Podcast: New year, new mayors

Manchester Town Hall. Image: Getty.

It’s cold, it’s January, and everything’s a bit depressing. So to cheer ourselves up, why don’t we have a nice chat about municipal government structures?

First up, I talk Stephanie through what is arguably England’s biggest local government shake up in 40 years: plans for “metro mayors” in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and selected other cities. We talk about why it is that, just four months before the elections, it’s remarkably unclear exactly which cities are actually going to get the new mayors; why some of the big ones definitely won’t; and to cap it all, we’re probably a bit gratuitously mean about Yorkshire.

After that, to lighten the mood, Stephanie shares some stories of weird local government initiatives from around the world, including “the guy who tried to ban death” and “the foot powder that got itself elected mayor”.

And finally, we talk about Transport for London’s tube bylaws for basically no reason at all.

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. 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.


 

 
 
 
 

Podcast: Uber & out

Uber no more. Image: Getty.

Oh, capitalism. You had a good run. But then Transport for London decided to ask Uber to take some responsibility for the safety of its passengers, and thus did what 75 years of Soviet Communism failed to do and overthrew the entire economic system of the Western world. Thanks, Sadiq, thanks a lot.

In the unlikely event you've missed the news, the story so far: TfL has ruled that Uber is not a fit and proper company to operate cabs, and revoked its licence. Uber has three weeks to appeal before its cabs need to get off the road.

To commemorate this sad day, I've dragged Stephen Bush back into the podcasting basement, so we can don black arm bands and debate what all this means – for London, for Uber, for the future (if it has one) of capitalism.

May god have mercy on our souls.

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

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