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Affairs / Podcast

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. Nominee in the Smartest Podcast category of the 2019 British Podcast awards.

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Latest episode

Heritage, part one:

As our cities grow, they face difficulties reconciling conservation and development. So how can we move forward while preserving the history of a place? This week we examine how heritage can be both a blessing and a curse for the urban environment.

Latest episodes

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16 Sep 2019
4 min

Tall Stories 174: The Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca: 

We head to north Africa where we visit the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca. Completed in 1993 after six years of round-the-clock work, this hulking structure can house 25,000 worshippers. With some ambitious features to go along with its hefty price tag, the mosque is a symbol of postwar Morocco and the reign of Hassan II. Monocle 24’s Melkon Charchoglyan tells us more.

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41312 Sep 2019
30 min

Heritage, part one: 

As our cities grow, they face difficulties reconciling conservation and development. So how can we move forward while preserving the history of a place? This week we examine how heritage can be both a blessing and a curse for the urban environment.

DownloadPlay
9 Sep 2019
6 min

Tall Stories 173: The Column of Justice, Florence: 

We’re off to Florence to admire a 16th-century monument in Piazza Santa Trinita. The Column of Justice, an 11-metre-tall granite column with a statue of Justice perched atop, has a particular positioning and peculiar history that tells us some truths about the relationship between art and the city.

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4125 Sep 2019
30 min

Cities in extremes: 

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.

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2 Sep 2019
6 min

Tall Stories 172: Victoria Park, Hong Kong: 

Victoria Park, a tranquil green space in Hong Kong, has long been a place for recreation. But since June it has taken on a different role: the park’s large open area was ground zero for anti-government protests.

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41129 Aug 2019
30 min

Repurpose: 

Repurposing and renovation are crucial tools for implementing urban change. This week we look at the Battersea Power Station, hear about a new cultural hub, housed in a former clothes factory in Georgia and turn our gaze to Moscow too.

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26 Aug 2019
5 min

Tall Stories 171: The Gänsehäufel: 

We take a final glance through the ‘Summer Weekly’ newspaper and wade into Vienna’s Old Danube. This inactive arm of the river is home to the Gänsehäufel, an island oasis dotted with lawns, beaches and pools that offer respite from the city’s soaring summer temperatures.

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41022 Aug 2019
30 min

Universal basic income: 

How do you define what’s necessary to meet a person’s basic needs? Some countries have been testing the concept of universal basic income – but how does it impact city living?

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19 Aug 2019
6 min

Tall Stories 170: Cuba’s Coppelia: 

We take another flick through the pages of our ‘Summer Weekly’ newspaper, this week visiting the hulking modernist flagship of Cuba’s state owned ice-cream brand Coppelia. It’s been serving scoops for more than half a century and has become a symbol of the nation’s resilient culture.

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40915 Aug 2019
30 min

Heatwave: 

Following one of the hottest summers on record, we look at the impact that rising temperatures are having on our cities.

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12 Aug 2019
6 min

Tall Stories 169: La Grande Motte: 

This week we delve into issue one of Monocle’s summer newspaper, ‘The Summer Weekly’, and head to the once-marshy, mosquito-ridden coastal commune of La Grande Motte in France, which has been transformed since the 1960s into a lush resort town with real beachfront appeal.

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4088 Aug 2019
30 min

Pedestrian zones: 

To make their centres more liveable, cities across the globe are looking to reduce the dominance of cars by creating pedestrian-only streets, plazas and walkways. They’re at the forefront of many urban-improvement initiatives so we take a look at where they have come from and why people love them or loathe them.

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5 Aug 2019
7 min

Tall Stories 168: Bletchley Park: 

The former Government Code and Cipher School is now a heritage site in Milton Keynes, the newest of the UK’s new towns. We go on a journey through what was once the home of Alan Turing and the Enigma codebreakers.

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4071 Aug 2019
30 min

Homelessness: 

It’s estimated that as many as 1.6 billion people around the world lack adequate housing. And despite some serious efforts, urban areas still struggle to find a viable solution to the ongoing crisis. So what can be done? And who are the activists and civic leaders championing change?

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29 Jul 2019
7 min

Tall Stories 167: Bratislava’s communist-era buildings: 

Architects and historians tend to admire them but members of the public usually associate them with the injustices of the socialist regime and want them gone. Is this architecture worth saving?

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