That push for localism starts with your food marketThey'd eat loads of these in Chorley - if only they could find them

That push for localism starts with your food market

The Sage of Chorley told us that garlic bread was the future, but now we know that’s only the case if it’s locally-baked from sustainable sources.  For cities as much as market towns, localism holds the key to economic sustainability, argues Dougal Paver. You notice stuff wandering around cities like Barcelona for a week (that’s the holiday plug over).  Things […]

Thank you for the music?Grafton St, Dublin, where buskers know their music (if not their fashion)

Thank you for the music?

Our regular guest blogger, John Flamson, offers an entertaining treatise on the merits, or otherwise, of trying to regulate the quality of buskers.  Enjoy. A couple of years ago there was a peaceful protest on Liverpool’s streets about the council’s proposed rule to restrict the busking community.  The authority believed that compulsory permits for street performers would enhance quality and stop […]

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 […]