For some comparative research on intra-urban inequality, I started looking at Mumbai’s urban governance structure, and, wow, it’s complicated. While in Tokyo you had and have a fairly clear-cut division between central government, TMG and wards, the Indian megacity appears to have many more layers and parallel structures. Some notes to get my head around this below.
The same Cities edition that my paper on Tokyo is in (December 2022) runs a short article by Matthew McCartney, a senior researcher at the Charter Cities Institute, and former SOAS professor.
Entitled “Paul Romer, charter cities and lessons from historical big infrastructure?”, the paper cites two “forgotten” case studies of charter cities, i.e., the Panama and Suez Canals. They both had charters and saw large cities grow within their chartered territory.
Writing a blog post is often related to that feeling of having too many browser tabs open. Before I close them, I wanted to jot down some unstructured thoughts on my recent reading around effective altruism (EA). Continue reading
I am a little early, but who knows how October will pan out this year. So, happy birthday blog! It’s been ten years since I wrote my first post on “Art Space Tokyo”, followed by countless more. Time to reflect and look ahead. Continue reading
Having a little more mental space –a major paper on the Robson Reports is currently under review with an academic journal and work is still in summer mode– I have had some time to think about new potential intellectual ventures, or “future ideas”, as this category on the blog is called. Continue reading
This blog is a sounding board and a notepad. Almost three years into writing here with varying regularity, I have hardly summed up my thoughts regarding some of the admittedly few books I read. Yet David Graeber’s Utopia of Rules and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything deserve some reflection.
Two great covers, two great books
Seldom does a book create such buzz as Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the 21st Century” and rarely has a book faster been lauded as one of the decade’s defining books on economics. Much of the silence on this blog can be explained by engaging with Piketty’s magnum opus. I wanted to wait before posting anything before I would see the French economist speak at Columbia yesterday. What follows are some notes on the book and on issues beyond.
Thomas Piketty (left), with panelists Suresh Naidu, Victoria de Grazia and Thomas Edsall
As forewarned, I am going to jot down further notes from inspiring readings that have made me enter 2014 on a more thoughtful note. After pondering a radical article on the failure of “green capitalism”, herewith unsorted reflections on Peter Buchanan’s “Big Rethink” on architecture, published on Architectural Review over 2012 and 2013.
Montreal real estate development
A few articles have got me thinking over the past couple of weeks. Ideologically, they have made this year kick off on a slightly “disorienting” foundation. Of particular note have been a long piece on ecology as well as a series on architecture. Yet also polemics on work ethic and class have been pondered long after putting them aside. Herewith a few scribbles.
Man walking in front of Shimizu HQ, the most eco-friendly office in Japan, so they say…
It’s been a while since I last posted anything. There is really no sole reason to blame for this hiatus – just a variety of things coming together. To make use of the diary aspect of blogging and to bridge the time until my focus returns, herewith some personal updates and thoughts just ahead of the holidays.
Zooming along the Den-en-toshi Line