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  • Writer's pictureJames Scott

Things we like and things we are doing - part 1

This is the first instalment of a blog series we think could be fun and will be quite unstructured.

Right now we are thinking it’s going to include book recommendations (which I think are even more important than they’ve ever been - in our always on, “digest” news world, the gateways a book has to go through forces critical, thoughtful analysis. The book is so far from being dead), links to articles and probably some things that Stories have been doing that don’t warrant their own post, or will be posted about in the future.

If you like books, and you’re a physical books person, buy them from a local, independent bookstore or direct from the author (I know, I love amazon too but come on!)

We might make this into a newsletter too, but I don’t want to be one of those newsletters that just ends up in the bin, so we’ll hold out for now.

So here goes...

Books we are, or have just finished, reading:

Our Towns -James and Deborah Fallows.

Husband and wife in a single prop airplane crossing America for three years stopping off in your rust belt / flyover towns and talking to people and finding out what the real situation is, not what’s reported on the news. A brilliant set of examples of towns that have regenerated and some really clear themes about why they’ve been able to do so successfully. Spoiler alert - microbreweries, strong local people (‘local patriots’) and good examples of private / public sector collab. Really informative woven with a great travel story. Thank you to Matthew Weiner at U+I who mentioned this in a recent Property Week article.

The Value of Everything - Mariana Mazzucato.

Paul and I have a crush on Mariana and her work coming out of the IIPP at UCL. Her book takes a look at the evolution of ‘value’ in economics and explains how its current definition has created an economic system in which we have lost sight of activities that create value and have conflated them with activities that remove value from the economic system. A digestible yet very thorough and scientific book and has heavily influenced my thinking on the role of developer in our economic system. Even if you vehemently disagree it is worth a read.

Thank you to Paul for spamming me with posts from their Medium and the BBC for having her on Desert Island Discs.

I’m also compiling a reading list of mine and the guys’ book recommendations. Some of them are directly relevant but, importantly, a lot of them won’t be as it's from this perspective that great ideas can spawn.


Super relevant to our model

UKGBC Social Value in new development. - incredibly usable resource for thinking about how we properly embed social value into the development process. Thanks to Hatch Regeneris for sharing.

Everyone every day - an exemplary case study in how we can enable communities to create social value. Highlights the fundamental need for participation in success. Great visual communication in their guide here. I sent this to Richard on slack and I got 6 emojis in response.

Slightly less relevant, still interesting

Airpods are the new cubicles - I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever seen a proper office cubicle, and I’ve even seen a fax machine.

The hidden ways architecture affects how you feel - the stuff about the long glass facade is so good.

Please do send us things you love over social channels or the comments or our emails.

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