August, 2015

The Old Blind School LiverpoolNow an employment resource centre...

Unemployment: One city’s unsung transformation

In the early eighties I had a newspaper round delivering what was still a broadsheet Liverpool Echo.  Week after week, it felt, there were announcements of one major plant closure after another.  Tate & Lyle, Metal Box, Triumph, Meccano, Ford, Dunlop, Mersey Docks – on and on they went, with unemployment spiralling to beyond 30% before population decline thinned it out.  […]

Liverpool airport terminal buildingReady to deliver a 7.5 per cent uplift in the Liverpool region economy. What would it be without APD?

Getting your urban economy flying again

Received wisdom suggests that Britain is a small island – and it is when compared with, say, Greenland. But it’s still an island and you need to get off it from time to time.  Airports provide a solution, and are good for a region’s economy, too. Here in Liverpool we’re talking 4,500 jobs good.  Or, looked at another way, £175m […]

LuasDublin's stylish Luas trams. There aren't enough of them. Not nearly enough, in fact.

Traffic management is Dublin’s new ideological battleground

There used to be a saying in Irish politics that the first item on the agenda of any new group was the split. According to the Irish Independent Dublin’s latest ideological battleground is the politics of traffic management – and things aren’t going well, as Dougal Paver discovers. Anyone familiar with Dublin will know what a traffic-choked hell-hole it can […]

SEfton Park in the autumnLack of open space is not Liverpool's structural issue - it's a relative lack of people

Make space for open space

There’s much we Liverpudlians enjoy about our home city and the vast amount of open space, particularly in the south end, ranks highly in any satisfaction survey. There are so many big parks to choose from that some are barely used. In which case many Liverpudlians won’t bother, I imagine, to tot up the percentage of open space in the city, whatever […]

Eixample BarcelonaNot many gaps amidst that lot: Ildefons Cerda's famous Barcelona grid plan

Most cities are gap-toothed beauties

One of Liverpool’s great thinkers – and doers – around urban policy, John Flamson, once memorably described Liverpool as ‘a gap-toothed beauty’. He was referring, of course, to the fact that for all the enormous progress in turning around the city’s physical fabric, much remained to be done. He could just as well have been describing any post-industrial western city […]

Palais de Festivals Cannes"How much to buy all of Manchester?"

MIPIM: it’s all about the symbolism

If you were in the business of producing eggs and the annual Eggfest – the global coming together of the world’s egg buyers and sellers and their respective supply chains – was in, say, Sydney, then you’d be pretty daft not to haul your backside off to Oz to sell your wares. Imagine, then, that you’re a politician tasked with […]

Dalkey Co DublinCastle Street in Dalkey: welcome to suburban bliss

Urban villages: cities’ great engines for localism

Great cities value their urban villages – and the best retain their unique character and charm. They’re a force for civility and engines for economic localism, provided institutional property ownership hasn’t turned them in to clones, suggests Dougal Paver. Back in the day I spent just over three years in Dublin, on and off, and fell hard for the city. It […]

San Sebastian pintxosOn such morsels is an entire economy built

Food production: regeneration’s new frontier

Harnessing the economic potential of food production and retailing can deliver huge employment and regeneration gains, argues Dougal Paver. But to maximise the benefits, strategic vision is called for. There’s a thriving little city of 190,000 souls tucked inside Spain’s Atlantic border with France by the name of San Sebastian. Pretty as a picture, fiercely Basque (it’s called Donostia by […]

Undergraduates at studyA key ingredient for economic growth, right there

Education is a key driver for economic growth

File that headline under ‘no shit, Sherlock’ if you like, but it’s worth exploring – particularly in the context of Liverpool, Britain’s fifth largest metropolis (for my overseas readers, the league table goes like this: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool). It’s a given in advanced western economies that educational attainment within a population is a strong predictor of economic growth. […]

Want to preserve your city in aspic? It may end up like San FranciscoLiverpool's skyline has benefitted enormously from forward-thinking planning

Want to preserve your city in aspic? It may end up like San Francisco

My home town of Liverpool faces some interesting challenges as its economy continues its ten year growth spurt. With such a track record you might imagine that the issues relate to coping with the inflationary pressures of growth and, in part, they do. My own children’s primary school, in a tight location where the inner city suddenly butts up against […]