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 29: London’s protected views  

We uncover the system of protected views that continues to stymie London’s vertical growth.

Hit the john!  

There’s very little glamour in the way cities get rid of human waste. But it is important to see how they are doing this around the world: from loos at the carnival in Rio de Janeiro and the new public facilities in Madrid to a public toilet playing classical music in Vienna.

Tall Stories 28: Honest Ed's  

We take a tour of one of Toronto’s most fabled discount department stores, first opened in 1948.

Green spaces  

Parks and gardens can provide a much needed escape from the day-to-day rush in a city. This week we discover London’s newest community garden south of the river, head to the outskirts of Vienna for a members-only green living experience and catch up with the Nature Society of Singapore.

Tall Stories 27: Belgrade’s Genex Tower  

It could be one of the city’s icons but Belgrade’s Western Gate is not quite as it should be. Also known as the Genex Tower, this relic of the Tito era is the first notable structure seen by many visitors on their way into Serbia’s capital.

Historic preservation, cycling and 100 Resilient Cities  

We talk to Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, about the quest to revitalise historic buildings in the US. Plus: architecture’s influence on the way we learn, cycling in Hong Kong and part two of our interview with Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities.

Tall Stories 26: Florence’s Le Murate  

Just a short walk from Florence’s historical centre you’ll find a structure that hosts a cultural centre alongside shops and a housing complex. But once upon a time this building was walled up from the bustling life of the city. We take a look at the fascinating history of Le Murate.

Abandoned buildings  

Some buildings are completely derelict and inspire their fair share of urban myths while plans to repurpose long-abandoned structures mean that they’re often left in limbo. Plus: we chat to Michael Berkowitz, president of 100 Resilient Cities.

Tall Stories 25: Singapore’s Parkview Square  

Between Singapore’s financial district and cosmopolitan Rochor you’ll see one of the city’s most eccentric buildings: Parkview Square. Or, as it is commonly known, the Batman Building.

Bicycles: hop on  

As more and more people choose to hop on a bike rather than a crammed tram, we examine the cycle revolution that is just around the corner. We see how bike tours are improving one of Johannesburg’s poorest communities, check out cycling in traffic-prone Cairo and discuss how bicycles are used in celebrations in Vancouver. Plus: a 3,500km journey across Europe.

Tall Stories 24: Sint-Annatunnel  

The ​river ​Schelde is the lifeblood of Antwerp​ but with no bridges crossing it there’s only one way to get to the other side by foot. We take a stroll down the Sint-Annatunnel.

Beyazit, biennales and bikes  

We catch up with the Lebanese pavilion at the London Design Biennale, check out the newly renovated Beyazit State Library in Istanbul and explore Moscow’s disappearing kiosks. Plus: the latest trends in urban cycling from Eurobike 2016.

Tall Stories 23: Mount Pleasant Post Office  

An underground railway, a billion letters and a good few inches of postman’s leg: we gasp at the utilitarian beauty of London’s Mount Pleasant Post Office.

Escaping the city  

City life can be a little full on. We find out why it feels good to get away from the concrete, the crowds and the chaos and highlight a few quiet spots in which to slow down before getting back to the bustle of our cities.

Tall Stories 22: The Egg  

We head to Beirut to find out about the history and uncertain future of The Egg. Is it a relic of Lebanon’s long gone golden era or a painful reminder of the civil war?


We hand over the stage to the streets of our cities as we examine the impact of annual parades and ask why we flock together to watch neatly choreographed military marches and people dancing in colourful costumes.

Tall Stories 21: the Cascade  

In the Armenian capital of Yerevan there is one structure that draws attention like no other: the Cascade. We check out the brainchild of a group of pioneering modernist architects in the 1960s.


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.

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.

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.

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