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Sarah Butler

A mix of extracts from the author’s novel, Before The Fire – set in Manchester during the summer of the UK riots in 2011 – and reflections on their meaning, or lack of meaning. The piece thinks through the narratives assigned to the riots and the deep societal conflicts they revealed.

in Manchester
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Sarah Butler

A mix of direct quotes, imaginative inhabitations and factual content, this piece explores the everyday realities for people living in unsupported temporary accommodation in Manchester. This population of the hidden homeless suffer from poor conditions, insecure tenancies, and associated mental and physical health problems.

in Manchester
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Sarah Butler

A creative reflection on Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, weaving the author’s personal relationship with the road into the space’s fabric and everyday life.

in Manchester
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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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Manchester: seeing like a city
Paul Dobraszczyk and Sarah Butler

This chapter introduces the principal themes of the book: first, what constitutes Manchester’s identity as a city and urban region; second, how its current development is changing the urban core; and third, how urban planning might be influenced more broadly by the experiences of the city’s inhabitants. Using poetic readings of Manchester’s rain as a way into a wider understanding of the city, the chapter also introduces the sixty words that make up the book and outlines their organisation into eleven themed sections.

in Manchester