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.


Tall Stories 53: Cairo Tower  

We head to Egypt to hear the story of the Cairo Tower, the tallest structure in North Africa. Designed by Egyptian architect Naoum Shebib, it is one of the city’s most well-known modern monuments.

‘Frontier City’ and missing links  

We speak to Shawn Micallef about his new book ‘Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness’, hear about Melbourne’s missing rail link and ask if Paris will be able to connect the city to its suburbs.

Tall Stories 52: strolling around Bologna  

We take an evening stroll around Bologna and enjoy some of the city’s beautiful outdoor public spaces, from the central square, the Piazza Maggiore, to walkways sheltered by medieval porticoes.

The built environment and Toronto’s missing middle  

This week we talk to Sarah Williams Goldhagen on the way our built environment shapes us, hear about Toronto’s missing middle and New York’s latest addition: a floating food forest.

Tall Stories 51: The Old England department store  

We wax lyrical about one of Brussels most spectacular art-nouveau structures: the Old England department store, which is now home to the Musical Instruments Museum.

Something old, something new  

We discuss China’s plans to build a brand-new city three times the size of New York, hear how Serbia’s capital is preparing for a cycling revolution and examine the project trying to “beautify” Cairo’s downtown.

Tall Stories 50: the house of Black Madonna  

When Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque pioneered cubism in Paris, young Czech artists such as Pavel Janák and Josef Gočár saw the artistic movement as a way to dilute their country’s decorative architectural style. Czechoslovakia was one of the first nations to apply cubism to architecture and the house of Black Madonna was the very first cubist house built in Europe.

Sensory urbanism  

How can we improve the way we interact with our cities? This week we explore a ‘sensory’ waterfront in Seattle, hop on a smelling tour of Austria’s capital and ask if Lisbon is tackling noise as it should.

Tall Stories 49: Daily News Building  

‘The New York Daily News’ is no longer headquartered on East 42nd Street, but the Daily News Building still stands as a shining art deco tribute to the art of the newspaper. And while its designer left an indelible mark on the city, to many outside observers the building might be more familiar as the workplace of a certain mild-mannered reporter.


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?

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