Cities

The Turd in EdinburghNot hard to see how this got its nickname, then

Edinburgh’s ‘turd’ threatens UNESCO listing

What happens when cities design for the modern age?  UNESCO get shirty, that’s what.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver investigates their latest attack on modernism. The marvellous City Lab blog has a rather enjoyable piece here about Edinburgh’s Turd.  The picture above, from its architects Jestico + Whiles, really doesn’t leave a great deal to the imagination once you view it […]

No civic modesty hereThere's marketing puff and then there's miracle-working. (Pic credit: Nivea UK)

Modesty: an under-rated civic virtue

As the Paver family head to Barcelona for a short infusion of culture, sunshine and tapas its pater familias ponders the Catalan capital’s civic modesty.  After all, it’s got a lot to shout about. One of the early lessons on my marketing degree was that any claim you make about a product, service or place has to be congruous with reality.  People […]

Weary waiterSoon to be replaced by a 22 year-old Italian.

Café society, revisited

We welcome back John Flamson with another thought-provoking guest blog on café society, Liverpool-style.  Enjoy. As the weather changes and our summer holidays seem a distant memory, we think fondly of the balmy evenings, pavement cafés, a cooling Pils or a warming Cortado.  And we imagine such simple joys in our own city of Liverpool. I repeat in full below […]

Bradford: Britain's most complete Victorian cityOnce the world's woollen capital.

Bradford: Britain’s most complete Victorian city

Not been to Bradford lately?  You should, suggests Dougal Paver. You can smell a place’s wealth.  It oozes from the pores of its buildings, the cut of its pedestrians and the purr of its motor cars.  Poverty does the same.  Aspiration, meantime, fights to be heard. Bradford is aspirational, but was once fabulously – and I mean fabulously – wealthy.  I was […]

Population growth: housing's elephant in the roomIt's busy down in dat der London.

Population growth: housing’s elephant in the room

New housing starts can’t keep pace with population growth in the UK, and the social and economic consequences are now being felt broadly across our cities.  Surprisingly, argues Dougal Paver, the public aren’t joining the dots. This blog doesn’t do politics.  Shoot me, in fact, if it ever does. Rather, it likes to cast its eye over the quirks and […]

Grub up! Time for a city allotmentJust give him a pigeon to stroke and his life would be complete

Grub up! Time for a city allotment

Allotments civilise cities, not just because of the obvious but because they slow folk down, suggests a mad-busy Dougal Paver.  He should know: he spent his youth on his grandpa’s lovingly tendered Tyneside plot. I skinned my first rabbit aged nine and can still do it, when required, inside around 30 seconds.  I’ll spare you the gory details, but it’s […]

Why Liverpool's Big Dig couldn't dig deep enoughThe quickest way to by-pass the Strand at 8am

Why Liverpool’s Big Dig couldn’t dig deep enough

Liverpool’s Big Dig caused angst a-plenty before its conclusion in 2008, but few would now deny that it wasn’t a great success. But for many there’s a nagging worry that it didn’t go far – or deep – enough. You’ll remember its purpose – improve traffic circulation around the city centre and remove car journeys through town, re-balancing it so […]

If your city is home to a global sports brand, milk itNorwegians on holiday. Lots of 'em

If your city is home to a global sports brand, milk it

There’s a world of glory-seeking sports nuts out there who’ll travel the globe to attend the best events.  And as some cities are discovering,  you can re-position an entire economy on the back of sporting success.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver explores the issue. When I lived in Barcelona I didn’t attend a single match at Camp Nou, nor at city […]