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Community kick
Community kick

Read my ‘Ideas for change’ piece n what football clubs can do to boost local economic and social resilience “The hard truth is that regeneration-by-football is usually a failure…So what else could clubs do? The potential is there for them to be more than good neighbours to the communities that surround them.”

Super Grass
Super Grass

Read my latest blog for New Start magazine “At the end of his talk, many of the officers in the audience approached David. I hope they felt galvanised to act afterward, to challenge the red tape and caution of their colleagues, and create community enterprise agencies everywhere.” Photo taken by me of ‘More than Minutes’ […]

Twelve takeaways from Regen 2014
Twelve takeaways from Regen 2014

Here are my top twelve observations from the Regen 2014 conference, held in Liverpool’s Stanley Dock, part of the government’s International Festival for Business.    

Tra-la-la-la-la-la
Tra-la-la-la-la-la

Read my review of Liverpool FC 2013/14 Season In Review: Poetry In Motion “Once Suarez had been secured by John W. Henry cutting through the haze and taking a piss in Arsenal’s bong-water, the club presented a united, ambitious front. The owners, manager and players all talked up their chances of success.”

Oi, Labour – leave those LEPs alone!
Oi, Labour – leave those LEPs alone!

Read my critique of the Smith Institute’s proposals for local economic development Mess equals waste, the report argues. Yet governments waste a hell of a lot more cash and money in pursuit of an illusory order and perfect organisational tessellation. Image taken by me in Bromley by Bow. Mess equals waste, the report argues. Yet […]

Chewing over urban art
Chewing over urban art

Read my latest blog for New Start magazine “A tiny piece of art, rendered from rubbish. Temporary graffiti that in a few weeks will have been washed away by the rain or eaten by a philistine pigeon, unaware it is feasting on a work of micro-genius. And yet it opened my eyes to the craft […]

Red or Dead re-read
Red or Dead re-read

Read my review of David Peace’s epic novel about Bill Shankly for The Tomkins Times “Peace’s style becomes a red machine, working to full effect. “There was no shelter from the word”, Peace says, describing the impact of the sound created by the Kop on the opposition.” Lots of smart comments and thoughtful reflections from […]

Why is Margate under-selling itself?
Why is Margate under-selling itself?

Read my article for the Thanet Gazette on why Margate needs to make visitors feel more welcome Arriving in Margate recently, I was reminded of how terribly the town under-sells all the great things it has to offer. It’s like a shop full of beautiful artefacts that you can’t see for the dust and peeling […]

Who killed neighbourhood renewal?
Who killed neighbourhood renewal?

Read my blog for New Start: ‘Who killed neighbourhood renewal in England?’ “In this, as in so much else, Gordon Brown’s spell at Number 10 was a grim fandango of trampling arrogance and stumbling ineptitude.” Photo by Gethyn Williams at George Orwell’s home on the isle of Jura

Is this Anfield?
Is this Anfield?

Read my piece for The Anfield Wrap on the Anfield regeneration proposals The club and the council are trying to do something very ambitious at a time when people’s faith in regeneration has been tested to destruction. In places like Anfield, ‘regeneration’ isn’t a promise: it’s a threat. Photo taken by me in Liverpool  

Playing into the populists’ hands
 Playing into the populists’ hands

Read my piece for New Start on opposition to the cuts “Accepting their premise, that people on benefits are hopelessly dependent on the state and have no resourcefulness or resilience of their own, does a deep disservice to people living in poverty.” Photo taken by me under Devons Road rail bridge

London: From Punk to Blair
London: From Punk to Blair

Read my review of London: From Punk to Blair for 3:AM Magazine ” London pigeons, like their human counterparts, are often accused by pigeons from elsewhere in the country of thinking the world begins and ends in the capital. The London pigeons don’t care. They know the other pigeons are really just jealous.”  

What legacy for East London?
What legacy for East London?

Read my New Start blog on how to build a positive Olympic legacy for East London The blog was based on an interview with regeneration expert and placemaker Ian Freshwater (@theaquafresca), and was part of New Start’s special focus on East London You can also download Tom Smith’s (@_datasmith) thought-provoking opening prezi here Thanks to […]

Language, love and ski slopes
Language, love and ski slopes

Read my piece for New Start on ‘Love, urbanism and a deadly ski slope’ Why hasn’t the British urbanism moveent captured people’s imagination? Maybe it’s because we don’t talk enough about people’s feelings. The image is the ‘Bridge of Locks’ in Paris, taken by me

Co-op neighbourhoods
Co-op neighbourhoods

Download my contribution (PDF) to the Co-op Council Network’s pamphlet Towards co-operative councils: empowering people to change their lives This is my contribution to a collection of essays, edited by Kitty Ussher and Steve Reed MP with a preface from Ed Miliband.

Fractured London?
Fractured London?

Listen to the Podcast and read the slides from CityDiplo’s event on place-branding – “London – fractured identity or collection of neighbourhoods?” You can also check out Malcolm Allan’s (@MalkyAllan) write up of the main arguments and debate Photograph by me, taken in Whitechapel, East London

Co-operating without crises
Co-operating without crises

“Co-operating without crises”, New Start, January 2012 Scarcity can also be the mother of inertia. For every example of creativity born of austerity, there are many examples of innovation being strangled at birth by low morale and lack of capacity”.

Community is not enough
Community is not enough

Read my ‘expert verdict’ on urban development in 2012 – and my suggestions for making progress in 2013. “Society can’t just praise the poorest for their gumption, then leave them to fight against the tide.”

Crossovers 2012
Crossovers 2012

Here is my presentation to the #Crossovers2012 event on culture and the visitor economy In our post-regeneration world, where communities are developing radically new solutions, culture and creativity are more important than ever. You can see a summary of all contributions here along with a recap of social media organised by @jennifermjones

Going with the grain
Going with the grain

Read my article for CLES-New Start on sand and neighbourhood renewal “The more I looked, the more I could see. The more I could see, the more I could appreciate the strangeness, richness and capacity to delight that abounds in  ‘your average neighbourhood’.”

Exposing the lie
Exposing the lie

Read my article for New Start on the biggest lie ever told about poor neighbourhoods “The lie persists because it fulfils the basic function of deceit: it comforts the comfortable and afflicts the afflicted. It allows the powerful to blame poverty on the poor.” Image credit: Local Trust

The end of regeneration
The end of regeneration

Download my presentation on ‘The End of Regeneration’ Presented at the the North West Together We Can conference “Delivering more with less in local communities – what are the options?”

Labour’s neighbourhoods
Labour's neighbourhoods

Read my article for New Start asking whether Labour has an agenda for the deprived urban areas it now represents “In our age of skint localism, what can Labour councils do to support the poorest neighbourhoods, as newly elected members are required to push through further and deeper rounds of cuts?”

Learning to learn
Learning to learn

Read my blog for New Start asking how we can learn from each other to make better places “We can’t afford to ignore evidence that might point us in the right direction; we can’t spend our way to conclusions that have already been reached.” Image credit: Colin Bottomley Twitter: @ColinNW1