Wednesday 22 November 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Wednesday. 22/11/2017

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images


Note of caution

The relatively peaceful departure of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe throws down the gauntlet to opposition politicians across Africa. Even the most entrenched regime can be uprooted without widespread violence. The question now is getting at the roots of Mugabe’s legacy: in a country where cronyism has reigned for decades, followers of both him and his wife Grace will likely not accept their smooth transition out of power. Still this is a moment for the country to celebrate. There’s a currency to reinstate, infrastructure to rebuild and jobs to be created. A cautionary word to Emmerson Mnangagwa then, the new head of the Zanu-PF party who will likely take power until elections next year – the marches and vigils that led to Mugabe’s ousting have brought Zimbabweans together en-masse and the people will make sure their demands for change are heard.

Image: Getty Images


Green giant

Melbourne is set to become Australia’s largest city by 2050 and the local government is intent on balancing sprawl with open space. This week it announced an AU$4.7m (€3m) project to turn a neglected golf course in the eastern suburb of Olinda into a botanical garden. Meanwhile, it’s been revealed that the forthcoming AU$1.6bn (€1bn) Cranbourne-Pakenham skyrail will be beautified by a 17km park below. Melbourne is making good use of its public areas while still funnelling resources into housing and transport. It should help preserve the city’s signature relaxed lifestyle – other fast-growers should take note.

Image: Shutterstock


Canada’s new capital of culture

After years of lobbying, the Toronto art world looks set to get its long-awaited biennial with the event slated to debut in the autumn of 2019. Despite having a packed calendar of events, many gallery owners feel that Toronto’s rich visual-arts offering has so far lacked a big public forum and international attention. Toronto’s ambitions have been made explicit in recent months: the city’s first World Trade Centre was launched this autumn while a revamp of Canada’s skilled-worker visa programme is aiming to lure technology and other highly skilled workers from abroad. The proposed Toronto Biennial of Art – for which mayor John Tory has promised funding – is another such statement of intent.

Image: Getty Images


Take a seat

The UK’s overseas influence has taken a few hits this week: the EU voted to move both the European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority from London to Amsterdam and Paris, respectively, in preparation for Brexit. Yet the loss of its seat on the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) has dealt a sorry blow. The UK has had a sitting judge on the ICJ since it was founded after the Second World War but this week British judge Christopher Greenwood failed to win the necessary support by the General Assembly, with an Indian judge being elected instead. How much impact Brexit had on the decision is difficult to say but either way it’s another seat at another table that’s gone by the wayside.

Image: Flickr

Food Neighbourhoods: Lithuania, Vilnius

A tour around the Old Town of the Lithuanian capital that, despite the obvious tourist traps, offers plenty of places to sample traditional dishes.

Jordan's creative scene

There's a budding entrepreneurial scene in Amman, Jordan's charming capital. We profile the young people who are making things happen, whether it's by starting design studios, cafés, galleries or small businesses.


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