I think about cities a lot. Substandard architecture and planning annoy me, especially when it's in my city and I have to live with it. I particularly like medium sized European cities like Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin, Barcelona and Lisbon that can be walked and have great public transport. I'd say Liverpool and Manchester are almost on a par with these places now after several decades of populations returning, some thoughtful remodeling and an explosion in urban life. Both cities feel like building sites again and are obviously still expanding. A watery artery - the Manchester Ship Canal already connects us but it would be great to see cooperation and the development of some kind of megalopolis with high-speed public transport between the two. If we had the zippy trains that other countries have you could do the journey in 15 minutes. Until that happens I shall be making my regular pilgrimage down the M62. Some pictures from one of those journeys: