Liverpool

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift governmentNot waving, but drowning: wealthy Chicago risks following Detroit into civic oblivion

Chicago shows Britain the downside of spendthrift government

To paraphrase Maggie somewhat, ‘the problem with certain governments is that they run out of other people’s money.’  And you don’t have to be an economic basket case to do so, either, as spendthrift Chicago demonstrates. It’s a long while since I’ve been to Chicago and, whilst it was pretty darned impressive back in the nineties, I hear tell that […]

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wakeNow that's what you call a powerhouse

Southern Powerhouse set to leave the north in its wake

As research suggests the Northern Powerhouse is anything but, what has the north got to do to close the gap with the thriving south east, asks Dougal Paver. This blog doesn’t do gloom – and it ill-behoves me to start the week with anything but visions of sunlit uplands, much less share caution.  So you will forgive me the premise […]

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skylineThrough the fog of commentary rise some great - and some average - buildings

Only land scarcity and a rising market will improve the Liverpool skyline

As tower cranes once again punctuate the Liverpool skyline like a gloriously misshapen comb some are worrying that the standard of new buildings isn’t what the city deserves.  But they forget that the biggest determinant of design quality is the market price for whatever is being constructed. “Buy land,” said the wise old Irish farmer, “they’re not making any more of […]

Liverpool allotmentsNow there's civilised for you

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 […]

One of UK brewing's finestMake mine a large half

Boom in UK brewing proof that high taxes kill enterprise

Liverpool’s shipping industry migrated off-shore to escape high taxes, taking a huge wealth creator with it. Its brewing industry is being re-born thanks to a reduction in government duties.  See the connection? The UK brewing industry is entering a golden age, with 10% growth in the number of breweries in each of the last three years.  We now have more […]

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 […]

How hip is your neighbourhood? If it's like mine, not veryA good deal hipper than where I live.

How hip is your neighbourhood? If it’s like mine, not very

Wide Georgian streets.  Leafy garden squares.  Hip cafes, bars and restaurants for the bearded classes and more quirky monuments and historical curios than you could shake a stick at.  And still his corner of Liverpool doesn’t make it on the hip list.  Darn it!, says Dougal Paver. This morning’s Telegraph has a summary of the world’s hippest neighbourhoods, and you know […]

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 […]