Forbes: May

Hi guys,

My Forbes stories for May are below – the month had its highs and lows, but in general, I’m pretty happy with how my column is being received. Do you have any suggestions of urban topics I should cover? – this one was inspired by a conversation I had around the Imperial Festival (which I helped out with this year). Part of the festival included a recreation of the first London Motor Show, held in 1896. It seems to me that many of the concerns that we have about driverless cars today are the same as those that faced the early says of the automobile industry. And this article is the result of my musings. – The Royal Academy of Engineering published a report on how Lancaster coped without electricity. This story was shared by the main Forbes Twitter account (yippee!) but got a bit of slack on social media, and it was totally fair enough. People in cities across Africa and India deal with electricity shortages all the time, but there I was writing about a wealthy city in England. It made me realise that it’s important for me to include stories from developing nations too, so watch this space. – I got to know some lovely people at Bechtel when writing SATC, so I was delighted to get back there and meet another one – Stephen is leading the company’s efforts on “virtual product delivery”, and I got to try on a natty headset during our interview. – I fear I am becoming that person who is seen to be happy to write about the gross end of urban living…. but I actually am. Sewers, water and waste are fascinating, and this article proved to be pretty popular. It also lead to a tweet from the illustrator of this delightful kid’s book.  – My final story of the month proved to be my most popular to date! It was shared by the main Twitter account, and it inspired a lot of debate on social media too – and its always great to be a part of that 🙂

Not sure I’ll be able to keep up the five-stories-a-month forever (especially as I’m paid bugger all to do it, and each piece takes ages) but I’ve been really, really enjoying it so far. Writing for Forbes is stretching and exercising my writer’s muscles, and is helping me to feel a little more confident about my ‘voice’. My hope for the column is that it makes people think a little more about how the urban world that surrounds them, actually works. What do you think of it? I’d love to get your feedback!

L x