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Affairs / Podcast

The Urbanist

With an influential audience of city mayors, urban planners and architects, this is Monocle’s guide to making better cities, be it new technology, state-of-the-art subways or compact apartments.

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Latest episode

Heritage: We revisit the theme of heritage this week and explore why we should learn to cherish the history of our cities, from the importance of conservation in one of the world’s oldest medinas in Tunis to a tour of Vienna’s less-charming listed buildings. Plus: is the terraced house in Britain still a cultural icon?

Latest episodes

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22611 Feb 2016
00:30:00

Heritage: 

We revisit the theme of heritage this week and explore why we should learn to cherish the history of our cities, from the importance of conservation in one of the world’s oldest medinas in Tunis to a tour of Vienna’s less-charming listed buildings. Plus: is the terraced house in Britain still a cultural icon?

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2254 Feb 2016
00:30:00

Cities on the big screen: 

This week we’ve joined forces with ‘The Cinema Show’ to bring you a special episode on the relationship between our cities and the big screen. We explore how movies can shape a city as a brand, chat with James Sanders about New York on film and head to Belgrade to see how the city has posed as others in film productions. Plus: espionage and mystery in Istanbul. Why is the city always the set of spy movies, mystique and drama?

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22428 Jan 2016
00:30:00

Department stores: 

Department stores have redefined the shopping habits of many but what impact did they actually have in the city when they first appeared? We look at the history of the London department store and head to Paris to explore France’s first, Le Bon Marché. We also discover that Istanbul’s old hans are a century-old department store equivalent. Plus: we meet Jerry Storch, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company.

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22321 Jan 2016
00:30:00

Transformative urbanism: 

The city is always evolving but change is not always synonymous with transformation. This week we explore how the urban environment has gradually altered, most of the time thanks to us – ordinary citizens. We discuss the concept of participatory placemaking, head to Toronto for a chat about designing urban transformation and stop by New York to look at some of the changes the city has gone through. Plus: we meet the real-estate firm investing in “transformational developments” in Los Angeles as it tries to save architectural relics from the 1920s.

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22214 Jan 2016
00:28:36

Fighting the establishment: 

From small businesses to citizen collectives, we discover how championing transformative change from the ground up can be the best way to alter the status quo in our cities. We see how the Ministry of Space is reclaiming public spaces in Belgrade, visit Vienna to find out how ordinary citizens are welcoming refugees and check out a collective in Rio de Janeiro that wants to reshape the politics of the city. Plus: small businesses in London’s West End and the fight against increasing rent prices.

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2217 Jan 2016
00:27:33

New Year’s resolutions: 

With our first show in 2016 come a few resolutions for cities. We discover what resolutions won’t be broken in Paris, find out how our personal ones can change cities for the better and ask if 2016 is the year New York finally does something about its airports. Plus we discover Hong Kong’s foodie resolution and chat with the Mayor of Melbourne about his hopes for his city in the next 12 months.

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22031 Dec 2015
00:30:00

Urban heroes: 

We recap our series on urban heroes, looking at four real characters in the community who are actively working to make our cities better places. Join us as we meet a preservationist in Lisbon, a civic leader in Dallas, food activists in Istanbul and a media collective in Brazil.

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21924 Dec 2015
00:30:00

Best of 2015: 

We look back over the past 12 months at some of the most colourful and fascinating moments on ‘The Urbanist’. We hop on a houseboat in San Francisco, learn the craft of bell-ringing, chat with Daniel Libeskind and party with a cycling orchestra in Rio. Plus: we stroll up and down Embassy Row in Washington, get naked on Brighton’s nudist beach and chat with the mayor of Athens about the difficulties of managing his city this year.

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21817 Dec 2015
00:27:00

It’s Christmas time: 

As people head out to get last-minute gifts, we bring you a festive episode looking at how Christmas affects our cities. We visit Strasbourg’s 400-year-old market, discover how things got a bit out of hand with lightning decorations in Colombia and head to Madrid for a diplomatic Christmas fair. Plus: a lesson in festive window dressing in New York.

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21710 Dec 2015
00:28:37

Hipsters: 

It’s the most dangerous species out there: the hipster. We look at how one of the most popular subcultures has become the scapegoat for the problems of a city, from gentrification to expensive cold brew. Join us as we explore the great hipster reshuffling in Vancouver, discover how London’s tech hipsters are helping the community and head to Israel to meet its “haifsters”. Plus: a lesson in hipster history, dating back to 1901 in Vienna.

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2163 Dec 2015
00:30:00

Deliveries: 

From cycle messengers in Lisbon to a family-owned company that delivers Scottish Christmas trees all around London, we discover how people around the world are getting their logistics sorted and how new demands transform our cities. Plus: we wrap up our series on the battle for New York’s public spaces.

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21526 Nov 2015
00:27:11

Paris: My city: 

As the world remains on edge following the events in Paris on 13 November, we decided to take a step back to see how continuing with the Parisian way of life is the best way to fight terrorism. In the end Paris will remain just as it is – a testimony to freedom, culture and passion.

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21419 Nov 2015
00:30:00

Urbanistas: 

Would a city planned or managed by a woman look different to any other? And who are the female urban leaders and architects making a difference in the community? This week is not about adapting the city for women but looking at those women who are changing our cities for the better, from Lisbon to Niterói and Vancouver. Plus: we bring you part three of our series on the battle for New York’s public space.

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21312 Nov 2015
00:30:00

Unusual neighbours: 

More often than not you don’t get to pick your neighbours. But while some argue about fences, noisy parties and bushy trees, we decided to take a look at the diversity in our cities and pick out some unusual but rather harmonious relationships all round. Plus: we continue our series on the battle for New York’s public space.

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2125 Nov 2015
00:26:41

Music and the city: 

Acoustics and music can help shape the way people interact with their cities. But how aware are we of the sounds that surround us and are there places that are more musical than others? We discover how the music industry and city planning can be brought together and explore acoustic ecology and making music with the sounds of the city. Plus we bring you the first part of our series on the battle for public space in New York.

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