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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 17 October 2016

Maritime marvels

Today marks the opening of Euronaval, France’s biannual exhibition of naval technology, which will see 400 exhibitors from 37 countries show off the latest in maritime defence and security over five days. While the event’s opening in Paris has been overshadowed by a diplomatic argument ensuing from the host nation's withdrawal of an invitation to a Polish delegation amid a multibillion helicopter deal gone sour (in which a Polish official claimed his country "taught [France] how to use forks") representatives from other countries have received a more hospitable welcome. One example is Baglietto, the long-established Italian yacht builder, whose naval division makes its debut at the fair this year with the MNI 15 multipurpose vessel. Thanks to a customisable propulsion system and adaptable interior and exterior options, the boat could be used for patrols, logistics and military landings but, perhaps unsurprisingly given Italy’s instrumental role in Operation Triton, it might also see action in rescue operations across the Mediterranean Sea.

Image: World Design Capital Taipei 2016

Taipei’s retail revamp

October is peak season for Taipei’s tenure as World Design Capital but residents still have plenty to look forward to before the biennial baton is handed to Mexico City in 2018. A new OMA-designed performing-arts centre opens next year alongside the re-emergence of the historic city wall’s North Gate following the demolition of an unsightly overpass. Meanwhile the Small Shop Signboard Manufacturer initiative is pairing up leading Taiwanese designers with retailers to create contemporary shopfront signage that appeals to younger shoppers. This visual transformation of the capital is just the beginning as far as Taiwan’s design-savvy president Tsai Ing-wen is concerned. “Design can be an indispensable part of improving our national strength,” she said at the opening of the first of four signature events this month.

Image: Francios Cavelier

Paris in bloom

The capital’s transformation into an environmentally friendly metropolis continues apace. Mayor Anne Hidalgo has already declared parts of the city car-free on the first Sunday of each month and introduced an ambitious plan to create more public parks and plant 20,000 new trees. Now Parisians can also do their part in helping to create a greener city: a recent law has given citizens permission to plant their own urban gardens in public spaces. Residents can apply for permits to sow anything from green walls to trees and street-corner planters along pavements and roads. The city will even provide topsoil and seeds upon request, though gardeners are required to maintain their budding plots.

Developing project

It's no surprise that small businesses form the backbone of Toronto's economy but can entrepreneurialism be the answer to juvenile delinquency? Non-profit organisation Sketch hopes so. It has tapped architecture firm Perkins + Will to overhaul its headquarters in the city's Artscape complex to include collaborative areas and work hubs that will give at-risk youths the space to develop business ideas and pitch them to potential investors and partners. "It's about fostering inclusivity and empowerment through thoughtful design solutions," says Janine Grossmann, principal of interiors at the Toronto office of Perkins + Will. As many marginalised young people lack order in their lives, Grossmann's strategy is to create a conducive and structured environment for them to channel their energies in productive ways.

From Monocle 24

Spanish made simple

Omar Allibhoy – known as the Antionio Banderas of cooking – explains why Spanish cuisine doesn’t need to be a time-consuming affair.

From Monocle Films

Retail Survey: Division Street, Portland, Oregon

Division Street in Portland, Oregon, has witnessed a model retail renaissance. Monocle Films meets the shopkeepers on this once sleepy stretch, which is now the centre of the city’s budding new retail scene.

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