STAT… To the Great Northern Warehouse on Tuesday for the annual Manchester City of Trees seminar. Among the many compelling statistics about the impact trees can have on health, flood management, pollution, energy, climate and more, the standout statistic of the day was arguably the measure of Manchester city centre’s tree canopy cover by area, a lowly 3%. London, the wider city region of Greater Manchester, New York, all have urban tree canopies covering 20% of their area. Presentation slides here, well worth reading and sharing.
NAME DROP… Among the excellent range of speakers at the City of Trees event, Matthew Wells, urban forester at Santa Monica and ex-NYC Parks tree preservation director, produced a couple of magnificent name drops. Whilst out photographing an overgrown but underwatered tree mid-collapse in Santa Monica, film director Mel Brooks jogged passed. Explaining another slide in his presentation, Wells pointed out the environmental work by the New York Restoration Project, better know as “Bette Midler’s group”.
PARTY (OF THE YEAR)… Many across the Manchester business and property community will be picking glitter out of their hair this morning, after the inaugural Tim Bacon Foundation dinner, held last night, saw all Living Ventures restaurants taken over for a mass-dining event, before the party was moved to the Albert Hall for a colourful evening of entertainment with Beverley Knight and DJ Craig Charles. Living Ventures pulled out all the stops to not only celebrate the life of its late founder Tim Bacon, who died of cancer last year, but also enthuse the crowd into donating £527,000 to The Christie’s Proton beam therapy project. Diamond necklaces, champagne dinners, and trips to the Isle of Mann TT were up for auction, and those dancing the night away were kept company on the dancefloor with giant puppets and confetti bombs. Here’s hoping it’s an annual event.
NICE TOUCH… Netflix, Amazon, and even the Odeon all use subscription services to sell to us in our leisure time. But now there’s a new kid on the block, offering a monthly massage subscription service. The Massage Company, based in Surrey and exhibiting at Revo in Liverpool this week, is a franchise business bringing its soothing services to the High Street and shopping centres. The company hopes placing itself in leisure locations will attract customers to purchase an initial 50-minute massage for £39.95 during their shopping trip, before being offered a flexible or 12-month subscription service. Members can then redeem their massage each month at a convenient time and location. During Revo, the team spent the two days providing three varieties of 10-minute mini-massages to potential investors.
SO VEIN… Remember when signatures had to be written every time a debit or credit card was used? Contactless payment was a revolution, cardless purchasing through apps such as Apple Pay even better, and soon fingers will be used to make payments. FingoPay is a start-up that registers a card to the finger you want to pay with, before a receipt is emailed over. It uses biometric ‘VeinID’ to work by building a 3D map of the user’s veins to create a biologically encrypted digital key. Supported and endorsed by Visa and Worldpay, the system is already live in London’s Proud Camden bar. Rather reassuringly, FingoPay says that payments can only be taken from ‘live’ fingers.
ILLUMINATIONS… Giant lamps, not for the Big Friendly Giant but for Piccadilly Place’s piazza revamp, will soon be lighting up design features for Manchester visitors. Ranging between 3.4m and 6m tall, a total of five lamps will provide seating, light, and electric heaters. The lamps each reflect various eras of innovation within Manchester, including a Tiffany Art Nouveau design, an art deco style, a traditional table lamp, desk light, and shining beacon form part of a planning application approved by Manchester city council. The application was submitted by HOW Planning on behalf of Property Alliance Group. Plans for new landscaping, paving, stairs and trees were also approved. The lamps should be ready before the end of the year; we’re just glad it’s not us footing that electricity bill.