Pick of the day: New Statesman | It is time to recognise the benefits of social housing

“Another reason why increasing current levels of social housing construction would benefit society can be seen in The National Housing Federation’s 2011 Neighbourhood Audit. This report shows that housing associations alone invest £750m annually in all kinds of community initiatives, helping to improve the lives of eight million people. Unfortunately, due to its nature 89 per cent of landlords are private individuals the PRS just doesn’t have the capacity for this kind of community investment. Of course, social impact is not only judged by the amount of money that is spent and social landlords invest time in the community, employ and train people from the community, provide opportunities to volunteer, help give a voice to the community and much more that impacts positively on people’s lives.”

Read the whole article here: New Statesman | It is time to recognise the benefits of social housing.

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Pick of the day: Helsinki v Guggenheim: the backlash against the global megabrand is on | Art and design | The Guardian

“Dazzled by the promise of the Bilbao effect, dozens of cities court the attentions of the Guggenheim every year, hoping to become the next pearl in its necklace. The latest Gehry-designed titanium behemoth is planned to open in Abu Dhabi in 2017. But not all have been successful. Franchises in Las Vegas, Berlin, Salzburg, Vilnius, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro and lower Manhattan have all been cancelled or closed down. And, as New York urbanist and Next Helsinki juror Andrew Ross warns, these aspiring cultural capitals should be careful what they wish for.”

Read the whole story here: Helsinki v Guggenheim: the backlash against the global megabrand is on | Art and design | The Guardian.

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Guest article: How Social Inequality And Other Inconvenient Truths Could Upset the Innovation Apple Cart (Part 2)

mabonengby Linda Lees*

(click here for Part 1)

What the Brookings study advocates is not only a top down approach to urban planning, but something akin to a gated community for the creative class save a passing reference to the social inequity lingering just outside the walls: “At a time of rising social inequality, they [the districts] offer the prospect of expanding employment and educational opportunities for disadvantaged populations given that many districts are close to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.”

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Guest article: How Social Inequality And Other Inconvenient Truths Could Upset the Innovation Apple Cart (Part 1)

Browndfield revitalization and creative industries in Berlin. Photo: Rebecca Hudson

Brownfield revitalization and creative industries in Berlin. Photo: Rebecca Hudson

by Linda Lees*

Instability, creative tension, and entrepreneurial people on society’s margins are some of the qualities that have always been the hallmarks of dynamic and creative cities. So said Professor Sir Peter Hall in the probing book he wrote in 1998, Cities and Civilization. With his characteristic insight and erudition Mr. Hall, who sadly passed away in July, told the stories of “great cities in their golden ages.” He asked the question: “What makes a particular city at a particular time, suddenly become immensely creative, exceptionally innovative?” and answered with an in-depth exploration of the historical, cultural, and social factors that influenced cities from antiquity to the modern age. How did individual inspiration intersect with economic, political and social conditions to propel Athens, Florence, Rome, Glasgow, Manchester, London, and New York to the highest levels of achievement in their glory days.

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La visión de Bogotá internacional

Short video clip by Invest in Bogotá with information on its international positioning strategy. INPOLIS was responsible for designing the latter.

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2014 Masterclasses in Place Management, Marketing and Branding

MMU-CIMA-degree-wideMake better places with the latest thinking from experts.

2-4th October 2014

The Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University is running a series of one day masterclasses, aimed at practitioners, policy makers and place stakeholders who want to access the latest thinking in place management, marketing and branding.

Our masterclasses are delivered by academic tutors and experienced practitioners who are internationally recognised experts in their field.

Find out more about the Masterclasses and how to book here.

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Review of “Triumph of the City” – Part II: Right Messages

Edward GlaeserBy Renard Teipelke

In the first part of my review of Edward Glaeser’s “Triumph of the City” I was pretty much in a rage of criticizing the flaws in this urban economist’s analysis (here). But I need to be honest: There are many true words in the book. Glaeser makes several political statements, drawn from well-founded conclusions, which are top-notch and not very mainstream with regard to the most pressing urban development issues of today. If I set aside the economic left-right debate, I have to agree with some of Glaeser’s key messages.

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Review of “Triumph of the City” – Part I: Not Satisfying

Triumph of the City (Glaeser, 2011)

By Renard Teipelke

Has there been any other book in the past couple of years which has polarized me that much!? Harvard economist, Edward Glaeser, published his New York Times Bestseller “Triumph of the City” in 2011 and I acquired the book the following summer. Since then it was lying around and I could not motivate myself to pick it up and read it. It traveled to Berlin, Frankfurt, Cairo, Nairobi, Manila, and again to Frankfurt, but I did just not want to read it…maybe my guts were right!?

Anyhow, the book did not satisfy me. But I also liked it. Simply put: it was excruciatingly polarizing. Therefore, I decided to put the criticism in the first part of this book review here, and the praise in the second part (here).

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Measure It, Compare It, Monitor It

Flood of Numbers (drawingbynumbers.org, 2012)

By Renard Teipelke

Is there still a topic about ‘the urban’ which is left to be put into a new index!? Probably yes, but the key aspects have already been indexed abundantly. It is very likely the case that we do not need any more indices for the basic urban issues. Researchers as well as practitioners have become fed up with this abundance of different indices seemingly measuring every bit and piece of a city (see articles on this blog 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). However, this exhaustion should be addressed: Indices can be more than they often appear to be. And their role will increase in significance as the planning and management of the urban space becomes more professionalized.

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Pick of the day: City living and the housing crisis | @guardianletters | Society | The Guardian

We have often written about housing and bubbles in this blog. Here is a collection of short opinions on the UK situation by The Guardian. I find the opening paragraph particularly interesting, though the commentator does not develop it further. I strongly believe that the issue of housing is not just about the number of available homes, but mostly about their affordability. And that depends as much on the spending capacity of people as it depends on the building industry.

“Everybody says we must build more houses. I agree, but we cannot build our way out of the housing crisis. Rising prices are central to the business model of the housing sector, but in the end the market depends on whether new mainly young households can pay these prices. They are being squeezed by increasing income inequality, debts, childcare costs and limited mortgage availability.”

via City living and the housing crisis | @guardianletters | Society | The Guardian.

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