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The Urbanist

With an influential audience of city mayors, urban planners and architects, this is Monocle’s guide to making better cities, be it new technology, state-of-the-art subways or compact apartments.

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Not so easy:

City-building is tough – we try to imagine how tough it is in a secluded country such as North Korea. Meanwhile, Cairo plans to build a new administrative capital in the desert. Plus: what do fashion houses do for our cities?

Latest episodes

27916 Feb 2017

Not so easy: 

City-building is tough – we try to imagine how tough it is in a secluded country such as North Korea. Meanwhile, Cairo plans to build a new administrative capital in the desert. Plus: what do fashion houses do for our cities?

13 Feb 2017

Tall Stories 43: Hong Kong’s street names: 

Our Hong Kong bureau chief James Chambers gives us a snapshot of how the city’s historical ties with the UK can be seen all across its streets – and what that means for residents.

2789 Feb 2017

What's in a name?: 

A name can be a very powerful thing for a city: it’s not only how people identify locations and buildings but one of the most important branding tools too. But what happens when a name simply stops working?

6 Feb 2017

Tall Stories 42: London’s gas-lit lamps: 

This week we go on a stroll around London where about 1,500 gas-powered lamps, some more than 200 years old, still burn brightly.

2772 Feb 2017

Sanctuary cities: 

During this past week the term “sanctuary city” has resurfaced – in great part thanks to Donald Trump. We unpack what a sanctuary city means, look at Europe for an example of integration and ask what should be done differently too.

30 Jan 2017

Tall Stories 41: Ellis Island: 

For more than 60 years Ellis Island was the busiest immigrant inspection station in the US. We look at the space where more than 12 million immigrants got the opportunity to begin a new life.

27626 Jan 2017

Desafio Carioca, Hong Kong and Milan: 

Almost a month after the new South Island Line was inaugurated, we examine the impact that it had in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, we find out how a plan to build down instead of up could create a new open-air amphitheatre in Milan’s historical centre. Plus: we play a real-life board game in which players roll the dice to roam around Rio de Janeiro.

23 Jan 2017

Tall Stories 40: Redecorating the White House: 

As Donald Trumps settles in at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, our New York bureau chief Ed Stocker looks at the changes (aesthetically speaking) that he might make within.

27519 Jan 2017

Out of the box: 

This week we look at those slightly unusual structures that make you ask: how did that get built and what does it say about the city that hosts it? We cover some very obvious eyesores, peculiar street furniture and divisive buildings challenging all architectural norms and models. Is it time for us to embrace them?

16 Jan 2017

Tall Stories 39: The Peninsula Hotel: 

This week we visit the hotel that earned the nickname the “Grand Dame of the Far East”. Our Hong Kong bureau chief James Chambers takes us through the city’s Peninsula Hotel.

27412 Jan 2017

New year, new city?: 

It's a brand new year and with it comes change and resolutions – not just for us but for our cities too. We meet Rio de Janeiro’s new mayor, find out why it took nearly 100 years for a new subway extension to be added in New York and see how Vienna is using 2017 to abolish a very unusual tax.

9 Jan 2017

Tall Stories 38: Casa dos Bicos: 

This week we visit one of the most peculiar structures in Lisbon: a building covered with 1,125 diamond-shapes stones.

2735 Jan 2017

Should a city host a design week?: 

With more than 100 design weeks around the world, design worshippers are hard-pressed to visit them all. Yet new cities are always being added. So why are so many municipalities trying to link their names with ‘Design’ and what can being a host bring to a city?

2 Jan 2017

Tall Stories 37: Zürich’s transport triumph: 

Switzerland’s largest city has some of the best transport infrastructure in the world. But what makes it so good and can other cities replicate it? Henry Rees-Sheridan investigates.

27229 Dec 2016

The Urbanist: best of 2016: 

We bring you some of the best moments on ‘The Urbanist’ this year, including reports from Rio de Janeiro, Moscow and Seattle – and even a chat from the top of a tree.

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