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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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This week we explore housing projects and how to make them work, from Sydney’s most notorious and somewhat unusual Sirius Building to Singapore’s social housing and the UK’s infamous council estates.

Latest episodes

25425 Aug 2016


This week we explore housing projects and how to make them work, from Sydney’s most notorious and somewhat unusual Sirius Building to Singapore’s social housing and the UK’s infamous council estates.

22 Aug 2016

Tall Stories 20: the tabaccheria sign: 

What is the secret to effective, eye-catching shop signage? In the case of the Italian tabaccheria – known for its white “T” against a dark background – consistency is key.

25318 Aug 2016

Why so moody?: 

There’s a correlation between the built environment and the way we feel as an individual but how does that apply to the population as a whole? This week we assess if there’s such a thing as a “collective mood” in our urban environments and what essentially makes a city happy or sad.

15 Aug 2016

Tall Stories 19: the Brazilian kiosk: 

They might not be the most glamorous in the world but there's something thrilling to be found in the gritty grey newsstands on the streets of São Paulo.

25211 Aug 2016

Water under the bridge: 

Bridges play an active role in the way in which we interact with cities and they also influence how our urban environments evolve. This week we discover how something that is meant to unite us can be divisive, from a pedestrian crossing in Adelaide to Calgary’s Peace Bridge. Plus: we ask why it has taken London so long to build a new bridge over the Thames.

8 Aug 2016

Tall Stories 18: Moscow’s Egg House: 

The architectural and urban legacy of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov remains the subject of heated debate. While he condoned the destruction of historic buildings and streets, he also encouraged architectural experiments such as the city’s Egg House.

2514 Aug 2016

DNC, World Fair and taxi sharing: 

We hear from two mayors on the sidelines of the Democratic National Convention on how to better connect local authorities with state and federal government. Plus: we hitch a ride in Beirut’s taxi-sharing system and reflect on the fact that it’s been a year since the World Fair packed its bags and left Milan.

1 Aug 2016

Tall Stories 17: Madrid’s Torres Blancas: 

Built in the 1960s, Madrid’s eccentric Torres Blancas continues to rouse the imagination of the Spanish capital despite being closed off to a rather curious public.

25028 Jul 2016

Rio’s Olympic urban legacy: 

In this special episode of ‘The Urbanist’ we look at the highs and lows of Rio’s urban makeover, how the city will be seen during the Games and more importantly what will remain after the Olympic movement leaves town.

25 Jul 2016

Tall Stories 16: Lisbon’s tram wires: 

Scratching the blue sky above Lisbon, the electrical wires of the iconic yellow trams show us how the city has evolved over the years.

24921 Jul 2016

Summer in the city: 

How does a city change when the sun shines? Be it balmy evenings in the park, dinner by the river or the sand between your toes, there’s something about a rise in temperature that just makes everyone that bit happier.

18 Jul 2016

Tall Stories 15: The world at your feet: 

Look down at your feet with determination and you will see some of the most powerful city branding: well-worn pavements.

24814 Jul 2016

Keep on moving: 

We catch up with businesses “on the go”, from a travelling cinema in Vienna to the delicious food-truck craze in Paris. Plus: we hop on a houseboat in London that doubles as a record shop.

11 Jul 2016

Tall Stories 14: A short walk through Shibuya: 

A short walk to school through Shibuya in Tokyo takes us past a coffee shop, a fishmonger and even prime minister Shinzo Abe’s street.

2477 Jul 2016

An ‘Urbanist’ melting pot: 

We report on some of the key issues that have been debated across conference rooms in the past few weeks: the impact that creative industries have in our cities at Music Cities Convention; the idea of a zero-carbon London at The Liveable City; and the challenges Prague is facing at Resite 2016.

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