Nova Friburgo

Travel with me to a city in Brazil. A city that might as well represent hundreds of other cities elsewhere in the world. A city with an interesting history. But also a city that encounters real problems. I had the pleasure to be there again the last week of May 2014. Let me tell you more about it… Read More

Casablanca

Most people know about Casablanca because they know about a movie with that name. The movie was not even filmed there, but it stands somewhere in the top 10 of most watched films ever. Every city needs that identity. A fantastic movie with an intriguing name certainly helps. I learned to know that city better when I was working… Read More

Failed cities

Cities are more important than states. My local newspaper “De Volkskrant”  wrote earlier this week about a visit of our Amsterdam mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, to New York and San Francisco. They said he talked there with Benjamin Braber, author of the book “If mayors ruled the world”. And, as I expected, he did not agree.… Read More

Perm

The Trans Siberia crosses the river Kama in Perm. This huge river grants the region access to the Baltic, the Black and the Caspian Sea. Combined with the iron and copper ore that is found in the Ural mountains it’s not surprising that Perm has always been important as an industrial centre. Weapons, tanks, ships, aeroplanes,… Read More