Advertisers love agglomeration because it fuels an urban buzz they can seize upon to grow demand. But as land and property values increase, local people are often priced out of areas and urban culture is eroded. Instead of vibrant high streets with a diversity of local businesses, we get areas with multiple franchises of the same chains. Against a backdrop of loosened municipal planning policies and low corporation tax, city centres become little more than places for wealth to be extracted and funnelled into the bank accounts of global investment companies and their shareholders. … [Read more...] about UK cities should work for the people who live in them, not for distant shareholders
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So what are you and your team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport doing to reassure the arts community and provide a concrete plan of action? Well so far you have come up with a five-phase roadmap for the performing arts that is worse than useless. Sam Goldwyn said that “a verbal agreement isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” and a roadmap that offers no clue as to how to get to one’s destination is positively insulting. What’s most alarming is that it reveals a total incomprehension as to how the arts actually work. A Phase 1 stage of “rehearsal and training” supposedly leads to a Phase 4 and 5 stage of outdoor and indoor performance. But how can any theatre start rehearsing a production when it has no guarantee of financial support nor any idea whether it will even exist in a few weeks’ time? Wouldn’t that be the height of irresponsibility? … [Read more...] about Dear Oliver Dowden, have you even begun to grasp the scale of our arts crisis?
People, quite rightly, talk a lot about climate change. But it is now clear that man-made global warming is only one of a number of crises in play. A team of esteemed scientists led by Johan Rockstrom and Will Steffen have identified nine critical thresholds hard-wired into Earth’s environment: climate change, fertiliser use, land conversion, biodiversity loss, air pollution, ozone-layer depletion, ocean acidification, chemical pollution and freshwater withdrawals. … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson’s fiancée Carrie Symonds says Sir David Attenborough’s show warning of mass extinction of wildlife left her in TEARS – as she pleads: ‘Everyone should watch this, it’s time to act’
'Ready for the freshest staycation ever?' he wrote. 'If this place looks familiar that’s because it’s just as fly as it was when I first rolled up the driveway. I’m back. And this time, I’m handing you the keys so you’ll have my wing of the mansion all to yourself — but my sneaker collection is off limits, aight?' … [Read more...] about Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff reunite outside the iconic Fresh Prince Of Bel Air mansion… as Will helps the owners rent it out on Airbnb for only $30