Podcast: Help! Somebody save us!

Benjamin Barber in 2010. Image: Erich Habich/Wikimedia Commons.

On this week's podcast, we're joined by arguably the biggest political theorist writing about cities today.

In 2013, Benjamin Barber published If Mayors Ruled the World, a book in which he argued that nation states are increasingly powerless to deal with the challenges of the 21st century (climate change, migration, terrorism, and so forth). Instead, Barber suggests we should be looking to cities as the building blocks of the global government of the future.

I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Barber after an event organised by the Centre for Cities last week. He told me more about his theories, and how he's putting them into practice by creating the Global Parliament of Mayors, which will hold its first meeting this September.

Some helpful links from the archive about Barber and his theories:

But, with apologies to the 60 per cent of our readers who aren't based in these islands, but there's really only one topic any of us can focus on right now: the gradual collapse of our government, opposition, economy, global status, and very possibly the United Kingdom itself.

So that is what we're starting with this week. Barbara and I are joined by our colleague Stephanie Boland to talk about the Brexit vote, and debate why some cities turned out to be so much more pro-European than others.

Here, since you're lovely, are a couple of links on that topic, too:

The episode itself is below. You can subscribe to the podcast on AcastiTunes, or RSS. While we’re at it, we’re still in the market for nice iTunes reviews, so, y’know, you should definitely feel free.


 

 
 
 
 

Podcast: Beyond the wall, with John Lanchester

A sea wall in Japan. Image: Getty.

This week it’s another live episode, of sorts. In early April I was lucky enough to chair an event at the Cambridge Literary Festival with the journalist and novelist John Lanchester.

John was mostly there to promote his latest novel, The Wall, a “cli-fi” book about a Britain trundling on after catastrophic climate change has wiped out much of the planet. In the past he’s also written about other vaguely CityMetric-y topics like the housing crisis and the tube - so he’s a guest I’ve been hoping to get on for a while, and was kind enough to allow us to record our chat for posterity and podcasting purposes.

Incidentally, I didn’t find a way of turning the conversation to the tube. We do lose ten minutes to talking about Game of Thrones, though.

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

Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.

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