My advice is to go for the bold move and take a risk. And if that risk means putting yourself way out there in an interview, or if that risk means having to move to a city you weren’t sure you wanted to live in, or if that risk means trying a field that wasn’t your first choice, do it.
Currently Manchester City Council plans to turn the old Central Retail Park on Great Ancoats Street into a 440 space carpark with the application going to planning on 22nd August, we have until 17th August to make our voice heard.
This is a 10.5 acre space, half the size of Whitworth Park.
There will around 1000 cars moving in and out onto already busy Great Ancoats Street. This will increase pollution including known carcinogens such as Nitrogen Dioxide, in a city of appalling childhood asthma rates and one which consistently ranks amongst the worst air quality in Europe.
This space is right next door to a Primary School.
This seems in total contradiction of Manchester’s campaign for clean air when Manchester City Council has declared a Climate Emergency.
Legally the land is owned by Manchester City Council making it public property, meaning you can walk on it. The fence around the old units is fenced off and there is a security which keep an eye on the space; but the advice from the talks was to build a park on top of whats there already.
Currently the plan is to use the space to show potential use. Events, guerrilla gardening, market, skateboard park, etc. I’ve already been thinking about a massive community bring your own BBQ type event – if I could sort out the toilets?
Anyway you can learn more at treesnotcars.com, and if you get a chance do drop in and see the space and the chalked ideas people have for it.
The weather I have to admit is sometimes pretty dire sometimes. I tend to bring my windproof umbrella everywhere with sunglasses if there is a hint of sun. From what I can tell most Mancunians, refuse to take an umbrella which seems insane to me. Manchester sits in a bit of a bowl and so although the mountains are clearly viable but the rain does gather over the high land.
The people have been generally good, I was worried about diversity but weighted up everything and decided it wasn’t any worst than a lot of places in the UK. Ultimately I didn’t feel like I would be in danger due to my race, especially in the city centre. I was right.
When I was first introduced to Manchester and looking for somewhere to live Hayley from the BBC showed me around a place called Cholton and I remember asking her about the city centre, to which she laughed and said no one lives there. She was likely right at the time but I made the right decision at the right time. The city centre is so walkable, skateboard-able and crammed with so many bars and cafes. Weirdly I hardly drunk booze in London or Bristol but in Manchester I started to indulge my cocktail tastes. You could say Manchester drove me to drink, but in a comfortable relaxed way.
Public transport in Manchester still baffles me. The tram is great and living near Piccadilly station is a great location. But the lack of a viable Oyster card type system is frustrating to say the least. I still remember taking a bus down Oxford road for 80p then being charged £3.20 on the way back. Something about a magic bus although operated by the same company and the exact same route. The city centre free buses are good too but generally you can walk from one end to the other in 30mins. The scooter had been great for longer distances not easily covered by the tram or train. I also find it crazy you can get back from Leeds at 2am but the last train from Liverpool is 11pm!
Equally baffling is the amount of gravy put on anything from meat to chips and the Mancunians & Liverpudlian accents which even now still has me scratching my head, even now!
Like a friend, who told me to go back down south, soon after I moved up; I should stop moaning frankly life is good. There are always frustrations, but the city and people of Manchester have been good to me.
It was a good idea to move up really early instead of later; I know many who didn’t come and for many reasons but I was just at that moment in my life when it wasn’t difficult to up and leave London. Life has massively improved and I generally think some of that is down to new friends, the costs of living and being able to make choices which fit. I also seem to have a knack for picking places which get gentrified.
Will I be here another 10 years? Its hard to tell. Considering Cardiff, as the BBC is moving its base to the centre of the city. Its also closer to my parents which is a plus. But I certainly feel the effect of Brexit and unsure how long I can put up with the change of attitude. If an opportunity came up I’d certainly give it some consideration but it would have to be in another city for sure.
if you want to understand why America is so divided don’t talk about Republicans and Democrats or red states and blue states read the story the city mouse and the country mouse currently being sold under the new titled what happened but the original was about two mice who learn that you’re either one of the other city or country and the same really could be said for America when you fly over it you don’t see red states and blue states you see vast stretches of land where there’s nothing and then every once in a while a city.
I’m confident that in a hundred years, eating meat will be regarded in the negative way we now view racism or sexism – an ugly, demeaning, and unnecessary act. Like smoking, it will simply fall out of fashion because we’ll find better and healthier alternatives, although we’ll still occasionally eat humanely reared-and-killed animals. Note that I still eat meat even though I should know better.
To be fair, although I am very much in favour of eating meat mainly because the alternatives will cause me harm or even kill me (I kid not). I have been professionally advised multiple times not consider being vegetarian for this exact reason. Yes I could survive but it would mean lots of supplements to make up the things I get from meat.
Although I do see this becoming a really big problem and honestly for the sake of sustainability and longevity of the planet I have started limiting my meat intake a little. However in this blog, there is a lot of arguments which seem to indicate a high cost (the real cost) of meat might make people reconsider? Controversial maybe but in the same way sugar tax came into effect in the UK recently, I’ll be interested in the data which comes back. Or other places where they have done this type of thing?
So why cities? The post has some interesting thoughts….
This is where cities come into play. Obesity and climate change are two of the biggest challenges they’ll face in the 21st century. Ninety percent of urban areas are coastal, and their citizens will be the ones to feel the effects of rising sea levels and freak weather most deeply. So, too, will their health services and economies experience undue strain as the majority of their residents tip the scales and become overweight or obese. For cities, the consequences of inertia will be fatal.
But action must be born out of more than just necessity. Cities are also well placed to manage these changes. (The successes mayors have had in promoting activities like cycling, for instance — which also delivers enormous health and environmental benefits — is a testament to this.) The c40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, featuring 40 of the planet’s most influential cities, has claimed that city leaders have the flexibility which nation states lack: “City mayors are directly accountable to their constituents for their decisions, and are more nimble than state and national elected officials to take decisive action — often with immediate and impactful results.”
And this means they can interface with their citizens directly, getting to the root of problems and attitudes — the fact is, one study found that 90 percent of people’s justifications for eating meat boil down to it being “nice, necessary, normal, or natural.” Meanwhile, the majority of “meat-reducers” in the United Kingdom attribute the choice to improving their personal health — not animal welfare. Cities can move the debate beyond the ideological quagmire that governments, media, and activist groups are currently bogged down in.
Lots to think about… and it certainly makes good points about how our cities could be the biggest driver for this all. Of course it’s always great see my home of Bristol mentioned quite a bit in the examples although I’m sure there are many other shiny examples all over. That and the writer might have a bias to Bristol too.
Another one of those thought catalog pieces, this one about important milestones you can have in your life besides getting married. There is 40 of them but reading through them got me thinking…
Going through a painful breakup and refusing to let it drown you; instead, deciding to find growth and strength from it.
Absolutely… They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I would certainly say my painful breakups have made me a much more resilient person. I kind of feel sorry for those who haven’t been through such a breakup. Its when you really find out what you are made of. Its also a reality check on had bad things can go.
Taking your parents on a vacation.Or even just out to dinner, because this is finally your chance to be the one who can treat them to something, rather than the other way around.
Love being able to treat my parents, looking to do it more in future. But its wonderful. I know many people who unfortunately can’t do this for different reasons.
Reconnecting with an old friend that you’ve always regretted losing touch with. Being the first one to reach out, to tell them you miss them, to make an attempt to see them again.
Its so great to catch up and talk over experiences and changes over time. Its also great to reach out and break the silence with more than a like or a +1. Real human connection.
Giving a heartfelt, well-written, meaningful speech as the Best Man or Maid of Honor at the wedding of someone who is very special to you.
Oh yes… still remember doing a adhoc speech at a wedding and later the grooms father came up to me, telling me I was such a good influence in his sons life. Even I was blown away by this.
The first holiday you spend with friends instead of family.
Oh I remember this well, holiday in Ibiza with friends in 1998, kind of hated the holiday but it was a learning experience. I went back to Ibiza 3 years later under my own steam.
Going on your first vacation with a significant other – paid for by you two and you two alone.
Indeed, spent much time going to different parts of America and Europe with my partner at the time. By this time I was already living in London alone, so it wasn’t such a big thing for me.
Having certain luxuries that you like to spend your hard-earned money on once in a while, like super soft bedsheets, or a massage, or a really delicious bottle of wine.…And getting to the maturity level where you can tell the difference between treating yourself, and being financially reckless and irresponsible.
Absolutely… this is something I have been thinking about a lot. I have got to a point where I can afford more of the things and experience I would like. But something stops me and I think it is my inner compass about being financially reckless. I would like a pair of the Nike Air Huarache (Triple black) but at £90-130, it feels reckless and reminds me of the kids who’s parents bought those ugly Rebook Pumps at £140. And then go their trainers stolen (if you not heard of this, where have you been?)
Telling someone you love them without knowing for sure whether they love you back.
Oh yes… dare I say it… The fear of rejection, something I got over a long time ago. Life has gotten better since that day. Can I remember the first time? Maybe when I was 13 years old, I said I loved her without really knowing what she would say and to be honest really knowing what it really was about.
Traveling to a city you’ve always wanted to explore, and paying for everything on your own dime.
I have no idea where to start, so many cities. I think going to Cardiff was the first city where I wanted to go and I went complete on my own steam. I went clubbing in Cardiff at the forum, to the sounds of speed garage. Since then I obviously moved to London and to Manchester. But more to the point I went to international cities alone and explored under my own steam. They include Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Toronto, Las Vegas, Chicago, Paris, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Barcelona, Dublin, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Brussels, Hamburg, Warsaw and of course Tokyo!
Finding that one book that changes your life, even if it’s in the smallest way possible.
We were talking about this one just today with something I’m collaborating on with some great people. There are so many great books I have read. This is a hard one as there is many. I guess the big one is Derek Powazak’s Design for Community. Reading that book and following the links lead me to meet my ex-wife online. But there are many other books including free culture, strange attractors, rebeccas world, emergence, the long tail, the tipping point, the art of deception, paradox of choice, no logo, smartmobs, hacking the xbox, we the media and so many more…
Get the lay of the land by using the internet and asking real people.
Get out and make friends by seeking out your hobbies, meeting friends of friends and taking the initiative.
All seem sensible and to be honest I’ve done all these and more when moving from Bristol to London and London to Manchester. I didn’t have a guide, I just did it without thinking. I also find a lot of the points useful when going on holiday, but then again when I tend to go on holiday its more like an extended city break.
Anyway its a good read and if I was to move again, I certainly would have a look at it.
Maybe it’s because during the Olympics politicians were invited to an area of town they wouldn’t have been caught dead in previously. Maybe on those trips to Old Street they realised it’s full of nice post-industrial buildings that would make for the types of fantastic loft spaces they experience in New York. Maybe it’s because they compare Shoreditch to the City and think that housing would help liven it up during weekends. Maybe if they’d lived in Hackney, they’d understand why they should just leave it be and stick to the initial plan to support startups and a tech community not give bankers a chance to live 10 minutes away from work.
One of the many reasons why Shoreditch works for startups is precisely its crap, badly heated, badly connected post-industrial buildings that don’t cost a fortune. That’s why there was an industry there in the first place right? And also everyone’s here, for now. (I’m already starting to hear of friends and colleagues relocating south of the river or even more east, where prices aren’t crazy.)
I do understand where shes coming from but another part of me wonders what she and others, think was going to happen?
Shoreditch featured heavily in the first dot com era too. But that was short lived, too many people using there investment money to buy themselves Audi TT’s it seemed like. This time there might have been something there but it quickly sold its self as the only place to be for startups, which simply isn’t true. London has a lot of space to offer and south of the river there is a lot of unused and unloved buildings just waiting for someone to do something with.
As someone whos lived on the edge of regenerated areas a few times its what happens and you learn to live with it.
In years to come they will say the same thing of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. You can already feel the push into Piccadilly Basin. In the last few months theres been at least 5 new bars in an area which was pretty much canal and housing. I remember when Kate too me there when I first arrived in Manchester. I thought it was great spot for bars and restaurants but up till recently the likes of the Moon have failed. I can imagine the rent is cheaper but there is the influence of the northern quarter heading towards Piccadilly for sure.
Molly has wrote a really good comparsion between the grid systems of most American cities and the grids of websites in an entry for Alist apart titled Thinking outside the grid. Thanks to Sheila for the heads up.
On the other hand, Tucson’s designers planned for only a certain amount of growth, and this has caused innumerable problems in maintaining the city’s ease of navigation and usability as the city grew beyond its planned limits. Furthermore, the constraints of Tucson’s grid do not encourage the emergence of alternative neighborhoods and communities. Many residents of Tucson will agree that the city lacks a vibrant center—or many unique communities—as a result, and that when those isolated spots do exist, they’re easy to get to, but people aren’t motivated to get out and find them.
London, unlike Tucson, is a maze. I know Londoners who carry around a London A-Z guidebook to help them navigate! The city’s transportation system is so challenging that would-be cab drivers must pass a test demonstrating that they possess The Knowledge in order to drive traditional black cabs. The city’s organic growth hasn’t exactly made it the easiest place to navigate.
Fantastic stuff, specially when you start thinking about the differences between the two cities communities and how blogs look compared to news sites.