The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 14 October 2016

Image: PA Images

Hot off the press

Strife in an industry can sometimes reconcile old rivals. Hungary’s liberal daily newspaper Nepszabadsag was shuttered on Sunday, ostensibly due to declining sales but amid widespread suspicions that it came as an order from government. Yet the paper’s old competitor, the right-of-centre Magyar Nemzet, has invited those journalists now out of work to join its ranks in the spirit of maintaining a pluralistic press (and probably as a poke in the eye for government too). Hungary’s ruling party has long been accused of meddling in the country’s newsrooms but the end of Nepszabadsag needs to be seen as part of the bigger picture. The EU is ready to wag its finger at neighbours such as Turkey for its fast-and-loose approach to the free press but it must also ensure that its member states don’t follow suit.

Image: Amy E. Price/Getty Images

Driving force

Austin has just become the second US city to introduce a commuter shuttle service with Chariot, which first launched in San Francisco. Users sign up via mobile and request pick-ups and drop-offs with estimated costs of about $4 (€3.60) per ride, according to the company. Debuting with pop-up routes during the Austin City Limits festival this weekend, it officially launches on Monday. While other ride-sharing apps have been banned in Austin, a notoriously sprawling city, this service is collaborating with the city of Austin, Rocky Mountain Institute, Movability Austin and Capital Metro. It will mostly cater to employees of the Whole Foods Market and advertising company GSD&M in the Sixth Street Market District before expanding its routes.

Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall

Going green

Maison & Objet Asia revealed Singapore-based Woha as its 2017 designer of the year this week, acknowledging its eminence in the field of design within the Asia-Pacific region. Woha principals Wong Mun Summ and Richard Hassell have built monumental structures defying the typical steely profile of city skyscrapers through their creative use of space, porous structures and landscaping. From the lush sky gardens of Parkroyal on Pickering in Singapore to green-terraced residential projects such as The Met in Bangkok, Woha is pioneering an emerging form of urban-living structures that meld a passion for the environment and social principles. And the duo have grand plans for the region, laid out in their new book Garden City Mega City, which launched at the 2016 Venice Biennale. As we head into a future of high-density environments, we need to look to those putting quality of life at the centre of design.

Image: Maurice Savage/Alamy

Migrant make-up

Much has been made about Toronto’s ethnic diversity being the secret ingredient in its especially thriving culinary scene but what about the city’s exercise landscape? A team of researchers from the University of Toronto has launched a project to study how immigrant waves have affected the city’s physical culture, which covers everything from sport to dance. “When you have a city as multicultural as Toronto with more than 200 ethnic communities, you have to realise that each group has brought some form of physical culture from its homeland,” says Peter Donnelly, director of the Centre for Sport Policy Studies. He adds that most activities tend to die out after the first generation but it doesn’t mean that they won’t come back. The Irish sport of hurling, for instance, had fizzled out but the recent surge of immigrants seeking better economic opportunities in Toronto during the financial crisis has seen a resurgence.

From Monocle 24

Image: Stadtflucht Bergmühle

Stadtflucht Bergmühle: Vienna

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