Every year in June, a brave group of daredevils in the city of Alesund, Norway stack up hundreds of wood pallets to a height of over 130 feet, which they then light on fire in celebration of Midsummer and John the Baptist’s birthday.
I enjoy these videos made by Jay Foreman. This is the third part of a very informed series on planning history in London. It’s filled with dodgy jokes but the information is quite intriguing. This installment concentrates on the city’s airports.
The National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis NIRSA defines a ghost estate as a development of ten houses or more in which fifty per cent or less of homes are occupied or completed. In October 2010, according to official estimates, there were 2846 ghost estates and more than 350 000 vacant homes throughout the Republic of Ireland. Ghost estates can be found everywhere, but most of them are located in the rural areas of the northern and western part of the country, in the counties of Cavan, Leitrim, Longford and Roscommon, which are the estates I visited.
These empty shells are eyesores for the locals in these small towns. The crisis is affecting the country – unemployment, debts, budget cuts, flights of capital investments – but it is also shaping its landscape. Bitter memories left by the spectral and temporary nature of the property boom in Ireland, ghost estates are the symbol of the property market’s collapse, a topology of the economic disintegration of the country.