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Month: May 2005

Edinburgh Police Box

.flickr-photo { border: solid 2px #000000; }.flickr-yourcomment { }.flickr-frame { text-align: left; padding: 3px; }.flickr-caption { font-size: 0.8em; margin-top: 0px; } Edinburgh Police Box, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth. Dr Who may be back on our tellies after a 15 year hiatus, but the police box has never left the streets of Scotland.Did you know that Edinburgh Council even has guidelines for maintaining them?

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Government to buy half your house for you

Brown admits that UK housing market is screwed:

BBC NEWS | Politics | Brown unveils cheap mortgage plan:

More than 100,000 people could get onto the property ladder in the next five years thanks to a part-ownership plan, Chancellor Gordon Brown has said.

Buyers would have to raise as little as half the cost of homes sold on the open market, he said.

The remaining equity in the house would be shared by the government and the bank or building society.

So, you owe the bank for half your house, it owns another chunk outright, and the government owns the rest. Nice, simple solution there, Gordon.

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Parking Solutions

Interesting reflection on parking within the urban context from Veritas et Venustas:

Parking in Paris and Detroit:

Another response is underground parking. Urban purists oppose this, because it caters to the car. Paris has used underground parking very well. Squares like the Place Vend�me that used to be cluttered with cars now have underground parking with formal, stone caps paving the plaza. Less formal squares like the Place Henri IV have less formal solutions, like pea gravel and trees in orderly patterns – see above. The formal and less formal solutions are another illustration of the Transect.

I’m thinking about car use in cities after experiencing the horror of Edinburgh’s roads. They’ve become exponentially more crowded since I was last a regular visitor, 15 years ago.

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Room with a view

BnB and junk

Possibly not the best located B’n’B in the world right now�

I grabbed this one from a bus from Edinburgh airport to Waverley Bridge. House prices have rocketed in the Scottish capital to London-like proportions. Still, there were plenty of properties near the centre still in the process of being renovated, or in need of some attention. If the market holds up, there’s some money to be made there.

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Civilisation and Best Behaviour

WiFi in airport departure lines is the mark of civilised countries. Free WiFi is the mark of truly civilised countries. Based on my experiences in Edinburgh and Washington, the UK is civilised and the USA is truly civilised.

In other news, I was reminded again today of the fact that pretty much the first thing people do when going for a meeting with someone new is Google them. If you Google me, you get this site. More and more people I’m meeting through magazine work have read this site before I meet them. I’d better be on my best behaviour, hadn’t I?

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Scottish Parliament observation

Scottish Parliament ContextOne interesting observation from the day so far – the Scottish Parliament here in Edinburgh has a completely different context to the London equivalent.

Not only is there greenery a very short distance away from the front door, as show in the picture, but just round the corner is what looks a lot like council housing – and is certainly not expensive residential development by any stretch of the imagination.

Sure, it’s just off the Royal Mile, and adjacent to the old palace of Holyrood, but you get more of a feeling of diverse community around it than you ever do in Edinburgh.

Whatever you think of the design of this unusual building, you can’t argue with its context. The MSPs aren’t caught in a little bubble of privilege and urban life in the same way the Westminster types are. That pleases me.

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