TACTICAL URBANISM… Arup is currently exhibiting at the Cycle City Active City conference in Manchester, where it is punting the Recharge Parklet, a nifty set-up that acts as a recharging point for electronic vehicles and eBikes without introducing yet more bulky street furniture. It can also provide mobile phone charging, Wi-Fi, seating, bicycle stand and pump, and urban greening, although there’s no word on whether it can polish your shoes. Parklets have been tested in London, transforming a loading bay into a mini green space, with local traders giving it the thumbs up. Susan Claris, transport planner at Arup, said: “Cities are under pressure to install more charging points, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of access and safety for those walking. Tactical urbanism solutions such as these show planners and designers how they can re-engineer and de-clutter streets making them better equipped for everyone, resulting in healthier streets.” And so say all of us.

Propety Magnate

BOOM AND BUST… Potential property tycoons can now give their investments a trial run, and start building a virtual empire thanks to the launch of a new property investment app game, Property Magnate. Designed to emulate the building of a real property portfolio, Property Magnate uses real properties from the Zoopla database, sells properties through 26 ‘estate agents’ over 13 regions, allows off-market purchases, and charges realistic (virtual) fees and tax. The founder, David Harding, was inspired to make the app after seeing his son get involved with football virtual reality league games, and realising the format would help educate people on the twists and turns of the property market. Wish us luck… Property Magnate is available to download on Google Play and the App Store

St James AR

SAY ‘AR’… This week saw Bruntwood complete 20,000 sq ft of refurbished office space within the St James building, the massive listed block which stretches along Manchester’s Oxford Street. The developer/investor is using augmented reality to showcase the space to future occupiers. Bruntwood is always quick to have its finger on the tech pulse, but given the delight and slight confusion seen on the faces of some of Manchester’s best known office agents at the launch, the same can’t be said for everyone…

NO SHOW… Transport secretary Chris Grayling came under fire earlier this week after pulling out from Place North West’s Northern Transport Summit, with frustrated train passengers and RMT protestors alike accusing him of chickening out. Thankfully, with the handy power of PhotoShop, at least he was there in spirit…

Singalong Cab

CAR-AOKE… What if you could pay your ride by singing? Over in Finland they have the right idea, as they trial the Fortum Singalong Shuttle, which combines rideshares, clean energy, and Carpool Karaoke, at the Ruisrock festival on 6th-8th July. The car keeps on moving as long as you keep on singing, and is only operational in electric cars, to demonstrate how much better passengers can enjoy the music without background noise and carbon emissions.

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