Squalor plus philanthropy: no recipe for healthy parks

In the squalor of Victorian Britain, the creation of the first great public parks was a beacon of humanity and hope. Philanthropists and civic leaders understood that greenery, a place to breathe and somewhere to walk and play were the least that could be done to lighten the nasty, brutish and short lives the Industrial […]

Book review: The Metropolitan Revolution

Will a ‘metropolitan revolution’ bring new life to the US and Britain? There are plenty of city leaders who’d like to think so. In this review for the journal People, Place and Policy we take a look at the popular recipe retailed by the Brookings Institution in Washington, and raise a few questions. You can read the full […]

How much longer can food banks pick up the pieces?

‘We stick plasters on where people hurt. We’re not treating the disease.’ That comment, from a worker at a food bank in Hampshire, sums up the quandary food banks now find themselves in. More and more people are hurting; national figures from the Trussell Trust show a continuing escalation in the number of people seeking […]

Incroyable! Incredible edible book to be published in France

We’re excited to announce that there’ll be a French edition of Incredible! Plant Veg, Grow a Revolution next year. Urban Pollinators has agreed to licence French publisher Actes-Sud to translate and republish the book as Incroyables Comestibles! – and we’re looking forward to seeing the Incredible Edible magic continue to spread throughout the French-speaking world. […]

How to eat an elephant

‘Before you came over the challenge here looked like eating an elephant – it was just too enormous. Now I feel we know how to eat the elephant.’ We’ve been working with the Cedar Foundation, a small charity that began life in Bulgaria leading the de-institutionalisation of orphanages for disabled children, and is now beginning […]

Crisis aid scheme is a patchwork, new research finds

The abolition of a national system of crisis loans and community care grants has left a patchwork of emergency help offered by local services and charities, research by Urban Pollinators has found. When people are offered assistance, the help is often faster and more responsive to the needs of people in crisis than in the […]

‘Written in community’ – the story of Incredible Edible

There’s a convention at book launches that the author signs copies bought by the guests. Something strange happened to that convention on Saturday at the launch of the story of Incredible Edible Todmorden. Guests started asking for signatures not only from the authors, but from others who’d appeared in the book – friends and co-workers […]

Why we need urban development heretics

When shopping centre developer Hammerson walked away from Sheffield’s much-vaunted New Retail Quarter last year, it could have been a blessing in disguise. Here was an opportunity to radically rethink the ‘mall without walls’ template for city centre regeneration. Sheffield City Council’s chief executive, John Mothersole, has been quoted as saying that the next iteration of the […]

New book tells the story of Yorkshire’s food revolution

The story of the Incredible Edible movement that begun in Todmorden and has now spread across the world is to be told in a new book by Urban Pollinators writer Joanna Dobson. What began with ‘propaganda planting’ in cemeteries and on station platforms in a former mill town has now become a global network of […]

The people-centred city

We’ve recently visited Sri Lanka as a keynote speaker the University of Moratuwa’s conference on Cities, People and Places. In a country that is seeking to get to grips with reconciliation and reconstruction after a brutal conflict, creating cities that work for people is a key priority. The text and slides of the keynote have […]

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