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: It’s Always Sunny...

The Liberty Bell. Image: Getty.

Once upon a time, Philadelphia was the state capital of Pennsylvania. It was also briefly the capital of the early United States, the country’s financial capital, and its largest city.

Today, it’s none of those things – even the state capital long since moved to Harrisburg, which I bet you’ve never even heard of. This no doubt has an impact on the psyche of a city that was once the most important in the US, but now struggles to make the top five.

To talk about Philly, past, present and future, I’m joined by Nathaniel Popkin. He, along with Joseph E. B. Elliott and Peter Woodall, is the author of the beautifully illustrated book, “Philadelphia: Finding the Hidden City” – and had all sorts of fascinating insights into one of the United States’ more historic but lesser known cities.

Incidentally, this week, I’m recording the first ever live Skylines at the New Local Government Network conference in London’s Guildhall. If all goes to plan – If – you should be able to hear that next week. Wish us luck.

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 also has a Facebook page now for some reason. 

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