London

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 […]

If your city isn't being destroyed, then it's dead alreadyRipping things up and starting again

If your city isn’t being destroyed, then it’s dead already

The creative destruction of technology and capitalism – allied with mankind’s inventiveness – is re-casting cities across the globe. If these forces are passing your city by then you should ask your leaders why, suggests Dougal Paver. French restaurateurs are up in arms about a new app that allows tourists to have meals in locals’ homes.  Barricades are being manned, government […]

Entrepreneurship largely eludes the frenchHeading for London, double-quick

Entrepreneurship? The French don’t even have a word for that

George W Bush’s famous quip about the root cause of France’s sluggish economy may have made him sound a bit foolish, but did he have a point?  Merrion Strategy founder Dougal Paver investigates. Over in France’s sixth largest city a workforce of 400,000 highly qualified Frenchmen run a vast array of enterprises, building one of the world’s great commercial entrepôts as they go.  Tell them that […]

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 […]

London's congestion costs everyone - dearly.In London, everyone pays.

Will congestion become London’s Achilles’ heel?

News that London is Europe’s most congested city will come as no surprise to its detractors.  Would greater population density offer a cure, asks Dougal Paver. London seems unstoppable.  Its population decline has been reversed spectacularly and it has cemented its position as the world’s capital in a decade of rapid growth that only paused for breath – momentarily, it seemed – […]

Density + Shanks's pony = healthy cities, healthy economiesThe dense Georgian town planning in Liverpool's Canning neighbourhood: liveable, walkable and sociable

Density + Shanks’s pony = healthy cities, healthy economies

Our colonial cousins worry about suburbanisation far more than here in the UK, with a lively city-focused blogosphere debating how American cities can  boost population densities.  If their research is a guide, there are very clear social, health and economic outcomes. Here’s a case in point from the admirable CEOs for Cities blog.  Everything we take for granted – liveable […]

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 […]

Boston waterfront at duskBoston, USA: not in need of an Olympics inspired economic boost

The Liverpool Commonwealth Games: urban regeneration beano or an invitation to fiscal profligacy?

Those who take issue with government’s free-wheeling attitude towards their hard-earned were cheering Boston’s recent decision to decline the ‘honour’ of being America’s bidding city for the 2024 summer Olympics. When it comes to fiscal larceny on a grand scale there’s nowt like an Olympics for emptying taxpayers’ wallets. Just one – yep, one – in post-war history has turned […]