Monocle 24: The Urbanist

Monocle 24: The Urbanist

United Kingdom

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.



Cities are busy beasts but being constantly surrounded by people doesn’t necessarily prevent us from feeling lonely. The hustle and bustle of city life can be overwhelming, especially for newcomers – so what’s the best way to tackle urban loneliness?

Tall Stories 48: the English Pug and the French Poodle  

Monocle’s bureau chief in Toronto, Tomos Lewis, takes us to Montréal to assess the significance of two bronze statues – of two pet pooches – that speak of the city’s past divisions and the promise of a unified future.

On track?  

All Olympic Games host cities must consider their legacy and whether the price of hosting is actually worth it. We look back to Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and more.

Tall Stories 47: park benches  

This week we make our way to Regent’s Park to find traditional London park benches: wooden armrests at either end and wide enough to accommodate three ample backsides. Who doesn’t love a good park bench?

Technology in the cities  

From innovations in public lighting to what Madrid’s new Google Campus has done for the city, how has the digital revolution caught up with our cities? Plus: Vienna’s uneasy relationship with technology and a word from our Hong Kong bureau chief.

Tall Stories 46: Ikseon-dong  

This week we head to Seoul to visit a neighbourhood that’s beaten the odds. Ikseon-dong was the country’s first real-estate development project back in the early 1930s – but there’s not much left in the city from that period.

Positive migration  

There are many ways to talk about migration and at a time when the debate is so divided, we highlight some of the projects and stories doing it the right way.

Tall Stories 45: Bratislava's Panelaky  

Forty years of communist planning left an indelible architectural mark on Slovakia, with rows upon rows of shabby prefabricated blocks. By some estimates Slovakia is home to more of them than any other country in the former Soviet bloc. But a recent project in Bratislava has demonstrated that the outdated buildings can be updated to meet modern standards.

Rethinking the city  

In this special live episode of The Urbanist, Monocle editor Andrew Tuck hands over the floor to Arne Olsson, managing director of Folkhem, Martin Barry, founder of Resite, Elizabeth Reynolds, director of Urben and Nick Rees, architectural director of The Collective, who will discuss the future of the city.

Tall Stories 44: Pirelli Tower  

We explore the 32-storey skyscraper that is one of Milan’s most influential pieces of modern architecture.

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?

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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