Tuesday 15 September 2015 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Tuesday. 15/9/2015

The Monocle Minute

Image: Mike Vondran

Broke in Brazil

Brazil’s urban centres are watching investment dry up as the country’s economy continues to flounder. The southern city of Curitiba, often touted as one of Brazil’s most liveable places, saw a massive drop of 84 per cent in investment compared to last year. Meanwhile, state capitals in Minas Gerais and Bahia reported losses, and even São Paulo is having to rethink strategy ahead of next year’s local elections. Only one mayor is not too worried: Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio, the only city that saw an increase in investment. “If it weren’t for the Olympic Games, Rio would not be attracting so much investment and would have difficulties making up revenue that it has lost due to shrinking royalties [it receives from oil production],” says Thiago de Aragão of London’s Foreign Policy Centre.

Image: iStock

Change of gear

Frankfurt Motor Show is going to send out some rather mixed messages this week. On the one hand, powerful, fuel-guzzling SUVs heading to the heights of the market will steal much of the limelight, especially Bentley unveiling its Bentayga, the British brand’s first SUV. On the other, electric cars are becoming very handsome, with BMW set to introduce three new hybrid models at the show. Audi, meanwhile, is looking to keep pace with both – rolling out its Q6 E-tron Quattro electric-powered SUV. Monocle 24 is broadcasting live from Frankfurt this week and we’ll be keeping an eye on which of the brands come out on top.

Image: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Fair effort

They said that no one would come. That the Milanese were too busy to bother with the Expo Milano, with its theme of feeding the planet, which runs until the end of October. But on Sunday tens of thousands wandering the fair’s grounds in the rain were voting with their squelchy feet; they loved it. People were queuing for hours to get into the pavilions from the biggies: Russia, China, the US but also countries they may have been hard-pushed to locate on a globe (Turkmenistan was proving an oddly popular hit). Meanwhile, a sign at Japan’s pavilion warned that it would take three hours and 20 minutes to get to the front of the queue. Who was good and who was terrible? Can small countries come out on top? More tomorrow.

Image: Jan Søndergaard

Gritty and proud

Aarhus has fought hard to shake off its image as Denmark’s post-industrial, somewhat dour second city. City hall’s ambitious 2030 master plan to turn Aarhus into a cheaper, liveable alternative to Copenhagen includes a spectacular new public library, a tangible plan to welcome fresh business and a light rail network that’s currently in the works. Despite the spruce-up, the busy container port and city-centre abattoir are here to stay. “Forget your gentrified meatpacking districts, this is the real thing,” says city architect Stephen Willacy. “I really want to protect the grittiness in this city.” For more on Aarhus, pick up the new issue of Monocle on newsstands this week.

Image: Helene Binet

Interview with Joshua Oppenheimer

On this week’s edition of Culture, we revisit an interview with Joshua Oppenheimer, the director of the critically acclaimed documentary films ‘The Act of Killing’ and ‘The Look of Silence’ that both deal with the Indonesian genocide of the 1960s.

Toronto city hall

Take a look inside Toronto’s iconic city hall and discover how its creation 50 years ago this week signalled the start of a modern metropolis.


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