The Urbanist

Cities in extremes

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5 September 2019

Episode 412

30 minutes


Photo: ALAMY

We cast our eyes towards a few of the world’s most extreme cities, from an isolated Australian outpost to the heights of the Valley of Mexico, to assess how their unique challenges have shaped their urban environments.

5 September 2019

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Perth’s isolation

Cover art for The Urbanist

By most metrics the Australian city of Perth is one of the world’s most isolated. With the sparsely populated expanse of western Australia on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, the closest big city, Adelaide, takes more than a day to reach by car. We’re joined by Nicole Edwards from the Australian Urban Design Research Centre in Perth to find out how isolation shapes the city and affects its citizens.

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Chapter 2

9 minutes


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Chapter 2

Mexico City’s altitude

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Mexico City is one of the highest cities in the world and for its citizens and visitors that can mean altitude sickness, shortness of breath and even higher levels of air pollution. Oscar Lopez, a journalist in Mexico, files this report on the challenges and benefits of living a little closer to the clouds.

9 minutes

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Chapter 3

7 minutes


Photo: ALAMY

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Chapter 3

Finland, Russia and Canada’s cold

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Earlier this year the US faced an historic cold snap, forcing emergency measures in many of the country’s big centres. But many of the citizens more at home in cold weather were wondering what all the fuss was about. We’re joined in the studio by a few of our Midori House regulars with some observations from their previous homes about how to combat this sort of weather.

7 minutes

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Chapter 4

6 minutes


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Chapter 4

Monaco’s wealth

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We look at a slightly different extreme – the overwhelming opulence that is Monaco. This city state on the French Riviera is home to more than 12,000 millionaires, making up almost a third of the population. We’ve enlisted the help of our very own Monegasque contributor to hear what growing up in the principality is really like.

6 minutes

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