What have you been reading?

Quotation for the week of May 3, 2021:

Arise for the work of humankind . Be humble. However grand you are today or may become tomorrow, you too will be forgotten”

Mark Carney,Former Governor Bank of Canada and Bank of England

AN EBOLA EPIDEMIC THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN

David Leonhardt, New York Times – April 30, 2021 

Ebola seen in a petri dish

Humanities Greatest Achievement

Leonhardt goes back to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Lagos and examines how Nigerian authorities got this terrifying illness under control. He suggests that it should have been a preview for the management of COVID 19. Over the last two or three weeks there, returning Canadian vacationers have complained about excessive restrictions in Canada compared to the US. Consider the following excerpt:

More recently, these same kinds of logistics have helped some countries fare better against Covid-19 than others. Canada has suffered only 37 percent as many deaths per capita as the U.S., thanks partly to tighter travel restrictions. Vietnam and some other Asian countries benefited from intense early contact tracing. Britain and Israel are now doing better than continental Europe not because of laboratory discoveries but because of more effective vaccine distribution.

With the benefits of hind sight, what decisions would you have made?

THE LOOK / OFFICE SHORTS

Fernando Augusto Pacheco, Monocle Weekend, May 1, 2021

Best of drawers

If I had to pick a favourite item of clothing it would be shorts (writes Fernando Augusto Pacheco). Weather permitting, I would wear them all year and on most occasions. It’s news that shouldn’t come as a surprise to my colleagues, where spring’s arrival in London is matched by my appearance at our HQ wearing the year’s first pair of shorts to the office.  

In some corporate circles, however, such a sartorial choice by men would be controversial. In offices in Brazil, even in the searing heat of Rio de Janeiro, wearing a pair to work is banned. And in the UK last year, pharmacy chain Boots reprimanded an employee for wearing a pair of cotton three-quarter-length trousers to work on a scorching summer day. But times are changing. A number of banks, who usually have notoriously stuffy styling requirements, have relaxed dress codes in recent years. It’s a way for these corporate big boys to show that they’re actually cool, flexible and creative, and to attract talent that fits that mould. With people returning to the office this spring after a long time at home wearing whatever they like, expect this trend to continue.

Thinking of giving them a whirl? Try some classic cargo shorts or sleek Bermudas by Los Angeles-based ERL. Personally, I’ll be in corduroy, pretending to be a semi-retired California surfer.

Question: Would you like a change to dress code to allow for shorts at the office? Could it become of the tactics to get people back into the office?

A TWITTER EXCHANGE RELATED TO UP-ZONING

Up-zoning Illustrated

Propmodo newsletter

Stifling housing supply is a good way to lose a congressional seat.

1:34 AM · May 2, 2021

@urbnist May 2 – Replying to @keynesianr

But keep a city council seat, it seems

@heather_vaikona 20h Hell yeah, that’s the paradox 

It seems that up-zoning is a popular concept, except when it is in a NIMBY’s backyard. 

FRANCE BATTLES OVER WHETHER TO CANCEL OR CELEBRATE NAPOLEON 

Napoleon to be a victim of cancel culture in France?

Roger Cohen, New York Times – May 5,2021 

With Napoleon Commemoration, Macron Steps into National Debate

PARIS — Jacques Chirac couldn’t stand him. Nicolas Sarkozy kept his distance. François Hollande shunned him. But on the 200th anniversary this week of Napoleon Bonaparte’s death, Emmanuel Macron has chosen to do what most recent presidents of France have avoided: honor the man who in 1799 destroyed the nascent French Republic in a putsch.

And we think we have cancel culture and symbolism problems in Canada? Or the United States? This imperfect man changed the course of history. Louis Georges-Tin   and Oliver Le Cour Grandmaison argue that his remains be removed from Les Invalides and returned to his family. Jean D’Orleans posits that it is fitting for the head of state to bow down at the tomb of the victor of Austerlitz. 

The Co-working Concept, Issue 80

January 22, 2024

Co-working space came to mean the notorious We Work model. When I had been asked to opine on co-working I tried to steer the conversation away from the Adam Neumann / Softbank  flimflam growth model. Instead, I suggested that property owners look at usage and users. While I doubted We Work’s ability to survive I […]

The Affordable Housing Conundrum

October 3, 2023

Before I fall completely into the trap of opposition politics, I have decided to take a break from never-ending criticism and to start suggesting solutions to the affordable housing conundrum. Do I have a plan? No, more a collection of ideas To start with, I think there are three key issues: Home ownership is not […]

We Should Know Better

August 26, 2023

I know! I am going to sound like a grumpy old man. Maybe that is because I am. I have been scratching my head in wonderment at the Taylor Swift phenomena. Is she an Incredible song writer, composer, and performer? I really don’t know! A discussion for another time? But probably not. At my age […]

Not in My Back Yard

August 4, 2023

Don’t build it! At least, Not In My Back Yard ! I acted as an advisor  in the sale of a beautifully natural, 14-acre urban waterfront estate. Existing zoning allowed for the development of 30 to 35 single-family homes, which after road dedication would leave very little green space. I did not think that was […]

Glasgow – That Dear Green Place

July 31, 2023

We were visiting Glasgow (literally that Dear Green Place in Gaelic) to see where my father was born, grew up, and went to University. Fortunately for me, my cousin John from Australia had just visited and had met with historians, Bruce Downie  and Norry Wilson.  So,  we too arranged to meet them in the Govanhill […]

Vienna on Top Again

June 25, 2023

Vienna on top again. This week both Monocle Magazine and The Economist unveiled their quality of life / most liveable city indexes. There are differences in the way each publication sets its index. So it is even more impressive that once again, Vienna tops both lists. I am a bit lazy today so rather than […]