Random thoughts

Planning post-COVID downtown Montreal as a shopping centre: why not?

There is a lot to be said for managing downtowns as shopping centres. As planners think about resuscitating Montreal’s, and other, downtowns, it is worth considering. This does NOT mean privatization, surveillance and control. It could mean that: but these aspects of shopping centre management would not enhance our cities. I am not suggesting thatContinue reading “Planning post-COVID downtown Montreal as a shopping centre: why not?”


Covid oblige, I’ve been forcing myself out on morning cycle-rides to replace my usual commute. I’ve been fairly successful, possibly due to the 20C weather we’ve been having in Montreal in early November. I go for quick 30 to 40 minute rides, which usually involve leaving the proletarian neighbourhoods just north of Snowdon metro stationContinue reading “Leafblowers”

11th October – the Problematic International Day of the Girl

In 2011, 11th October was declared by the United Nations to be International Day of the Girl. This an important declaration, both because of its symbolism and because it focuses opinion-makers (and the wider public) on the plight of young women across the world. This year, it sends out the following message. “As adolescent girlsContinue reading “11th October – the Problematic International Day of the Girl”

Systemic Racism in Québec

Last Tuesday, Joyce Echaquan died in Joliette hospital. It’s a desperately sad story: as she lay telling nurses that she was being overmedicated, the nurses threw racial slurs at her, telling her she was getting what she deserved. She died crying for help, belittled and insulted by ‘care’ staff. The Prime Minister of Quebec putsContinue reading “Systemic Racism in Québec”

Autumn colours

They come back every year… and every year they’re beautiful. There isn’t much need to write anything…

Reading H.P.Lovecraft in the Age of Trump

The other day I picked up a collection of Lovecraft’s short stories, and am now half way through. They are an enjoyable, off-kilter, read, plunging one into a world beneath the surface of which lurk ghouls, monsters and age-old satanic rituals. These are perpetuated by individuals and families who are partly unsuspecting, partly caught upContinue reading “Reading H.P.Lovecraft in the Age of Trump”

Unfortunately, the personal has become political

Feminism is on my mind: I’m currently reading some fascinating journalistic writing by Nellie Bly, as well as Leslie Kern’s interesting, but slightly problematic, Feminist City. Interesting, because it shows how necessary a feminist approach to cities is : Kern highlights urban issues that men are either unaware of, or feel constrained by their genderContinue reading “Unfortunately, the personal has become political”

Are scientists against Trump? On subjectivity, innumeracy, and absolute statements

To begin: performing research on ‘work-from-home’ (as I work from home) I’ve spent the last few weeks undertaking research on where people work (focussing on people’s impressions after switching from office-work to home-work), preparing and modifying courses for on-line delivery (in particular some introductory stats courses, hence this post!), delivering some lectures, and sorting outContinue reading “Are scientists against Trump? On subjectivity, innumeracy, and absolute statements”


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