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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

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Steve Hanson

frontage, as a facade. The Radisson Blu hotel uses the consumable, middle-class friendly term ‘Edwardian’ to sell this facade, with some token, idealised art in the foyer referring to the Peterloo massacre. This place, where private individuals made themselves radically public, is now where public bodies make themselves expensively private. Looking even further back, it is tempting to claim that history repeats itself, because a series of terraces designated slums were flattened to create the Crescents during the post-war consensus around housing and modern urbanism

in Manchester

This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

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Steve Hanson

exchange is obfuscated by the system of exchange. The first two exchanges, in architectural form, have interesting afterlives. One is the site of middle-class chattering and leisure, the Royal Exchange Theatre; the other, the Corn Exchange, became a site of mass consumption – a shopping mall – which saw its more informal traders socially cleansed after the 1996 IRA bomb. The former Corn Exchange is now a hotel as well as a shopping space, mirroring the other contemporary Mancunian process, of public spaces shifting to private ones (see ‘Facade’, p. 226) and, of course

in Manchester
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Paul Dobraszczyk

Manchester: Something rich and strange Tudor – Paul Dobraszczyk A ubiquitous building type over the last hundred years or so in Britain is the Tudor-style house: the dream of any self-respecting middle-class aspirant; the waking nightmare of most professional architects and critics. Unlike its other revivalist cousins – neoGeorgian, Gothic Revival, neoclassical – it has never been respected enough to be called anything other than ‘Mock’ Tudor, as if it were an entirely imaginary style. Yet, just like any other copycat style, the Tudor refers back to a real form

in Manchester
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Cassie Britland

Atmospheres Moors – Cassie Britland ‘This place feels stabby.’ That’s my friend’s way of saying she feels uncomfortable. She’s no snob – she herself grew up in a deprived community and has no time for white middle-class paranoia. We’re on the same page most of the time – but not today. ‘It’s just this house’, I say, gesturing to the abandoned building we’re walking alongside. ‘A few smashed windows and a soggy mattress will make anything look bad.’ I feel fine. In fact, I’m having fun. Abandoned buildings mean I can snoop around with impunity. I poke my head

in Manchester
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Matthew Steele

, shifted the emphasis from leisure to hygiene. The impact was most notable in industrialised urban centres such as Liverpool and Birmingham, but in Manchester public baths and wash houses continued to be funded by local philanthropists – indicative of the liberal presence among the city’s middle classes. Sir Benjamin Heywood, founder of the Manchester Mechanics’ Institute and a prominent Unitarian, paid for a modest bath and wash house on Sycamore Street, Miles Platting (1850), while the charitable organisation known as the Manchester and Salford Baths and Laundries

in Manchester
Philip Lawton

spaces (McCann, 2008). Thus, the image of the city centre as both a safe entertainment venue and a place for middle-class living has formed the key element in the way the futures of cities have been officially imagined and promoted. The enhancement of city centres in Europe in recent decades has been directly influenced by what can be summarised as a European city model (McNeill, 1999). The European city model extols a geographic imaginary of the virtues of a relaxed, safe or urbane form of social interaction within a finely grained urban fabric associated with

in Spacing Ireland
Reinventing depression among Rio de Janeiro urban dwellers
Leandro David Wenceslau and Francisco Ortega

the ‘asphalt’. The unit was located in a middle-class neighbourhood, whose social development index ranked between the tenth and twentieth highest of the 158 neighbourhoods in Rio de Janeiro (Cavallieri and Peres Lopes, 2008 ). We interviewed thirteen Family Medicine physicians and, of these, selected six to be followed for three months, through participant observation of their activities during consultations, home visits and work meetings. During this period, we also interviewed and closely followed the assessment and treatment of twenty-two patients, twelve of

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city