Radio and the City

Paul writes in his Blog that last week 44 pirate radio stations have been turned off by the authorities in London. Fourty-four! In the entire Ruhrgebiet there probably aren’t 44 legal radio stations.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine who’s an architect at a university in Hamburg. She told be that there is a definition of the term “metropolis” that involves having a certain number of service company headquarters located in a city. In our opinon, though, it’s more the multitude of subcultures that makes a city a metropolis. I, for one, think that 44 pirate radio stations are much more interesting for people living in a city than company headquarters.

In Hamburg, by the way, there has been a similar trend in the past years: in the effort to become at least a bit as cool as New York or London the senate has been closing one alternative project after the other to make Hamburg more attractive to “serious” culture and firms. Until in about five years you can “at last” walk again through the Schanze without spotting any evidence of alternative cultures that makes Hamburg so interesting for me. It’s a sad development. I hope the hippies, leftists and artists in Hamburg can stop it.

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