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    On one of my daily walks across the campus of the University of Salford, I came across something that really encapsulated some of the current thinking of the local area. It was a piece of cardboard, maybe 5 inches by 15, wedged in the grills of the heras fencing that surrounded the Maxwell Hall development. [...]

    OliOli

    Having secured some funding to study MediaCityUK in-depth, it is a great opportunity to grapple with that old problem of the ‘spaces’ of creative industries. I have always tried to write/research/teach around the intersection of urban geographies and the creative industries, yet it seems that despite much academic literature to the contrary, there remains in [...]

    OliIMG_1019OliIMG_1019

    Those of you in the know will perhaps shudder at the amount of time I spend hurtling up and down various stretches of England’s motorway network (all within the speed limit of course and always keeping left unless overtaking). The banality of the endless asphalt whizzing by with only 5live to keep me company (any [...]

    OliOli

    There’s been somewhat of a feeding frenzy in the media today regarding the infiltration of the Shard by Bradley Garrett and others. Bradley posted the images of his climb to the top of Europe’s new tallest building on his blog and soon after, the media caught wind of them and used them to fill out [...]

    OliOli

  • 06/03/12--07:43: Dubai – A City with Organs (chan 12199423)
  • Deleuze and Guattari (1987) claimed the city is the striated space par excellence. We are all aware of how urban topographies restrict and contract smooth movement and the chance to drift, and how they direct and enact a routine, a habit, a certain soporificity. The striation is well-entrenched, the city beats with life, and we [...]

    OliIMG_1398IMG_1331IMG_1393IMG_1465amnesia nc1amnesia nc2OliIMG_1398IMG_1331IMG_1393IMG_1465amnesia nc1amnesia nc2

  • 09/28/12--04:08: Tower Block Cinema (chan 12199423)
  • Verticality, claustrophobia, lawlessness, poverty. Just some of the themes that are stereotypically associated with tower block living, particular the old post-war brutalist, Le Corbusier-inspired monoliths that litter many cities not just here in the UK, but all over the world. Their architectural designs were meant to be liveable ‘streets in the sky’ but instead ended [...]

    OliOli

  • 10/26/12--05:40: The High Line Jumped the Shark (chan 12199423)
  • Apparently, the High Line in New York City has been quite successful. It may have passed you by as there hasn’t really been anything about it in the press or the television or all over twitter, but it seems that many people quite like it and now every city worth it’s salt is engaging in ‘blue-sky’ [...]

    OliOli

  • 12/11/12--13:54: Seoul: A Cyborg City (chan 12199423)
  • Gazing upon the mediated architecture, video walls and fastidiousness of the esoterically sculpted digital installations of Seoul’s Digital Media City (DMC), it is hard not to think that you’ve somehow transferred from one city into another, without taking a step. A high-tech urban fantasy seamlessly superimposed onto the existing cityscape. Indeed in this way and in many [...]

    OliMediation Par ExcellenceThe human/machine interface at DMCThe Mediated Video Wall, reflecting DMC's constructionOdeng - delicious human and urban mesh via low-tech mediationEuropeana in HyuangCoincidence?OliMediation Par ExcellenceThe human/machine interface at DMCThe Mediated Video Wall, reflecting DMC's constructionOdeng - delicious human and urban mesh via low-tech mediationEuropeana in HyuangCoincidence?

  • 02/12/13--04:48: Some other stuff… (chan 12199423)
  • A quick post to let you know about some other bits and pieces that I’ve been penning around the Interweb and beyond. First, having spent all too-brief a time in Shanghai last year I felt the best way to experience it was to take my camera and just start walking (in true De Certeauian style). [...]

    OliOli

    Having given two lectures in a week that featured a long, detailed analysis of the creative class, it was perhaps with a little bit of cosmic timing that I came across this article that same week in The New Republic, on the ‘real’ problems of gentrification. The process of gentrification (and all it’s subsequent ‘real’ [...]

    OliRobin Hood Gardens, East LondonRobin Hood Gardens, with it's future looming in the background...OliRobin Hood Gardens, East LondonRobin Hood Gardens, with it's future looming in the background...

  • 05/26/13--06:54: Terminator Tour, Los Angeles (chan 12199423)
  • Los Angeles is one of the most written about cities in the world, particularly from an urban geography perspective. Perhaps because of its magnificent sprawl, its constant mediation through film, television, music and other cultural artefacts, or its postmodern-inflected anti-liveable layout, no other city in the popular consciousness has such an imaginary that combines enigma, fascination, frustration, […]

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  • 07/08/13--08:30: Time Lapse Urbanism (chan 12199423)
  • It seems a day does not pass without a new professional time lapse film of a city landing in my Google Rea…, Feedly or twitter stream. They all seem to follow a similar pattern; they’re shot at night and from an elevated position perhaps with a slow pan; they contain a collection of shooting angles […]

    OliOli

  • 08/08/13--10:24: Am I a gentrifier? (chan 12199423)
  • I’ve recently moved. I moved from a small flat to a house to accommodate a growing family, but in order to afford to do so, we had to move out of the area we were in, to a smaller town/village nearby that has a large traveller community, a significant Nepalese diaspora and soon to be […]

    OliOli

    Recently, I was involved in a Twitter conversation with Allan Watson (and others) on a recent debate he had in his class about a zombie invasion, and whether it would be better for survival to live in a sprawling city or a dense urban centre (and what a great way to engender such a debate […]

    OliOli

    The show currently on BBC2, Mind the Gap, is well worth a watch as it covers many of themes that are important to modern urban geographical studies (you can watch it on the iPlayer, but only till 17th March), notably those being taught at undergradute level, not least by me for GG2053. The first episode […]

    OliOli

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) is no doubt a classic film. It was technologically innovate, and spliced the detective film-noir genre with the comic, slapstick animation of classic ‘toons of the 1960s and 70s. Truly, a masterpiece of Hollywood cinema, and if you are not familiar with the film, you can read a great review of […]

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  • 06/26/14--04:55: De Certeau on Walking (chan 12199423)
  • As I’m currently finishing off my first monograph, it’s customary of course to (re)read some of the great texts that formulated the ideas of the book in the first place. So I thought I’d start a blog series that block … Continue reading

    OliOli

    Another quote that I seem to be going back to a lot when talking about the shift from urban managerialism to urban entrepreneurialism and city marketing… “Many of the innovations and investments designed to make particular cities more attractive as … Continue reading

    OliOli