Heavy Metal Cities



The race to build, create, and service the production capital needed in the 21st Century is impacting our human capital, says Josh Artus, director of The Centric Lab


In late 2015 the charismatic football coach of Borussia Dortmund in Germany dubbed his style of play as heavy metal football. It was his analogy for how his frenetic ‘pressing the opposition’ style of play could be thought about. It was constant, it was in your face, it didn’t give you a moment to think and it hits you hard when it gets going in its own rhythm.

At a recent lecture UCL Professor Nick Tyler talked about how transport and civil engineering should be planned and created through the language, theory and structure of music. Music is created through rhythm, oscillating waves form harmonies that capture our attention and incite a neural response. Walking home that evening heading north from Bloomsbury and feeling the vibrations of the city it dawned on me that we are living in Heavy Metal Cities.

Across the skylines of London, Manchester, New York little red dots sparkle in the night sky. These are capitalisms fireflies, twinkling just out of clear vision, always moving and never yours to own, telling their own stories and running in their own circles. Little do we know where next they’ll appear. They are the cranes and construction materials emitting their presence to the world.

The market is good, but why is work productivity low? Is it that like Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football, our Heavy Metal Cities are tiring us in the latter stages of play when it’s most important?……..


Josh ArtusGuest Article