Hope Street 2: Where are we now?

    Hope Street 2: Where are we now?

    Read part 2 of the Hope Street series of essays for New Start magazine “There had been talk of ‘regeneration turning 40’, but there was no birthday celebration. People spoke instead in hushed tones, as if discussing a patient whose prospects darkened with every passing day.” Photo taken by me in Liverpool.

    Hope Street 1: Why regeneration failed

    Hope Street 1: Why regeneration failed

    Read part 1 of the Hope Street series of essays for New Start magazine “With so much energy directed inward, on the administration of the system, there was precious little focus on the need to wire what was happening at the neighbourhood level into opportunity and growth.”

    Pretty vacant

    Pretty vacant

    Read the final word on the story of my old house As a regeneration professional, empty and vandalised homes are a sadly commonplace sight. That didn’t, however, alter the shock of seeing my old home in such a sorry state.    

    Last of London

    Last of London

    Read my review of The Last of London for 3AM Magazine “The soulful strands of Sinclair’s threnody are almost lost in a sea of quotidian bile.” Picture taken by me old Deptford High Street

    Cities in Cinema 3: Fargo

    Cities in Cinema 3: Fargo

    Read my third instalment for 3AM Magazine’s ‘Cities in Cinema’ series “Fargo is full of alerts and alarms, from the road signs warning drivers of storms and snowdrifts to the advert for Miller Beer that can be seen behind Marge as she radios the police station from her car. “As if this town wasn’t cold enough…” […]

    Who killed Kenny?

    Who killed Kenny?

    Read my article for New Start magazine on the failure of regeneration in Kensington, Liverpool “The Liverpool Echo’s recent reports into the state of the city’s ‘Kenny’ neighbourhood paint an alarming picture. Yet the most shocking fact is that the same neighbourhood was the recipient of £62m through the New Deal for Communities programme.” Photo […]

    Berlin Bodies

    Berlin Bodies

    Read my review of ‘Berlin Bodies’ for 3AM Magazine  “I found myself carried along by his descriptions of how the city’s rich and conflicted history has given rise to these diverse tribes of urban identity.” Image taken by me.    

    Cities in Cinema 2: Gomorrah

    Cities in Cinema 2: Gomorrah

    Read my second instalment for 3AM Magazine’s ‘Cities in Cinema’ series “Napoli is more than a neutral stage. The people we encounter are the essential products of the city’s toxic soil, corrupt institutions, dysfunctional housing estates and decaying public spaces. They all issued from the cankered kennel of the city’s womb.” Image credit: Federica Zappalà

    Can football be a force for good?

    Can football be a force for good?

    Read my article for New Start on Everton’s new stadium. “Everton styles itself as the ‘people’s club’ on Merseyside; more community-minded club and supported by the locals, as opposed to the commercial outfit followed by tourists and day-trippers on the other side of Stanley Park.”

    The Mediated City
    The Mediated City

    Read my review of ‘The Mediated City’ for 3:AM Magazine “It is easy to dismiss local news as irrelevant and outdated into today’s world of instant online, global communication; the preserve of headlines like ‘Old Mrs Miggins has a funny turn on the No. 30 bus’ and ‘Newsagent runs out of five pence pieces’.” Photo taken by me in Bromley by Bow.       […]

    The language of cities
    The language of cities

    Read my review of Deyan Sudjic’s ‘The Language of Cities’ for 3AM Magazine. “It’s a shame, then, that in contrast to the sharp focus and tightly woven narrative fabric of that chapter, much of rest of The Language of Cities is a loosely-hung clothing line of brief observations and historical vignettes from across the ages and the […]

    Urban Forum Legacy Report
    Urban Forum Legacy Report

    My blog for Locality on the Urban Forum legacy report “A fresh debate leading to rejuvenated efforts and initiatives. There is no doubt Locality can and should play an enormous part in that revitalisation”.

    Democracy squared
    Democracy squared

    Read my review of ‘Common Space’ by Stavros Stavrides for 3AM Magazine “Like the old definition of jazz, common space is a how, not a what. It is a “set of practices” driven by “collective inventiveness” that enable people to imagine and then forge a new future.”

    The Commonist Manifesto
    The Commonist Manifesto

    Read my review for 3AM Magazine of @SimonFParker’s Taking Power Back “Taking Power Back updates the case against over-mighty centralism by explaining how Brown’s Labour and the Cameron-Clegg coalition talked the language of devolving and dispersing power, but in practice hoarded it all the more for themselves.” Photo taken by me at the Barbara Hepworth […]

    We shouldn’t give up on estate renewal
    We shouldn’t give up on estate renewal

    Read my blog for New Start on the future of estate renewal “My response is that we shouldn’t give up on the idea that estate renewal can deliver benefits beyond the built environment. We should understand why so many attempts fail.” Image taken by Christopher Rocks

    My wishes for 2015
    My wishes for 2015

    Read my blog for New Start on my wishes for 2015 The word ‘foodbank’ symbolises 2014 for me. A dreadful year that exposed the casual cruelties we impose on the poorest and most vulnerable. So as the year closes, I was asked by New Start to set out my five wishes for 2015. Photo taken […]

    Two billion squatters
    Two billion squatters

    Read my review of Radical Cities for 3:AM Magazine ‘Squatters and slum dwellers would have to fight in the free market like everyone else. And yet, even in this intellectual waste land, branches can grow from stony rubbish.’ Photo taken by me in Berlin, 2014

    Gentrification – not a ‘law of nature’
    Gentrification - not a 'law of nature'

    Read my blog for New Start magazine on why gentrification is not a ‘law of nature’ “That idea that gentrification is a ‘natural evolution’ of neighbourhoods is a gross misappropriation of Jane Jacobs’ humanist philosophy. ” Image taken by me in Berlin, 2014

    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.