‘Mapping the Space of Flows’: the geography of the London Mega-City Region

I’m pleased to be able to post here the penultimate version of an article that Duncan Smith and I recently had accepted to Regional Studies. In this article we look at ways of combining ‘big data’ from a telecoms network with standard BRES employment data to generate a more nuanced understanding of where ‘work’ happens in the Greater Southeast of England across several key sectors. Continue reading

Problems of Scale

So on Friday I went to hear my supervisor, Peter Hall, on a panel discussion with Hank Ditmar (of the Prince’s Foundation) and Will Alsop (famous architect/urban designer). The title for the discussion was “The Object, the City & the Region“, which didn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with the actual discussion since that centred on what makes a viable neighbourhood, especially in light of the current UK policy on eco-towns and the high prices of commodities.¬†One of the themes that emerged, at least for me, in all three of the talks and follow-up discussion is the problem of scale: New bedroom communities are designed in one go, usually by one developer, and usually around one vision of what should be offered. Continue reading

Slow-Motion Mortgage Wreck

Over at Naked Capitalism, there has been a lot of talk about the risk of default in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. As someone without a mortgage or a home part of me is kind of enjoying the whole debacle since I rather foolishly half-believe that I can sit on the sidelines and watch this slow-motion wreck wind its way across America and, increasingly, Britain. However, the implosion of either of these two companies would make Bear Stearns look like a minor blip on the financial radar. Continue reading

Visiting Bilbao

The idea that a ‘starchitect’ could regenerate an entire city effectively began with the ‘Bilbao Effect’, and a host of other cities have jumped on this particular bandwagon. Apparently, you pretty much have to get Gehry, Calatrava, Foster, Rogers, or Liebeskind on board in order to be considered (by other mayors at least) a world class city. Continue reading

Local Employment & Public Transit

The Guardian reports that proposals for Britain’s new ‘eco-towns’ were found by a government panel to be ‘inadequate’. The two most oft-cited problems for the ones that weren’t “little more than a typical existing housing scheme” were local employment and transport. Continue reading

Redevelopment of the West Village

From an article by Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair I was led to a web site opposed to the the redevelopment of St Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village section of Manhattan. Aside from the fact that Protect the Village is a really nice, simple site, it got me thinking about the redevelopment of dense urban areas. Continue reading

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