Tuesday 8 March 2016 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Tuesday. 8/3/2016

The Monocle Minute

Image: Michael Elleray

King Kong?

Which city leads the world in competitiveness? Hong Kong, according to a new ranking by the Institute for Urban Strategies, a think-tank funded by Japanese property developer Mori Building. Hong Kong scored higher on the Global Power Inner City Index than Tokyo, Paris and five other cities across 20 indicators measuring vitality, culture, luxury, amenity, mobility and interactivity. The institute’s focus on central areas – with a radius of 5km and 10km – played in densely built Hong Kong’s favour. The institute also singled out another factor that helps explain the city’s high marks: shopping. The abundance of large-scale shopping centres, luxury hotels and shops run by luxury fashion brands apparently made a big difference. In its announcement, the Institute for Urban Strategies made no mention of Hong Kong’s air pollution and smog, problems that would normally affect any assessment of a city’s liveability.

Image: Juho Kuva

Watch this space

Dubai is known for putting on a good aviation-industry bash but Abu Dhabi is now looking to top its neighbour with the inaugural Aviation and Aerospace Week, which brings together a number of events. The first day of the Global Aerospace Summit wrapped yesterday, with Etihad Airways CEO James Hogan discussing the airline’s partnerships strategy and the “best in class” Midfield Terminal that’s due for completion at Abu Dhabi International Airport at the end of 2017. Meanwhile, the UAE Space Agency said it plans to lead a space mission by 2021 and launch a set of “space laws” governing exploration and mining. Just next door the Unmanned Systems Exhibition is showcasing the latest drone technology, while the Abu Dhabi Air Expo gets off the ground later today.

Image: Rob Shenk

Eye of the Tiger

Singapore is by no means the beer capital of the world but the age-old thirst quencher is starting to grow in stature. Not only did the city state’s first ever craft-beer festival, Craft Singapore, go down smoothly over the weekend – with both local breweries and international names catering to a new generation of drinkers thirsty for artisanal product – but things are brewing abroad as well. While Singaporean craft brands such as Little Island Brewing Co are worthy alternatives to national beer Tiger, the mass-market lager is proving a surprise hit overseas. In the US, with its brand positioning as an exotic Southeast Asian brew, Tiger has earned an unlikely cult status: it is served at Opening Ceremony’s New York fashion shows and was enjoyed by an uber-hip crowd at Lucky Peach magazine’s Eating Out Loud event in Los Angeles last month.

Image: Franklin Heijnen

In the saddle?

Copenhagen and Amsterdam (pictured) have already set the pace when it comes to providing stellar cycling infrastructure but could Oslo soon join their ranks? The recently released National Transit Plan from Norway’s transport agencies has proposed spending NOK8bn (€855m) on new bicycle superhighways in and around nine of the country’s major cities. The plan aims to create an extended network of lanes where riders can safely reach speeds of up to 40km/h, which could increase the number of cyclists commuting – and reduce the number of cars. Not everyone is on board with the proposed plan though: a handful of politicians have criticised the scheme, pointing to its cost and neglect of northern rural areas.

Radio Cascabel: The art of the playlist

Argentinian duo Diego Jalfen and Estefania Panizza came to London to launch Radio Cascabel, an online radio stream and music-consultancy service that specialises in South American tunes. Together they create playlists of Latino music and invite others to do the same. Holly Fisher meets them in Midori House and hears their top tips for the perfect playlist.

Monocle Films / Corsica

Keeping the faith

Nestled just in from the Corsica coast sits Le Couvent de Pozzo, a converted monastery that has been brought back to life as a tranquil guesthouse by owner Emmanuelle Picon. Monocle Films stopped by to enjoy breathtaking views over the Tyrrhenian Sea and tuck in to some of Picon’s delicious French cuisine.


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