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July / August 2011

The results are in for our annual Quality of Life survey. Who’s up? Who’s down? And who’s out in our ranking of the world' 25 best cities to call home (there are a few surprises).

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Breaking the rules

The codes of good urban planning are common sense. But sometimes those rules are there to be broken and, as in these five examples, the results can work surprisingly well.

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Europe Briefing

A call for more creativity in Sweden's architecture, a scheme to get Finnish commuters smiling and the councillor trying to get Lisbon cycling.

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Fashion Briefing

Monocle trawls the fashion world for the latest brands, trends and industry movements, including jewellery from New York, southern European-influenced clothes from Munich and everything in-between.

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Africa/Middle East Briefing

Beirut's first street atlas creates order out of chaos, Nairobi gets an airport "bush hotel" and Lagos motorists get some hi-tech help to avoid traffic.

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Paradise in the city

Visit Munich or Melbourne, Seattle or Singapore and you’ll come across ‘almost perfect’ places to live. However, at Monocle we’ve created the ideal mansion block, with nothing omitted in its design. Now, who’s going to…

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Asia Briefing

We report on an urban farming project at Osaka train station, the first verticle farm in Singapore and the sad fate of Cambodia's colonial and "new Khmer" buildings.

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Prom party

For our summer shoot we’re strolling beside the sea in crisp, bright separates, sleek swimwear and smart sunglasses. The location? A once-mocked resort with some new-wave architecture.

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Oceania Briefing

Australia heads into a housing bubble, while in Christchurch the nightlife heads to the suburbs. Plus, we speak to the man in charge of rebuilding post-earthquake New Zealand.

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Going south

Montpellier is the fastest-growing city in France and for Monocle it ranks as one the best cities for business. It supports new ventures, with many hi-tech companies setting up there, and has an enviable quality of life to…

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Local heroes

From honey producers to fashion designers, Monocle meets the groups and business owners that have launched innovative projects to help bring communities together. Sometimes it makes good business sense too.

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Shelf obsession

For quality of life a local deli can make a real difference. These are Monocle’s five favourite food stores from around the world that are offering that bit extra, from the Sydney shop with its own homemade brands to an…

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The money mystery

There’s a link between quality of life and the money in your pocket but nobody quite understands this complicated marriage. One thing we do know for sure, whatever the question, the answer should not be Luanda.

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My last meal: Alice Waters

Food is an entire philosophy for Alice Waters, founder of restaurant Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. She would choose to dine with family for her hypothetical last meal, and on the menu would be fresh produce bought…

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