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July/August 2009

Our 2009 survey of the top 25 cities for quality of life: who’s improved, who’s slipped and who’s dropped out of Monocle's global ranking of the places that have it sorted.

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Air time

Cities are combating urban sprawl by adding another layer – on their roofs. We profile the best projects, from sky-high soccer pitches to cinemas.

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City revival

In New York, Tobruk, Foshan, Beirut and Stockholm there are pioneering architectural projects that will transform their cities. We take a look at the grand plans.

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Oceania briefing

Construction begins on Australia's first carbon-zero office building, while in New Zealand a revamp is under way to stop Christchurch's wanderlusty youngsters from upping sticks. Plus, how New Zealanders are catching up the…

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Short story

Urban beach clubs call for clothing that doesn’t sacrifice elegance in the pursuit of sun worship. Opt for neatly tailored swimming shorts that can equally be worn for a stroll round town once you’ve dried off – or just to…

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Asia briefing

Why English-style village shops are popping up in rural China and how the hutongs of Beijing may be given a reprieve. Plus, the latest figures on who is living the longest.

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Shop idols

Sometimes it takes just one retailer to unite an entire neighbourhood and restore a sense of old-fashioned community between residents and other shop owners, restaurateurs and civil servants. We’ve found 10 doing just that…

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Town criers

What’s the future of the city? Eleven writers – urbanists, authors, academics, architects and Monocle editors – look at the battles and pleasures of metropolitan living. From the empty highways of Detroit to the sewers of…

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Secret treasures

These outposts may not score highly on the Monocle city metrics – they’re not very well connected for starters. But they all offer a quality of life we would recommend.

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Observation

What would win your heart – an alluring first impression or a tempting parting glance? For Tyler Brûlé it was the latter that had him dreaming of relocating the Monocle team to Berlin and bagging a summer retreat.

Global

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Full-speed ahead

Obama is allocating $8bn for high-speed rail – but much of the expertise will come from Europe. Monocle went on the euro-rails with US transport secretary Ray LaHood as he sought inspiration and contacts. Then on page 76…

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Talk of the town

From a Beijing air-quality expert to an Italian architect, these urban planning visionaries have ideas with the potential to transform our urban world – and soon.

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Korea moves

Global property markets may be undergoing a brutal shakedown but big corporations and sovereign wealth funds have not stopped shopping. And they each seem to have a favourite city to invest in. That’s why LA’s skyline is…

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Ask the boss

What makes a city a great place to do business in? How important are parks for a lunchtime run and clean air to breathe? Or is it more about wi-fi access and corporate taxes? Monocle asks five corporate leaders where they…

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Hearts of the city

Identikit suburban projects and architects without imagination have sullied the reputation of property development but Monocle has tracked down five firms putting passion, innovation and social conscience back into the…

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Reel estate

If your town needs a tourism boost, there is nothing more likely to bring in the punters than a blockbusting film set on your street. No wonder cities are offering film companies big incentives for a moment on the casting…

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Look & listen

Monocle’s summer arts calendar creams off the pick of the albums to line up, the books to take to the beach, the shows to saunter round and the movies to get to grips with in the evening – preferably in an open-air cinema…

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The world's top 25 most liveable cities - 2009

Monocle’s researchers have spent the past months putting the world’s leading cities to the test to find the best places for you to make your base. Last year Copenhagen was the winner of our survey but in 2009 the award goes…

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Building the dream

Engineering company Arup is the name that connects the Sydney Opera House to the proposed Guggenheim museum in Abu Dhabi. The owner-operated firm’s pioneering staff are the go-to guys if you want to construct the impossible…

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Please turn off the lights

Do cities have a sell-by date? And if they no longer feel fresh and vital, should we abandon them? That’s what’s happening in Russia. So should the burghers of New Orleans and Detroit do the same?

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