Podcast: Barbarexit

A typical New York resident. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

A disaster has befallen the good ship CityMetric: our staff writer Barbara Speed, who has been with us since before we even launched in July 2014, is leaving us. She’s moving on to take up an exciting new job as comment editor of the the i newspaper.

This, then, is my last chance to make her talk about the various silly stories I've made her look into over the last two years: think of it as a sort of Barbara Speed greatest hits compilation. In it, we shall attempt to answer the following questions:

And, most importantly of all:

Oh, and in case you were wondering: no, this isn't the last episode (you don't get off that easily). Nor am I going to have one of those inevitably disappointing solo careers. From the next episode, Skylines will be co-hosted by the entirely excellent Stephanie Boland.

You can listen to Barbara’s last hurrah below. You can also subscribe on AcastiTunes, or RSS.



Podcast: SPQR

Rome celebrates its birthday in 2014. Image: Getty.

It’s just me this week, which is a problem, because there’s no one to stop me from indulging his sillier ideas. For example: an entire podcast about Ancient Rome.

Our guest is Kevin Feeney, a historian of the late Roman Empire based at Yale University, Connecticut. He gives us a whistlestop tour of Imperial Rome, with occasional side trips to other ancient cities. We also discuss other important matters such as the nature of Roman emergency services; whether the Emperor Claudius was all that Robert Graves made him out to be; why ancient Britain sucked; and, inevitably, why the whole enterprise fell apart.

Then we round off with the audience participation bit. This week we’re asking: which cities or places from history would you like to visit and why?

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. Oh – and if you’d like to give us a nice review on iTunes, we’d really like that very much, thanks. Enjoy.


Skylines is supported by 100 Resilient Cities. Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, 100RC is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century.

You can find out more at its website.