There are have been some wonderful life enhancing tech start-ups over the past few years. Airbnb and Uber have changed, for the better, the way I consume travel and getting about. But there is one that every time I go running in a town or city gets me thinking. I love looking at and often "investing in" the new ideas and ingenuity that flow out of Kickstarter and I love the way that it can genuinely empower (and often bring a healthy dose of harsh reality) to entrepreneurs and inventors.
But I can't stop thinking about the possibilities of some form of "urban regeneration human kick-starter" whereby like-minded folk pledge themselves to bringing new energy to a place that needs jump-starting into life.
There is a growing body of evidence from major cities around the world where resourceful, thrifty, urban pioneering "doers" colonise down at heel districts and upcycle them into vibrant liveable places. The Mitte district in Berlin, Williamsburg in New York, Hackney Wick in London and the Baltic Quarter in Liverpool to name just a few.
There is often talk of the UK being a crowded island with no room to build new homes for its housing starved population and the concept of green belt, whilst not been totally sacrosanct, is in my opinion generally a decent one. But I keep seeing vast swathes of opportunity to densify our towns and cities in areas that the urban pioneering types would love.
On the last bank holiday weekend i was lucky enough to spend it in Liverpool and witness the massive Three Queens event and to continue to plan for our Transatlantic 175 event in July. I can't resist running along the magnificent Mersey at sunrise and this weekend I ran throughout the all the nooks and crannies of the Liverpool Docklands and the Leeds -Liverpool canal corridor for the first time. There is a pocket of brave and beautifully conceived regeneration of those awe inspiring industrial buildings at the Titanic Hotel.