3

May 2007

Pedal Politics: A global survey of bicycle culture and commerce. Monocle reports on the most bike-friendly city, the biggest brand and more.

Issue 3 cover
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Article

Accidental empire

Not since the Second World War have the islands of the Pacific been so hotly fought over. This time, however, the battle lines are diplomatic. China, the US and Taiwan are all pitching in but it is Australia that is running…

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Build me Hong Kong

It’s done a good job getting everyday essentials into our homes, hands and driveways but it would like to do so much more. Faced with stiff competition from China, South Korea sees a future for itself as a centre for hi…

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Letter from Tallinn

In 1991, impoverished Estonia broke free from the old Soviet Union. Today it is Europe’s fastest-growing economy. No surprise then that the nation has just voted back into power the coalition government which has overseen…

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Two wheels good

Some 58 per cent of all journeys made in Groningen are on a bicycle. And its 180,000 residents own an amazing 300,000 bikes. The small Dutch city is now seen as a living manifesto for how to get people in the saddle. This…

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'It's fear that will unite us'

Singapore has felt the wrath of two neighbours already this year. Indonesia banned exports of construction sand claiming it was concerned about environmental damage (perhaps coincidentally, the two countries are also in…

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Wheeler dealer

Giant is the world’s largest bicycle firm. And while China claims an ever-greater share of the mass market, Giant continues pushing prices for specialist models ever higher. What’s more, its president plans to turn Taiwan…

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Lights, camera, accíon

If you are making a film, a low-budget TV show or a commercial, head to Buenos Aires. Since the Argentinian economic meltdown in 2002, low wages, skilled professionals and excellent production facilities have seen filmma…

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Talking shop

Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, CEO of the Baugur Group, has created a retail empire spanning Iceland, Scandinavia and the UK. He started with £7,000 equity in Reykjavik 18 years ago. The Baugur Group portfolio investments include…

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Turbulent times

To seal the bond between the leaders of Iran and Venezuela, a direct IranAir flight between Tehran and Caracas has launched. But even the residents of Tehran seem to think it’s a flight of fancy. Sit back and enjoy a trip…

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Observation Issue 03

With some cities it’s love at first sight, with others it’s third time lucky. In the case of me and Seoul, it’s more of the latter.

Global

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Turning rapines

Verbal, aka Ryu Yong Gi, is half of m-flo, one of Japan’s biggest hip-hop acts. Verbal and his m-flo partner, Taku Takahashi, have been working together on their “m-flo loves…” collaborations with an array of guest artists…

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Luxurious relaunch

The German region of Saxony has shaken off the shackles of communist rule to establish itself as a manufacturing centre for top-of-the-range, quality brands – from cars to clocks to clothing. But can Dresden become as…

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