The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 18 November 2016

Image: Christina Fallara

On the move

New data reveals that droves of young US citizens, ranging in age from 18 to 34, are neglecting the coasts and moving inland instead. A 2005-2015 study of real-estate information shows that the 75 million people who fall into this age bracket are no longer clustered on the east and west coasts of the US. More and more young people are moving away from cities in California and New York in order to settle in Charlotte, Houston and Austin. In fact, eight out of the top 10 metropolitan regions for growth were located outside of the nation’s coastal regions. The data suggests that the trend is motivated primarily by career and wage growth, while home ownership is still in decline.

Nordic and nice

Outside of events explicitly aimed at the design industry, booths at most large trade fairs range from the mediocre to the truly woeful. But at Mapic, Europe’s largest retail-property trade show in Cannes, the Nordic Council of Shopping Centres has gone the extra mile to treat its guests to a small-scale architectural triumph. Designed by Sweden-based architect Alessandro Cardinale and his colleagues at Studio Stockholm, the space represents the pragmatism and openness that we’ve come to expect from our Nordic neighbours. Charcoal-coloured benches and tables with simple, clean lines are arranged to accommodate different types of meetings – from the convivial to the intimate – all in a single open space. As a finishing touch, plug lamps from Ateljé Lyktan not only give the stall a warm glow but also provide a handy place to charge your phone. Fair designers from all industries take note – the bar has been raised.

Image: Lit Ma

On the same page

Sad news for Hong Kong’s literati: the city’s leading English bookshop chain Page One shut its doors for good yesterday, following the closure of the Australian flagship Dymocks last year. However, it’s not a complete loss. According to the World Cities Culture Forum report, Hong Kong tops the world’s ranking of bookstores per capita and a total of 52 million books were borrowed from public libraries in the past year. There have been a number of recent openings too, including this year’s launch of Muji Books and the opening of three new shops by Taiwan’s Eslite over the past four years. At the same time Chinese-based Chung Hwa Book has embraced a wide international selection of books, available across its five outlets at Hong Kong airport. So despite the recent closures, the overall trend suggests that there will always be room for ambitious bookshops in this cosmopolitan city.

Image: Getty Images

A problem shared…

Fintech, or financial technology, has threatened to destabilise Singapore’s weakened bank and finance industries in recent years, yet the nation remains unfazed. The tech-loving country, known for its futuristic “smart nation” masterplan, is embracing the trend and aims to surface as a global leader in the field. Singapore’s inaugural Fintech Festival – which comes to an end today – has shown that it’s about more than the latest gadgets. Beyond the experimental labs with their “project pods” opening up across the island-state, canny government strategising is funnelling inventions to boost a slowing economy. In organising the festival, the Monetary Authority of Singapore designed conferences, discussions and competitions to solve 100 specific issues the nation’s financial institutions are facing. The government body’s crafty leadership proves that a little push in the right direction never hurt anyone.

From Monocle 24

Image: Jason Redmond/Getty Images

Ed Murray, mayor of Seattle

Seattle is growing rapidly, with big companies drawing people back to the city. But the trend is affecting affordability and keeping young people in the city is becoming more and more challenging.

From Monocle Films

Fogo Island - Part 2: Architecture

New architecture is a powerful way to brand a location but it’s not without risk when the local area is already rich in tradition and natural beauty. Monocle Films journeyed to the remote island of Fogo in Newfoundland to find a balance created in the building designs of Todd Saunders’ art studios and hotel.

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