City Limits

Dec 13 Issue: Edge-y

What happens why you push the limit?

Paradise Circus gets edge-y.


Go West! The Bearwood Question

The Bearwood Question is an idea I coined a while back when writing about local media policy – but bear with me it’s much more interesting than that!

Bearwood is a lovely area of the West Midlands that I’ve lived in a number of times. It sits across a...Read More »

Look, up, look East

We feel rather sorry for Solihull. It’s much maligned as a bastion of the middle class, of “small ‘c'” conservatism, and of big ‘C’ (and big ‘U’, ‘N’ etc, am I right, kids?) Conservatism too. But more than that we feel sorry that it’s got an airport, but it has...Read More »

South, pacific

A place of civilisation needs symbols, it needs to have masculine and feminine sides, it needs to be fertile to reproduce. In ancient times the mother earth was worshiped for her bounty, but the patriarchy would fight to...Read More »

North by North West Midlands

History has a habit of repeating itself. Patterns and ideas recur throughout civilisation not as part of a linear progression, an evolution of thought, or postmodern callbacks and pastiche – time and time again we see freestanding memes experience convergent evolution and arrive in the world fully formed, identical...Read More »

Nr. Birmingham

My wife’s great aunt* was born and raised in Sutton Coldfield. Growing up between the wars she and her siblings saw Sutton grow and change a great deal, eventually becoming officially part of Birmingham in the 1970s. The last letter she wrote to us when we lived in Erdington...Read More »

Five things that I miss now that I don’t live in Birmingham

Two years ago this week we lost the vote (Birmingham lost if I may be so bold) on giving the city an elected mayor,  I got on a train to Bristol that night and haven’t really been back since for work, lovelife, miscellaneous reasons. I visit, and talk to...Read More »

How Brummie are you? Quiz

There are physical limits on the city, but what are the limits to being counted as her son or daughter?

Londoners negotiate their rights to belong through the soundscape of their districts: born within Bow Bell’s peel and you’re a bona fide cockney, anywhere else you’re just mockney. Northerners can define...Read More »

City Limits

How do you find the edges of a city, the limits on its space and imagination? You could draw a map and give it borders, put one thing in, one thing out (and shake it all about). You could give it a centre and let its gravity draw people...Read More »

Inebriance Survey 2011


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Birmingham Music Map

With the Birmingham Popular Music Archive I’ve been inviting the public to contribute to an online database of music culture in Birmingham, by placing venues, artists, people or anything they feel relates to music on a map.

The results so far were commissioned in the form of the Birmingham Music...Read More »

The Great Bull

You may have encountered Simon Patterson’s top artwork ‘The Great Bear‘, you might not know you have, most people call it ‘the one with celebrities names instead of stations on the london underground map’. Now, this is a fantastic artwork apart from one thing: