The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 1 December 2016

Image: Getty Images

Meeting of the mayors

Leaders from the world’s top metropolises are currently gathered in Mexico City for the C40 Mayors Summit – now in its 11th year – which runs until the end of Friday. With mayors from Buenos Aires to Rotterdam and Vancouver holding discussions in the Mexican capital, the broad aim is to build more sustainable, resilient, linked-up cities. But for Anne Hidalgo – Parisian mayor and chair-elect of the C40 group – the international travel also provides the chance to promote tourism to the French capital, which was decimated by the terror attacks. She is helping to launch a poster campaign in the Mexico City metro called “Nuevo París”, proving that she’s something of a stateswoman too. Listen out for reports from the summit on Monocle 24.

Image: Michael Coghlan

Canberra calls

Once famous for its lack of vibrancy, Australia’s landlocked capital Canberra is making headway as the land down under’s next international hub thanks to global flight connections. Qatar Airways has become the latest international airline to lock its sights on the city, aiming to connect passengers to Doha in the next two years. The family-run Canberra Airport took a gamble when it invested AU$480m (€336m) in upgrading to a world-class international airport in 2013. While business was slow-moving to begin with, everything changed when Singapore Airlines launched its “capital express” path linking Singapore, Canberra and Wellington in New Zealand. The new Qatar Airways flight path will allow Canberrans to make onward journeys through the Middle East to Europe and also be a boon for inbound tourism. The time has come for the city to beef up its tourism offerings to compete with its more naturally blessed big sisters Sydney and Melbourne.

Image: Art Basel

Welcome back to Miami

It’s that time of year again: Art Basel is in town, transforming Miami Beach into North America’s leading international modern and contemporary-art destination. More than 70,000 visitors are expected at the city’s Convention Center where 269 galleries, including the Gagosian and Hauser & Wirth, will be showcasing artists from Cecily Brown to Arshile Gorky until 4 December. And that’s not all you’ll be feasting your eyes on: since the fair landed on the sandy shores of Miami in 2001 it has expanded to include more than 20 satellite fairs such as Design Miami and Nada, which solely showcases newcomers such as Prague’s Svit gallery, winner of the first Nada × Exhibitionary International Gallery Prize. Beyond excessive art, expect a packed social schedule, which should include a stop at Bar Alter, Basel House and Faena Bazaar.

Image: Alamy

Tip of the IJburg

IJburg, a clutch of artificial islands on the outskirts of Amsterdam that are being developed to address the city’s housing shortage, is fast becoming a playground for exciting architecture projects. Most recently, Rotterdam-based Barcode Architects and Danish juggernaut Big have won a tender for their Sluishuis design: a floating mixed-use building on the IJ lake. The angular structure will be stacked with 380 apartments, leafy terraces, ample commercial space and a marina for 30 houseboats. When completed, it will join the island’s cluster of striking structures, which range from MVRDV’s undulating tennis club to the forked Nescio pedestrian bridge, making IJburg an increasingly attractive spot to settle down.

From Monocle 24

Watch me now

It’s a tough time to be a wristwatch business. Swiss watch exports have plunged, global demand has sunk and the industry is in a slump. But is it all doom and gloom? Where are the opportunities? This week Daniel Giacopelli sits down with Stephen Pulvirent, managing editor at the world’s most popular online watch magazine Hodinkee. Pulvirent explains the ups and downs of the sector and charts the evolution of Hodinkee as the spiritual home for a new generation of mechanical-watch lovers.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide Series: Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a city shaped by good design, from its clever public spaces to its network of cycling lanes and renowned furniture industry. Follow our guide to discover why the Danish capital is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Copenhagen is available now at The Monocle Shop.

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