Utopia Tomorrow

    Utopia Tomorrow

    Read my joint review of ‘Utopia for Realists’ and ‘The Radical Incrementalist’ for 3AM Magazine “We are told that the first hurdle for the new politics “lies in being taken seriously at all”. Indeed. Utopia for Realists is no guide for overcoming that hurdle.”

    Municipal Dreams

    Municipal Dreams

    Read my review of Municipal Dreams for the LSE Review of Books “Nobody argues that the post-war planners and architects didn’t care enough or act with idealistic intentions. The issue is that they were able to act with impunity, sweeping away lived-in communities and upending people’s lives.” Image taken by me at the University of […]

    Under-the-radar radicals

    Under-the-radar radicals

    Read my report for the National Association of Neighbourhood Management “Our research report “Doing the right thing”, written by John P. Houghton, has built up a picture of locality and neighbourhood working across England in 2018; where it being used, what models are in place, and what factors are likely to affect its future. Images […]

    Hope Street 3: A new agenda

    Hope Street 3: A new agenda

    Read part 3 of the Hope Street series of essays for New Start magazine “Regeneration has led to stasis at best and further damage and abandonment at worst. The shamans of the old religion still recant the same prayers and promises, but nobody believes them anymore.”

    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…” […]

    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?”