In the Media

The Institute picks interesting stories and news items every week from the worlds of art, culture and social study and presents them in the blog. This week the stories have been chosen by Taina Cooke.

London – the most expensive and most attractive city in the world
London is expensive, that’s hardly any news. It has been made official though that London is not only expensive, but now also the most expensive city in the world. Oh, how we are honoured. This dubious recognition was based on a new study, which showed that London has overtaken Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city to work and live in. Cities falling a little behind London included New York and Paris. London is nearly twice as pricey as Sydney, and four times more expensive than Rio de Janeiro.
One major cause in pushing London up to first place in the rankings is its skyrocketing property prices. Property values have risen by 18.4% in the past year only and office rents too have jumped significantly. Also, the pound’s strength against the dollar has had an effect for the worse, whereas a weakening currency contributed to Hong Kong’s ranking. Calculations in the ranking were made, however, from a business point of view and hence indicate the annual cost of an employee based in London for the employing company. This means that, for example, property expenses are still a lot higher for private people looking to buy in Hong Kong compared to the UK.
Despite the price tag that comes with settling down in London, UK’s capital appeals to many. Based on a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group and, London is where most people in the world want to work. Of the more than 200,000 people questioned, nearly one in six (16%) said they wanted to work specifically in London. Other popular places to work in included Sydney, Berlin, Toronto, Madrid, Barcelona, Singapore and Rome. Big drawcards of London are thought to be high salary prospects, cultural attractions, public health care and the multicultural atmosphere.
There truly must be something magical in London. Rated both as the most expensive and most attractive at the same time seems somewhat bizarre. Only in London can you see people paying 1,200 pounds a month for one-bedroom apartment, travel to work extremely slowly but yet expensively and still be having the time of their lives.  
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – a restaurant utilizing food waste
Most of us don’t like wasting food. We see a food product that has gone past its use-by-date in our fridge, turn up our noses and throw it in the bin.  We feel pretty bad for a moment, but get over it extremely fast. Luckily, though, not everyone does.
A not-for-profit restaurant called Skipchen has opened its doors in Bristol. This small restaurant is quite different from traditional restaurants with its daily changing menus. Skipchen’s staff, you see, don’t order in their supplies but instead go and find them. Teams of volunteers either dive dumpsters or look for donations and then prepare eclectic dishes for customers. A lucky customer might get to choose from options such as: crab and prawn salad, kiln-roasted salmon, baked beans on toast and even lobster.
Even though it’s not legal to scavenge from supermarket skips in the UK, the team justifies it by arguing that it would be even a bigger crime to let it all go to waste. Nothing in Skipchen is discarded: customers are invited to pay what they want and if there’s any food left by the closing time, it’s all given away to passersby. People are delighted both with the food and the concept and there’s no shortage of customers.
What a success story! Hopefully the concept will spread wider and by the looks of things, the chances are it will. Last month in Finland an event called ‘Saa Syödä!’ was organized as a part of the food consciousness week ‘Hävikkiviikko’. 5000 portions of soup made of discarded vegetables were given to people and speeches fitting the theme were held. Taking into consideration the vast amount of food that is being thrown away annually, this is all very welcome and necessary. Maybe next time we think twice before opening that waste bin lid.

One thought on “In the Media

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