Podcast: Globalised cities and their discontents

London and New York, united in being disdained. Image: Getty.

Some dates are destined to live in infamy. 1066; August 4th, 1914.

This is not one of those dates.

It is, however, a pretty big day for us as it sees the release of the first ever episode of Skylines, the CityMetric podcast. On it, you can hear Barbara and I talk about a topic that's pretty close to many a metropolitan liberal's heart: why does everyone seem to hate us? Or, to be more specific, what is it about world cities like London that seems to inspire as much loathing as admiration?

To help us answer this question, we talk to Tom Forth, the writer, consultant and professional Yorkshireman, to get a northern view on London's dominance. We also talk to Elizabeth Minkel to get a US perspective on both London and New York.

From here on in, with the help of our excellent producer Roifield Brown, we're planning to do one of these every two weeks. You can find us on Acast here. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed, or on iTunes

Or you can just listen to the latest episode right here:

Some relevant links...

  • Tom Forth is the man who revealed that the UK's airport isn't in London at all. It's actually in Amsterdam. He's on Twitter, probably shouting about regional injustice, as @thomasforth.
  • Back in January 2015, Elizabeth Minkel wrote this great piece for us on NYC's reaction to Winter Storm Juno (" there’s a sudden realisation that residents of four out of the five New York City boroughs live on islands"). She's also on Twitter as @elizabethminkel, and has her own podcast, Fansplaining, co-hosted with Flourish Klink.
  • Lastly, here's our map of the week, showing that all roads really do lead to Rome:

You can read more about it here.


Here's a helpful reminder that you can subscribe to the podcast via our RSS feed, or on iTunesYou can also find us on Acast here

 
 
 
 

Here’s everything we learned from this election-themed tube map we just made

Oooooh. Image: TfL/Ed Jefferson.

It is ELECTION TIME, so I thought it was time for CityMetric to have exciting NEW MAP: the TUBE MAP of MPs!

No, this is not some hilarious satires where I label Chuka Ummana as an interchange between the red line and the yellow line LOL!!! I have instead just drawn dots on the actual tube map to indicate which party currently controls the constituency it’s in – or at least did before parliament was dissolved. Because I wanted to.

Some caveats:

1) To work this out I looked up the postcodes for each station in the parliament website’s “find your constituency” tool (or squinted at maps in cases where the stations have no postcode). Some stations are very close to constituency boundaries so might be considered debatable – if you think I’ve given a station the incorrect affiliation please feel free to details this by writing a letter in green crayon then flushing it down the toilet.

2) Probably the “right” way to represent this data is one coloured dot per station but I enjoyed placing multiple dots to “fill in” the more complicated stations like Euston so I did it anyway? Use blue crayon to complain about this one.

Here’s the map.

Click to expand. Image courtesy of TfL.

Anyway, what does this actually tell us?

Outer London is full of Tories, don’t go there

Apart from South East London – except this is misleading because my map doesn’t include the National Rail stations which form a lot of the transport there so just don’t go there anyway.

This is even starker if you look at it by zone (with the inevitable exception of Zone 1 for fairly obvious reasons).

The Toriest Line is: the Metropolitan Line

And that’s not even counting the stops that are currently “independent” due to David Gauke not being a Tory anymore.

The Labourest Line is: the Emirates Airline?

Sure? With 100 per cent of its two stops in Labour constituencies they should start piping in “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” over the speakers as you descend towards the Millennium Dome I guess.

Meanwhile in actual transport infrastructure, the DLR has over 95 per cent of its stops in Labour areas.

The Lib Dem-est line is the tram.

It’s on the only line with any Lib Dem stops at all, and even it isn’t veeery Lib Dem – they only “hold” 2 stations.

Cross party stations

The only “linked” stations on the map that cross parties are Tower Hill and Tower Gateway – Tower Hill is Labour, while Tower Gateway, lying just over the border in the Cities of London and Westminster, is Conservative. Why not interview some people walking between one and the other in a futile attempt to divine something?

Anyway isn’t something happening today???

The election could of course rewrite the political tube map entirely! Well, a few bits of it.

In south west London we can see that Yougov’s latest MRP numbers suggest that Richmond Park is going to flip back to the Lib Dems while Putney could swing to Labour

 

Image courtesy of TfL.

As could Chipping Barnet in the north:

Image courtesy of TfL.

 

Here’s the full map according to YouGov predictions:

Click to expand. Image courtesy of TfL.

And here, if you’d really like, is an exciting interactive map where you can compare this with the current situation and that after the last three elections.