London

Public transport is goodPublic transport use is about the opportunity-cost of getting across town, not provision

Public transport: it’s all in the numbers

The scale and quality of public transport provision in a city matters most where its economy is growing like Topsy.  Just examining the raw data doesn’t tell you the whole picture, argues Merrion MD Dougal Paver. We love a good map or chart here at Merrion Towers.  Geography ‘O’ level: it never leaves you. And so I had to dive […]

The London economy proves Britain's enduring appeal

The London economy proves Britain’s enduring appeal

London’s commercial property market is thriving, confounding the nay-sayers.  Merrion Strategy managing director Dougal Paver examines the health of the UK economy and asks if the market has already priced in our departure from the EU. A single quarter’s office take-up does not an economic summer make.  So when JLL’s latest London office survey hit the desks yesterday morning the […]

Wealth, the Seattle waySeattle, where the rain never gets in the way of creating wealth

Staggering wealth accrues to the few as tech entrepreneurs follow the money

Just a handful of the world’s cities account for half of global venture capital investment in tech innovation.  No surprises: London is the UK’s only representative in this stellar league table.  Merrion MD Dougal Paver ponders what this means for Britain’s provincial cities scrambling to build and sustain their own tech sectors. Get this: the conurbations of San Francisco, Washington […]

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?This is what a water taxi looks like at MIPIM

MIPIM review: who can fathom those crazy French?

Tens of thousands of high-spending property folk descended on Cannes this week for the MIPIM real estate shin-dig and Merrion managing director Dougal Paver braved the warm Mediterranean sunshine and endless champagne and canapes to bring readers the inside track.  His conclusion?  The French are bonkers. Convention cities the world over would give their eye teeth to host a conference like […]

Has Birmingham been knocked off its perch as the UK's second city?Manchester. Is this now the UK's second city?

Has Birmingham been knocked off its perch as the UK’s second city?

A much-publicised suggestion by The Economist magazine that the government should move to Manchester whilst the Houses of Parliament are refurbished has given Birmingham’s cheerleaders a fit of the vapours.  Is it no longer the UK’s second city?  Merrion MD Dougal Paver investigates. In Britain’s Victorian hey-day at least four cities could make a credible claim to be the nation’s […]

Bank of Liverpool porticoWe need to look to the powerhouses of old to find the ones of the future

How to fire up the Northern Powerhouse

Want to fire up the Northern Powerhouse, Chancellor?  Bung £25m into a kitty and task Merseyside’s private sector with matching it, then re-launch the Bank of Liverpool.  Shareholders will make a fortune, says Dougal Paver. Since the onset of the industrial age, 95% of the world’s trade by volume has been conducted by sea.  In my grandfather’s lifetime, Liverpool owned one […]

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 […]

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 […]