During October, we shared a visualisation via our Twitter feed of a potential future street layout for Thomas Street in the Northern Quarter. It created a range of lively debate around ideas of permeability, movement of people and service to business premises.

It ties in nicely with Michael Ashcroft’s art feature for this issue. One of the striking aspects about his collection of Manchester’s street scenes is the reminder that we have allowed so much of the city to be gifted to car use. It’s a perverse portioning of space when you consider that most people in any city centre will spend most of their time walking. The Danish architect Jan Gehl has long since helped to positively change his country’s vistas to be human scaled and people focused, but the British car reliance, obsession and lobbying culture has been persistent since its postwar proliferation. The Greater Manchester mayor, Andy Burnham, alongside the regional authorities like TfGM, has been focusing on the sickening air quality levels as a means to win hearts and minds, but it’s a constant battle against the status quo, as even our cultural institutions are taking the tokenistic oil money, as Lucas Jones discusses in Localcheck.

It’s little wonder South Manchester producer Aver has been creating dystopian beats, as we find out in one of our featured interviews this month. We also have a word with avant-garde electronica super-group Szun Waves and local spoken wordsmith Keisha Thompson.

Elsewhere, we have a packed issue filled with a variety of Greater Manchester’s offerings. Food looks back at the Big Indie Wine Fest at Manchester Food and Drink Festival; Word Life muses on the theme of ‘gifts’; Sound includes festival, record and live reviews; Stage covers the Early Doors live adaptation; and Filmreel focuses on Doctor Who and FilmFear.

As ever, we welcome new perspectives and continue to be a platform for citizen journalism, so ping an email to the address below to get involved.

Enjoy the read.