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

How does a remote city such as Reykjavik mark its spot on the map? Listen in as we chat to the mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur Eggertsson; find out how the city’s bookstores are bringing the community together and why geothermal power is being used to heat part of the Atlantic Ocean.

Latest episodes

Episode Date Description Download Play
202 27 Aug 2015
00:26:57

Discover Reykjavik: 

How does a remote city such as Reykjavik mark its spot on the map? Listen in as we chat to the mayor of Reykjavik, Dagur Eggertsson; find out how the city’s bookstores are bringing the community together and why geothermal power is being used to heat part of the Atlantic Ocean.

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201 20 Aug 2015
00:25:22

The second city: 

Being number two is not always a bad thing. In this episode we explore second cities and the ways in which they step out of the capital’s shadow. From Milan’s business hub to Melbourne’s food culture, these are the things that help us measure a city. Plus: we sit down with the mayor of Aarhus and talk about the challenges – and advantages – of governing Denmark’s second city.

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200 13 Aug 2015
00:26:51

Bad people, nice buildings: 

Architecture has always been the unfortunate sidekick of any dictatorial regime, with its imposing buildings marking a new era of nationalism and the power of its ruler. In this episode we explore the architectural legacy of fascist, imperial and dictatorial regimes around the world and what these buildings actually stand for today.

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199 6 Aug 2015
00:30:00

Failed bids: 

We explore projects that were planned but never realised and wonder how different a city might look if it had received a green light. Featuring a case of protected heritage, the high-speed train in Brazil that never took off, the runner-up of an architecture competition and why Toronto has failed five times to host the Olympics.

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198 30 Jul 2015
00:26:35

Mind your manners: 

There’s a set of unspoken rules of conduct that make our cities tick: standing on the right on an escalator, properly tipping in a restaurant and behaving in a certain way on public transport. But how do people manage to remain civil in a hostile urban environment? Join us as we explore etiquette and politeness in the city.

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197 23 Jul 2015
00:27:15

Power city: 

We explore how politics have changed Brussels, visit an old embassy for sale in Belgrade and discover some of Hong Kong’s power clubs. Plus: we ask if Vienna is still the stage for international diplomacy and walk through Embassy Row in Washington DC.

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196 16 Jul 2015
00:26:42

Easy access: 

The way our buildings and public spaces are planned has a significant impact on our quality of life. We explore the theme of accessibility: from how to use inclusive design to a cab service in Hong Kong especially for wheelchair passengers. Plus: we find out what happens when technology and sound come together to create a map of the city and why New York has introduced mental respite centres.

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195 9 Jul 2015
00:27:52

Law and order: 

Crime and illegality are ubiquitous in our urban environment, from illegal housing, street art, rough sleeping to organised crime. On this episode of The Urbanist we tackle the illegal city and look at how our cities are dealing with those who are bending the rules.

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194 2 Jul 2015
00:27:36

City corners: 

Hear about the corners in our cities. Find out about what makes the perfect corner shop, the superb grid design of Eixample in Barcelona, London’s very own Speakers’ Corner and the most iconic corner building of all, The Flatiron Building in New York.

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193 25 Jun 2015
00:28:39

Easy living: 

As Monocle’s Quality of Life survey hits the newsstands, we take a look at what’s making our cities tick. How is Tokyo at the forefront of an urban-garden revolution and how does Vienna aim to create a major business hub? Plus: we discuss what metrics we will have next year and chat with Lord Mayor of Melbourne Robert Doyle about the cultural boom of his city.

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192 18 Jun 2015
00:26:32

Knock on wood: 

We discover the world of luck and fortune in our cities, from how architects apply the Chinese philosophy of feng shui to their work to a district thought to be so lucky that it was named Boa Sorte ('good luck' in Portuguese). Plus, we look at superstition in Catholic Italy and visit the rather unlucky tornado town of Moore, Oklahoma.

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191 11 Jun 2015
00:26:31

The Happy City: 

We bring you a special episode from this year’s congress of the Academy of Urbanism. With a focus on happiness and wellbeing, we met with architects, designers and urbanists to discover how to make the most of our cities.

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