The Monocle
Cities Series

Edition 1: Chengdu, China
Monday 4 November  

Off the back of Monocle’s Quality of Life Conference we are launching a more targeted concept for cities in the form of a brisk, super-focused half-day summit. The Monocle Cities Series will address issues around mobility, retail and dignified living. Chengdu, the capital city of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, will be the first in a series where Monocle pairs up with cities and regions to explore key topics facing mayors, developers, investors and citizens.

Tickets no longer available. Please contact Hannah Grundy on with ticket queries. 

Why Chengdu?

Our launch city is bubbling with opportunity. Chengdu is transforming at every level as it strives to become a top-tier, garden city that’s connected to the world (including direct flights from most major European capitals). Chengdu is paving the way for luxury retail, hospitality is hotting up and its famous cuisine is going global. This inland city is full of open minds, independent styles and fresh ideas. Don’t take our word for it, come and see for yourself.  




Why should you attend?

Chengdu will be the stage for stimulating discussions of global import; big interviews with international experts in an intimate setting. This one-day event is a must-attend for entrepreneurs, designers, retailers, hoteliers, brand-builders, city-planners and anyone seeking fresh thinking on the latest industry issues. Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé and Andrew Tuck will set the tone for this breezy afternoon, alongside our Asia bureaux chiefs and a carefully selected panel of business leaders.

Be the first to attend our new Cities Series and experience the delights of Chengdu.

 Tickets are limited – don’t miss out.


Programme & speakers

12.00: Arrival
Registration and a light welcome lunch. 

12.50: Take your seats
Get ready for an afternoon of inspiration.

 13.00: Welcome to the city summit
A brief introduction to the day’s proceedings and your Monocle hosts.
With: Monocle editors 

13.10: Film: This is Chengdu
A snappy outline of this fast-changing city and what it can teach the world.
With: Monocle editors

 13.15 My Chengdu
Australian consul-general Christopher Lim talks about his time in this southwestern Chinese city and how to make the most of its opportunities.

 13.30 Big interview
Insights on keeping bricks-and-mortar retail healthy and how shops can build brands and add vitality to city life. 

14.00: Top of the shops
Tales of success from a clever designer and an ambitious retailer.
With: Hiroyuki Isobe, executive director, Wonderwall; Eudes Fabre, CEO North Asia, Lagardère 

14.30: Building better cities
A set of case studies providing inspiration and ideas on how to create lively, green and likeable urban spaces, with some reflections on Chengdu.
With: Robert Greenwood, MD of Snøhetta Hong Kong; Don Taylor, director of office development, Swire Properties; Marie-Louise Theile, creative director, James Street Initiative, Brisbane

15.00–15.30: Break
Time to swap business cards and continue the conversation over coffee and tea.

 15.30: Things we like
Monocle’s editor in chief offers a whistle-stop global tour of urban benchmarks such as branding and design, architecture and diplomacy.
With: Tyler Brûlé 

15.45: The Big interview
What’s next for architecture? The co-founder of a visionary Dutch design firm holds forth on his ambitious plans to shape sustainable development in Asia and beyond.
With: Winy Maas, co-founder, MVRDV 

16.15: What happened to hospitality?
We take the temperature of the international hotel and restaurant scene with two key players who are reshaping the industry.
With: Martina Luger, CMO, Ennismore; Daniel Mitchell, creative director, Potato Head Family 

16.45: Final thoughts
Our editors wrap up proceedings with an overview of lessons learned, ideas to contemplate and some valuable take-homes from the day’s talks. 

17.00: Reception
Something to drink and nibble on, plus another chance to meet your fellow delegates – as well as the panellists and people shaping the urban environment.



The Temple House, 81 Bitieshi Street, Jinjiang District, Chengdu 610021

Located at the heart of award-winning retail development Taikoo Li, The Temple House is a Swire Hotels property with a blend of heritage and high-rise architecture that's a microcosm of modern Chengdu. By day its relaxed tea house is a place for conversation and contemplation. At night its lively outdoor bar pours drinks until the wee hours.  



Tickets no longer available. Please contact Hannah Grundy on with ticket queries. 



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