In search of a present-day utopia The heritage of the modernists

“Many people dream of a better world; Howard, Wright and Le Corbusier each went a step further and planned one. Their social consciences took this rare and remarkable step because they believed that, more than any other goal, their societies needed new kinds of cities.” Robert Fishman

“The world’s greatest happiness lies in action” Le Corbusier

Modernist planning, nowadays, equals authoritarian disaster, anti-social displacement of whole neighbourhoods, grey concrete buildings and large, uninspired open space – the Great Blight of Dullness, in the sarcastic words of Jane Jacobs. Indeed a lot of large-scale modernist projects didn’t quite work out the way their inventors had planned them on the drawing board. It may be en vogue to mock or discard the attempts of Ebenezer Howard, Le Corbusier or Frank Lloyd Wright to rebuild and reinvent the urban fabric and take the highly unsanitary 19th century slums well into the 20th century. Yet, there are good reasons to defend the project the modernists had in mind. Not all of their recipes worked, to say the least, but these urbanists may have had a quality lost to contemporary urbanism. The quality to dream, to formulate a vision and seek for big solutions. Read More

Urban exploration in Manchester

We use cities every day: their streets, benches, parks, buildings. But we never really know what’s behind their façades. The stories, told by derelict or abandoned buildings, distant places or the network of underground sewers and canals are documented by urban explorers. They dive into the past, all with their own motivations and expectations. What is this act of urban exploration (often shortened as urbex or UE) and how is it being used?
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Media and the City – Seeking Participation in the Futureeverything Festival

Media and The City is the theme of this year’s group projects for the 2011/2012 Polis block in Manchester. The broad theme has given us (8 students with 3 small groups) creative licence as to what we can explore, research and present; with a specific look at Manchester and the myriad of mediums manifest in this city. The theme is purposely apt, due to the changes that have occurred in Manchester recently. This last year has seen the opening of the new BBC headquarters: Media City in Salford Quays. The move from what many perceived the BBC to be as a ‘Londoncentric’ institution to ‘The North’ has determined the decentralisation of the BBC. Only time will tell how it will change the landscape of Media in Manchester and perceptions of The North, as well as creating local jobs for local people and possible subsequent gentrification in areas of Salford – if at all!
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Easter at Tallinn’s Pirita Beach

…and yes, it is ice 🙂

World’s most visionary city

Across the globe, architects and social engineers are taking entirely unique approaches to redefine how cities function. And traveling to these visionary cities today gives you a taste of the world of tomorrow.” (Joshua M. Bernstein)

On number 3: Free public wi-fi in Tallinn

Blackpool trivial

It’s now safe again to rock in Blackpool. After 44 years, Blackpool’s city council lifts ban on The Rolling Stones.

snapshot: Salford

Guided Tours in Manchester

Check this out if you like some professional guidance around the city:

Tour Manchester

Manchester is a truly impressive city with a fascinating history. Whether you have lived here for years or are visiting for the first time, why not discover more about Manchester by taking a tour of the city with a truly professional guide?

All of our guides are registered with the Institute of Tourist Guiding and hold an official Green or Blue badge.We pride ourselves on the quality of our walks. You can rest assured that ALL our walks have been thoroughly researched, are well-written, accurate and full of interesting anecdotes.
Make “TourManchester” your first choice when selecting a walk.

Search our calendar, to see what’s on when you’re available. We can also create tailor-made itineraries for private groups, organise guided Panoramic Coach Trips around the City and “meet and greet” visitors from the Airport or Railway Stations. Just call us on 0161 431 7030 for more information or e-mail us We look forward to sharing our city with you!

Manchester: More daytime & evening entertainment

Tips from a bouncer:


Marble Arch apparently the pub of a brewery. A bit away from “student mainland”, but maybe when you are around in the north, you might want to have a look…

Briton’s Protection just the name sounds worthwhile. A old school pub, it seems.

Micron @ Joshua Brooks a small club in the premises of Joshua Brooks. Seems decent and affordable.

Manchester Music Venues

These are the places I’ve been told to check out for concerts.

Islington Mill actually more than a concert venue. in Salford. quite off mainstream, and not very full place. reasonable prices for drinks. entrance usually not more then 6 pounds.

Gulliver’s self proclaimed alternative music pub and venue. haven’t been there yet. belongs to a chain, so prices are normal center average. found some rather bad review for the whole pub thing, but they seem to have live bands quite often. they’ve an pretty active facebook group for events and such.

The Deaf Institute also a pub/concert venue mix with lots of different people going. admission at the weekend in general.

Band on the Wall concert and clubnight venue.

Sound Control same.

Sankey’s for posh clubbing

Club V I’ve been advised to go there.

The Mint Lounge club. their lineup looks interesting.

Manchester Academy for proper concerts.

Nigh & Day same.

The Ruby Lounge bands & clubnights.

King’s Arms venue in Salford. their agenda looks empty, but you might want to join their mailing list.

Moho Live for some stronger stuff, it seems.

Star and Garter dj’s night fridays and saturdays with occasional concerts during the week.

Common sounds interesting.

I’ve yet to find out more about electronica. Anyways, if you guys know more, there’s a comment section 🙂