Monday 17 September 2018 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Monday. 17/9/2018

The Monocle Minute

Image: Getty Images


With friends like these...

Russia has a new strategy to deal with US sanctions. According to Veronika Nikishina, trade minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission, Russia is suggesting a joint counter-sanction pact among members of the Eurasian Economic Union: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia. If any one of the members were to be sanctioned, the rest would have to issue counter-sanctions in response. However, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan are both firmly in the lower third of all global economies, according to IMF figures, while Belarus is a stagnant pariah state. If enacted, the sanctions pact would be one of the first major foreign-policy moves by Armenian prime minister Nikol Pashinyan, following his election in the spring revolution. But rather than empower Armenia, the move would likely only make it more beholden to Russia.


Build better lives

We’ve long championed the benefits of healthy urban architecture from plentiful park benches and communal seating to encourage socialising, to an abundance of green spaces and smartly designed walking and cycling paths. Now a new study argues that not only are thoughtfully designed urban spaces good for city-dwellers’ health, they’re also good for the economy. A Design for Life, released today by development firm British Land, estimates that by making health a priority when it comes to urban development, the UK’s economy could see a £15.3bn (€17.1bn) bump by 2050. Why? Based on data from the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, the report estimates that healthy urban architecture would relieve the burden on the National Health Service and welfare systems, as well as promote productivity due to a decrease in stress-related problems. City officials worried about the bottom line should take notice.

Image: Shutterstock


Smartening up

London Fashion Week was in full flight over the weekend, with shows from the likes of JW Anderson and Victoria Beckham. But today is the day everyone’s been waiting for: Riccardo Tisci unveils his first collection for Burberry. The UK brand, which is the luxury heavyweight on the London schedule, is at a crossroads: its profits have plateaued in recent years and it copped heavy criticism following the July revelation that it was burning its “unsaleable” clothes (a practice it’s since stopped). It is hoping that Tisci can drum up some excitement; after all, the Italian designer has a proven track record when it comes to generating buzz (see his work for Givenchy). In fact, he has already done plenty to get people talking about Burberry, overhauling its logo and revealing a new, highly collectible T-shirt on social media. Today, however, is his first big test.


Swiss idyll

Zürich in 2018 carries many of the elements of an urban idyll: clean streets, fine architecture and lakes (plus attractive folk who swim in them come the summer). But it wasn’t always this way according to city mayor Corine Mauch. “In the 1980s and 1990s, Zürich was a different place,” she told Monocle 24’s The Globalist. “We had many drug problems, job cuts, and it was a time of crisis. The finance world helped us recover from this but we also learnt that you cannot stop investing in your city. Not just in things like infrastructure but in cultural offerings and the environment.” Cities looking to up their quality of life should remember that good urbanism is about more than roads and buildings.

Image: Samuel Zeller

Live from Zürich

We head to Monocle’s new HQ in Zürich to speak to Johan Jervøe, UBS global CMO, and Meret Ernst, editor at Hochparterre.

Reading the tea leaves

Vancouver Island might not be famous for growing tea but its lush soil has proved perfect for starting an idyllic farm.


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