Journalist • Editor • Publisher • Broadcaster • Educator
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The Guardian

I worked as a reporter, feature writer and section editor at The Guardian in London for 16 years. I still write for them – as a freelance – on cities, music, roundabouts, fatbergs... and lots of other things.

How Britain's post-industrial cities got hooked on booze

How Britain's post-industrial cities got hooked on booze

With heavy industry mostly gone, cities such as Newcastle, Leeds and Liverpool have become worryingly dependent on the alcohol-driven night-time economy. Read more here.

Reach out, raise money or remove: how should cities deal with street begging?

Reach out, raise money or remove: how should cities deal with street begging?

From London to Lagos, cities across the world are reacting to the rise in begging with a variety of often controversial measures. But what is the right response to this complicated human story – from cities and residents alike? Read more here.

The soup revolution: changing cities over dinner, from Detroit to Liverpool

The soup revolution: changing cities over dinner, from Detroit to Liverpool

Soups are a growing worldwide experiment in crowdfunding local projects over community dinners. Starting in Detroit, there are now over 60 Soups across the UK. What impact is the initiative having on urban transformation? Read more here.

From Berlin's warehouses to London's estates: how cities shape music scenes

From Berlin's warehouses to London's estates: how cities shape music scenes

Cities don’t get a songwriting credit or a royalty cheque. But from grunge in Seattle’s garages to hip-hop in New York’s community centres, urban design has profoundly influenced musical genres across the world. Read more here.

Fighting the fatbergs: how cities are waging war on clogged sewers

Fighting the fatbergs: how cities are waging war on clogged sewers

Fatbergs are the scourge of cities all over the world, and can grow to the length of a Boeing 747. Ian Wylie braves a London sewer to witness this filthy threat for himself – and uncovers some new ideas for defeating them. Read more here.

Something in the water: is fluoride actually good for cities?

Something in the water: is fluoride actually good for cities?

Newcastle adds fluoride to drinking water. Hull does not. More than 50 years since it became a default health intervention, why does the debate rage more fiercely than ever? Read more here.

'Traffic lights are so dictatorial' ... but are roundabouts on the way out?

'Traffic lights are so dictatorial' ... but are roundabouts on the way out?

The UK is quietly replacing roundabouts with traffic lights. The US is doing the exact opposite. Both cite safety and traffic flow. So who is right? Read more here.

How supermarkets choose where to open … and where to close

How supermarkets choose where to open … and where to close

Tesco’s decision on which stores to close says a lot about how supermarkets operate in cities. Why are supermarkets stacked two or three deep in some areas, while other communities in the same city are neglected? Read more here.

Smart moves: chess is back

Smart moves: chess is back

It was the game of the cold war. Now, with Tobey Maguire playing Bobby Fischer and a documentary about blind Indian globetrotters desperate to become grandmasters, chess is finding a new audience. Read more here.