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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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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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Ideas to steal

Making the word’s busiest cities a little more ordered should be top of most urban planners to-do lists. And when one city strikes on an idea that works, it seems the rest of the globe is keen to catch up.

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Expo 45: Rome

Rome’s citizens will tell you that too many things just don’t work in their city. But it still maintains an enviable quality of life with its markets, piazzas and architectural surprises.

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The wait is over

Welcome to the fifth annual Monocle survey of top 25 liveable cities around the world. Here’s how they rank.

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Patron familias

Sometimes it’s not civic officials who shape the city but passionate families. In Sydney the Kaldors’ cultural philanthropy is enriching their city.

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Expo 45: Seoul

Many cities claim to be 24-hour party places. But nowhere is a hedonists’ dream quite like the South Korean capital. Sure, it’s a dizzying mix of people, lights, traffic and consumption. But that’s also its great appeal.

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The liveable cities index 2011

For our Quality-of-Life issue, Monocle has been busy researching the world’s top cities. And with a re-jig of the way each urban centre is assessed, this year’s top 25 promises some surprises.

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