone pays.

Will congestion become London’s Achilles’ heel?

News that London is Europe’s most congested city will come as no surprise to its detractors.  Would greater population density offer a cure, asks Dougal Paver. London seems unstoppable.  Its population decline has been reversed spectacularly and it has cemented its position as the world’s capital in a decade of rapid growth that only paused for breath – momentarily, it seemed – […]

Regional devolution will strengthen LiverpoolRegional devolution must improve the city region's economy, say its backers

Liverpool moves towards regional devolution

The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is making “good progress” towards determining the shape of the regional devolution deal it would like to negotiate with central government.  Any deal will need to offer the region the repatriation of significant powers and spending authority, however. The latest communique from the authority says any bid to central government will have the objectives […]

Density + Shanks's pony = healthy cities, healthy economiesThe dense Georgian town planning in Liverpool's Canning neighbourhood: liveable, walkable and sociable

Density + Shanks’s pony = healthy cities, healthy economies

Our colonial cousins worry about suburbanisation far more than here in the UK, with a lively city-focused blogosphere debating how American cities can  boost population densities.  If their research is a guide, there are very clear social, health and economic outcomes. Here’s a case in point from the admirable CEOs for Cities blog.  Everything we take for granted – liveable […]

George Osborne"Hills get in the way of the 4G signal, you say? Hmm..."

4G or not 4G: that is the question

It would be to overstate the significance of this blog somewhat  *coughs*  to suggest that George Osborne’s article in yesterday’s Telegraph was a direct rebuttal of my own piece about how ‘the digital deficit’ was a factor in rural economies’ relative underperformance.  Always good to see that more than a few minds are debating the issue, however. Now, before you read […]

Countryside businessEvery little helps, but the rural deficit is widening inexorably in today's digital age.

Digital age exacerbates the rural deficit

Since the rise of sophisticated urban planning and politics in the Roman age man has sensed an immutable truth: cities provide the best conditions for progress and opportunity.  And the coming of the digital age has magnified that issue dramatically. Now, more than ever, cities are the engines of economic and social progress.  Their ability to attract talent and develop […]

Kitsilano in VancouverNot much grit here

You need grit to make a pearl. Stick that in your liveable cities index

The Economist Intelligence Unit’s respected liveable cities index is out, telling us the best places to live using indices such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, culture and environment.  If his experience of a long summer in Vancouver is any guide then absentee cities shouldn’t fret too much about the result, suggests Dougal Paver. A picnic on Vancouver’s delightful Kitsilano beach (above) is possibly […]