CHAVASSE-IC PARK… Fancy yourself in the Jeff Goldblum role in Jurassic Park? Well now you can give it a go, sort of, at Liverpool One, with a 10-week augmented reality pop-up event due to open at the end of March. Jurassic Invasion is being brought to the city by Liverpool One owner Grosvenor, working with education group Teach Rex, which works with schools around the UK to bring dinosaurs to life. The interactive game features all your favourites, both herbivorous and otherwise, and by downloading an app you can hatch dinosaurs from eggs and hide from a T-Rex to your heart’s content. The event will launch on 29 March.
FOOTLOOSE AND FANCY FREE… Manchester City Council has plans afoot to pilot a pedestrianisation of the Northern Quarter’s Thomas Street, making it foot traffic and cycle-only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, as well as bank holidays. In what sounds like a smart move, the council is proposing to rejig traffic flow around the area, which is one of the city’s nightlife hotspots among its more plaid shirt-leaning clientele. While a consultation on the proposals has closed already, the plans are due to brought forward through an experimental traffic order, which can run for up to 18 months before a final decision is made. The council has been dragging its feet a bit on the proposed pedestrianisation of another hotspot at Stevenson Square, but moves to make the city more foot traffic friendly are certainly welcome.
EARTHLY DELIGHTS… Sticking with Liverpool, the city’s River Festival is back in June and is bringing a 23ft replica of the Earth with it. The sculpture by Luke Jerram, named Gaia, will be housed at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral and is a replica made using detailed NASA imagery of the earth. The installation will also feature a soundtrack by composer Dan Jones, and will be open to public viewing from 25 May, a week before the festival takes place on the weekend of 1 June; the sculpture will be in-situ until 23 June. It follows last year’s Museum of the Moon, which was also opened at the cathedral as part of a wider creative programme. All sorts of other events are planned for the festival and a programme can be found here.
MEDIA MATTERS… The bods at ING have crunched the numbers on social media and online news mentions for Europe’s cities, and it appears Manchester doesn’t do too badly. The city is ranked 11th out of 40 when ranked by online visibility, and surprisingly it’s not just football that dominates: a big chunk of online conversations about Manchester are around business and talent, ranking it alongside Geneva as a hub of business chat. What it doesn’t fare well at is tech, with conversations not featuring prominently online compared to other cities. London and Paris still generate the lion’s share of online traffic, while the UK capital, Paris, Moscow, and Istanbul lead the way for Instagram snaps. Sounds like Manchester might need to raise its Insta-game.