For the city, and its people, I’ve always loved, my thoughts are with you….      

The Weekend Bookshelf In an attempt to not spend all weekend attached to the laptop working, this weekend’s reading comprises food and design and some wise words from Margaret Atwood. 1.  Margaret Atwood – Negotiating with the Dead. A Writer on Writing 2. Monocle 3. Elle Decoration (UK) 4. Mark Hix – Fish etc 5. […]

When asked which American cities I love, the response ‘Washington, D.C.’ garners more quizzical responses and confused expressions than any other city on my list.  I’m usually expected to justify this, so here is the list I produce to confound the doubters. 1 – The Metro System.  DC’s Metro rail system is cleaner and cheaper than the […]

The Economist Intelligence Unit has awarded Melbourne the title of “most liveable city” for the third time.  Of the 140 cities surveyed four of the top ten are Australian and the rest are the usual suspects, a mix of cities from Canada, Finland and New Zealand. TOP 10 Melbourne, Australia Vienna, Austria Vancouver, Canada Toronto, […]

During a recent trip to my local Waterstone’s, I was greeted by a table laden with books with small annotated labels proclaiming them to be ‘the book that made me’.  It was a mixed collection of heart rendering tales of childhood woe, fictional works of international acclaim, celebrity auto/biographies, childhood favourites and poetry by auspicious […]

The final nominee in the Academy of Urbanism‘s Great Street category is Park Lane in Poynton.  Located on the the busy A523 between Macclesfield and Stockport, it was Poynton Town Council’s adoption of a radical approach to dealing with this problem that resulted in it being short listed. Rejecting calls for a bypass, pedestrianisation or speed […]

With the inevitable rain closing in on this bank holiday weekend, some of the best distractions will be on BBC iPlayer, including Unbuilt Britain. Beyond my previously declared fascination with the unbuilt, the second installment of Olivia Horsfall Turner’s Unbuilt Britain was as compelling as the first.   This episode ‘Making Connections’ focused on the plans […]

Architectural history is littered with grand plans and ambitious proposals that have never seen their delivery.  From funding issues and short-sighted bureaucrats to misplaced social concepts and technologies beyond their time, there are numerous obstacles that have defeated them.  During my undergraduate architecture education I was fascinated by unbuilt structures, the ambition that lay behind […]

The second high street on the Academy of Urbanism’s short list for ‘Great Street 2014’ is North Street in Bristol is located south of the river and the city centre in Southville.   Originally an industrial district, accommodating a coal mine and large warehouses for the tobacco industry, and small terraced houses for workers in […]

1. Food! From bill granger (always lower case) to Kylie Kwong, Neil Perry to Matt Moran, Australia is obsessed with food, its provenance and those who create. This is not a passing fad, this is a long standing national obsession. From celebrity chefs from all corners of the world to the expansive fish market in […]