Podcast

Monocle 24: 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.

Episodes

  • Tall Stories 170: Cuba’s Coppelia

    Aug 19 2019

    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.

  • Heatwave

    Aug 16 2019

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

  • Tall Stories 169: La Grande Motte

    Aug 12 2019

    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.

  • Pedestrian zones

    Aug 09 2019

    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.

  • Tall Stories 168: Bletchley Park

    Aug 07 2019

    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.

  • Homelessness

    Aug 01 2019

    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?

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

    Jul 29 2019

    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?

  • Green New Deal

    Jul 26 2019

    We unpack what this bold proposal is all about and find out how it wants to tackle both inequality and climate change at the same time.

  • Tall Stories 166: Chain of Lakes

    Jul 22 2019

    Minneapolis is home to the Chain of Lakes: a park system designed in the early 20th century that links together the city’s five biggest lakes. We look at how it has influenced the city – from its culture to the built environment.

  • Catching up

    Jul 18 2019

    We speak to Lisa Helps, the mayor of Victoria, about her ambitious transport agenda and Clarkston’s mayor Ted Terry about refugees. Plus: can The Tide, a project by the studio behind New York’s High Line, change London?

  • Tall Stories 165: The Kiwi bach

    Jul 15 2019

    The bach plays a leading role in New Zealanders’ summer holidays. Monocle 24’s David Stevens takes us to his family’s bach on Waikanae Beach to assess why this classic Kiwi dream might be starting to fade.

  • Wellbeing and cities

    Jul 11 2019

    We discuss wellbeing in our urban environments. Reporting from the inaugural Wellbeing Cities Forum in Montréal, we examine how to live well in a city and dissect the social, economic and cultural aspects of urban life.

  • Tall Stories 164: Stonewall’s legacy

    Jul 08 2019

    Stonewall is the most influential event in US gay-rights history; in 2016 Barack Obama made the site of the uprising a national monument. But many places critical to LGBT history are under-documented and overlooked.

  • Lessons from the Quality of Life Conference

    Jul 04 2019

    Now that Monocle’s fifth annual Quality of Life conference has wrapped up in Madrid, we look back at some of the wisdom we took home with us and ponder how we can use these lessons to effect change in our own urban environments. 

  • Tall Stories 163: Moscow street art

    Jul 01 2019

    Wander into a Moscow courtyard and you’ll often come across characters made of rusty metal tubes, bits of wood or, perhaps, an old washing machine. With its striking simplicity, this grassroots street art is a uniquely Russian phenomenon – but it might be on the brink of vanishing forever.

  • Spotlight: Madrid

    Jun 27 2019

    As we gear up to host our fifth annual Quality of Life Conference in Madrid, we look at the Spanish capital’s urban plans, promises and problems. Our man in the city, Liam Aldous, brings us this week’s special episode.

  • Tall Stories 162: Toronto Raptors and the city

    Jun 24 2019

    The ascent of Toronto’s basketball heroes – the Raptors are this year’s NBA champions – has revealed much about the city. In many ways, the team reflects one of the world’s most diverse urban centres.

  • Checking in

    Jun 20 2019

    We hear about a clever digital tool changing our urban environments, look at Toronto’s plans to loosen the reins on high-rises and visit a new museum in Sarajevo.

  • Tall Stories 161: Torre Littoria

    Jun 17 2019

    We're in Turin to ponder a towering relic of the Italy’s fascist past. Referred to as Mussolini's finger, this skyscraper has stayed standing despite the wishes of residents.

  • Cities through the artist’s eye

    Jun 13 2019

    We stroll through the halls of The Urbanist art gallery to look at how the artist’s perspective can help us paint a new picture of the cities we live in.

  • Tall Stories 160: Glasgow City Chambers

    Jun 10 2019

    Monocle’s Daniel Bach tells us about the Glasgow City Chambers, which hides one of the city’s greatest architectural features in plain sight.

  • Urban rulebook

    Jun 06 2019

    What does it take to be a good citizen? Authorities can set the tone but in the end it’s residents who define the places they live. We look at what’s required to make our cities thrive – and yes, it means following a couple of rules here and there.

  • Tall Stories 159: Uno Prii

    Jun 03 2019

    Monocle 24’s Will Kitchens looks at two quietly iconic residential tower blocks from Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood.

  • Private and public development, part two

    May 30 2019

    We continue our conversation with architect Monica von Schmalensee, developer Jared Della Vale and urban-planner Alfredo Caraballo on the role that private developers play in cities. Plus: we take a closer look at the new World Trade Center.

  • Tall Stories 158: New-town Britain

    May 28 2019

    Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck takes us back to 1971 to tell us all about the UK’s new-town model.

  • Private and public development, part one

    May 23 2019

    What role do private developers play in changing public spaces in our cities? This week we join the Van Alen Institute in London as it visits, learns about and passes judgement on the city’s headline-grabbing projects.

  • Tall Stories 157: Helsinki’s Mikael Agricola church

    May 20 2019

    This week Monocle 24’s Markus Hippi takes us to Helsinki where one church has a unique feature that most Finns have never heard of.

  • Time for an update

    May 16 2019

    After 46 years, Paris is set to welcome a new skyscraper. Plus: we look at a photography book showcasing Atlantic City and discuss sick-building syndrome.

  • Tall Stories 156: Thessaloniki’s Koulouri

    May 13 2019

    A tour of the tiny kiosks that can be found on nearly every corner of Greece's second-largest city.

  • Death and the city

    May 09 2019

    How do cities plan for the afterlife? We visit the places where space for the dead is almost as expensive as it is for the living. Plus: a modernist approach to the cemetery and the importance of archeology in cities.

  • Tall Stories 155: Vienna’s sausage stands

    May 07 2019

    They may be plain and boxy but these kiosks are vital meeting places, attracting customers from across social boundaries. Invariably found near landmarks, they engage in a curious architectural dialogue with their grander neighbours.

  • Urban air mobility

    May 02 2019

    This week we look to the sky. Monocle’s Americas editor at large Ed Stocker reports from Aerial Futures in Boston, where experts gathered to discuss everything from cargo drones to urban-mobility design.

  • Tall Stories 154: St Andrew’s Church, Mells

    Apr 29 2019

    Monocle’s editor and host of ‘The Urbanist’ Andrew Tuck takes us to church on this week’s edition of ‘Tall Stories’.

  • After the fire

    Apr 25 2019

    The fire in Notre-Dame brought the world to a standstill. This wasn’t about the human loss or the area affected by it. It was about something bigger: a shared cultural heritage that unites us all – believers and non-believers. It also led us to reflect on the Great Fire of London and how cities have recovered through the decades.

  • Tall Stories 153: Brooklyn Point

    Apr 23 2019

    Over the past few years, Brooklyn has shape-shifted almost beyond recognition. That change is anchored by City Point, which will be the largest retail and entertainment destination in the borough.

  • In praise of the city airport

    Apr 18 2019

    Bigger planes and more flights have forced many cities to move their key airport far from the centre. But there is something special about watching the city from above as you land in what feels like the middle of it. This week we ask what makes a great city airport.

  • Tall Stories 152: Portland’s Koin Center

    Apr 15 2019

    Built in 1984, this art deco-style tower by the Hawthorne bridge is one of the most recognisable buildings in the city’s skyline.

  • Shouting from the rooftops

    Apr 11 2019

    We explore the many options for urban-rooftop spaces. From city agriculture to solar power, drinking and dining to drone parking, we go through some potential plans for your next upper-level project.

  • Tall Stories 151: the Otto-Wagner Hospital

    Apr 08 2019

    A psychiatric hospital built by the giant of 20th-century Austrian architecture, Otto Wagner, is now due to vacate the premises to make way for apartments and a university.

  • What’s new?

    Apr 04 2019

    We find out why Amsterdam wants to reclaim more than 11,000 car-parking spaces, how a Paris suburb is limbering up for the 2024 Olympic Games, get a dose of immersive tourism in Sarajevo and a look at Chicago’s newly elected mayor.

  • Tall Stories 150: Pittsburgh’s bridges

    Apr 01 2019

    This week we head to the steel powerhouse of Pittsburgh, which happens to be the proud home of 446 bridges.

  • Affordable housing

    Mar 28 2019

    We look at Helsinki’s model of mixed housing, Cairo’s plan to end all slum dwellings by the end of the year and hear why the state of California is suing some of its own cities over affordability.

  • Tall Stories 149: Sick-building syndrome

    Mar 25 2019

    This week we look at this poorly understood phenomenon, spotlighting Alexander Fleming House in London by modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger.

  • New projects

    Mar 21 2019

    We look at Hong Kong’s Lantau Tomorrow Vision project, hear about a new all-female ride-sharing company in São Paulo and more. 

  • Tall Stories 148: LA’s Spring Street bike lane

    Mar 18 2019

    This week we hear from Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles’ chief design officer who holds forth on a disastrous Downtown bike-lane blunder on Spring Street.

  • Urban wildlife

    Mar 14 2019

    This week we look at urban wildlife across the globe – and how people feel about it. Hear about kangaroos in Canberra, weasels in Cairo and even scorpions in São Paulo.

  • Tall Stories 147: Vienna and Joseph Stalin

    Mar 11 2019

    Many monuments to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin quickly dismantled or destroyed after his death. Today Vienna is home to the only remaining memorial to the communist leader in western Europe.

  • Shared mobility

    Mar 07 2019

    Electric scooters take over the cobbles in Lisbon, car-sharing app Mobility4All is putting senior citizens first and New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio calls e-bikes one of his city’s biggest dangers.

  • Tall Stories 146: Michigan Building

    Mar 04 2019

    This week we head to Detroit to hear the story of a parking garage housed inside an old theatre.

  • Food & the city

    Feb 28 2019

    What’s your city’s best-kept food secret? This week we sample a tasting menu across Europe to discover how different urban areas feel about food.

  • Tall Stories 145: Vienna’s ground-floor gas stations

    Feb 25 2019

    There’s little room in Vienna for stand-alone service stations so petrol pumps had to be put into the ground floors of buildings. But many of these small and quirky stations are now disappearing.

  • France special

    Feb 21 2019

    This week it’s all about France as be bring to air some of the stories we found while creating our special Gallic March issue of Monocle.

  • Tall Stories 144: Helsinki’s City Theatre

    Feb 18 2019

    We head to Finland to discover the history of one the country’s modernist icons.

  • Elements: fire

    Feb 14 2019

    We wrap up our four-part series on elements with a look at fires and the efforts around the world to control them.

  • Tall Stories 143: Copacabana Palace

    Feb 11 2019

    The Copacabana Palace is an icon of Brazilian glamour that’s standing the test of time and remains the place to be seen in the city.  

  • Elements: earth

    Feb 07 2019

    Earthquakes are one of the most unpredictable and uncontrollable natural disasters that our urban centres face. We continue our series on elements with a spotlight on Los Angeles.

  • Tall Stories 142: Hundertwasserhaus

    Feb 04 2019

    This week we head to Vienna to hear the story of the odd – but architecturally interesting – Hundertwasserhaus.

  • Elements: air

    Jan 31 2019

    We meet the author of new book called ‘Choked’ that takes a fresh approach to air pollution, look at super typhoons in Hong Kong and sing the praises of the creator of the humble AC unit.

  • Tall Stories 141: The Braille Institute of America

    Jan 28 2019

    Monocle’s Tomos Lewis takes us on a tour of this brutalist complex designed by the architects Arthur Yohannan and Sergio Miranda.

  • Elements: water

    Jan 24 2019

    How are our cities dealing with rising water levels? And what approaches are being used to make them more resilient?

  • Tall Stories 140: Sunset Tower

    Jan 21 2019

    Monocle’s Andrew Tuck takes a look at this Hollywood architectural legend – and the tales behind it.

  • Spring cleaning

    Jan 17 2019

    How to keep New York’s subway clean, why Calgary is using beetroot brine to clear the streets of snow and the importance of going green. And a city icon: Rio de Janeiro’s street-sweepers.

  • Tall Stories 139: Moscow's trolleybuses

    Jan 14 2019

    Trolleybuses have been used extensively in Moscow since they first appeared in 1933. Now the city’s government wants to get rid of them, citing traffic concerns and maintenance costs.

  • Back on track

    Jan 10 2019

    We head to San Francisco to hear how a city can be built on such steep topography, examine Vienna’s plans to reduce property speculation and get an architectural tour of former Yugoslav cities.

  • Tall Stories 138: Premier House

    Jan 07 2019

    This week we head to Wellington where, nestled into the side of a hill and on a quiet suburban street, you can find Premier House – the official residence of the country’s prime minister.

  • The Best of Tall Stories 2018

    Jan 03 2019

    We kick off the year with a recap of the best Tall Stories of 2018, including a secret garden in the desert and a former government building with a mural by Pablo Picasso on its façade.

  • The best of The Urbanist

    Dec 28 2018

    We look back at some of the highlights of 2018 on The Urbanist, including the power of audio in architecture, murder rates and the history of Covent Garden Market. Plus: a game show.

  • The key themes of 2018

    Dec 20 2018

    On this week’s special edition, Monocle editor Andrew Tuck is joined by Kat Hanna and Christian Wolmar to look back at some of the main themes in urbanism, city-planning and architecture from the year gone by.

  • Tall Stories 137: The 1984 Sarajevo Games

    Dec 17 2018

    With civil war destroying much of what was built for the Games, this city’s Olympic legacy is a particularly poignant one. We reflect on the design achievements that were lost – and celebrate those that survived.

  • Traffic

    Dec 14 2018

    City-dwellers cannot avoid traffic jams, roundabouts and pedestrian crossings as cars continue to dominate our urban areas. Join us as we unpack traffic and how driving affects us.

  • Tall Stories 136: the Supreme Court of British Columbia complex

    Dec 10 2018

    We’re in Vancouver to assess how one of its central institutional buildings – which is also one of the country’s architectural gems – might offer lessons to city-builders across Canada today.

  • Athens special

    Dec 06 2018

    To coincide with the release of our new Athens travel guide, Monocle’s Venetia Rainey takes the temperature of the city she calls home.

  • Tall Stories 135: Niemeyer in Tripoli

    Dec 03 2018

    Oscar Niemeyer designed the Rashid Karami International Fair in Tripoli in the 1960s. But before work was complete the country descended into civil war and now the magnificent site is slowly crumbling.

  • LA CoMotion part 2

    Nov 29 2018

    Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck and America’s editor at large Ed Stocker wrap up their report from this year’s urban-mobility conference LA CoMotion.

  • Tall Stories 134: Northland Mall

    Nov 26 2018

    What can the mastermind of the much-maligned mall teach us about cherishing our high streets? Plenty, says Monocle's Josh Fehnert.

  • LA CoMotion part 1

    Nov 22 2018

    Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck and Americas editor at large Ed Stocker team up in Los Angeles to report from this year’s urban-mobility conference LA CoMotion.

  • Tall Stories 133: Red Vienna

    Nov 19 2018

    Sandwiched between the grassroots Vienna settlement movement and the ascent of fascism in 1934, Red Vienna is a unique example of social housing.

  • The London bus

    Nov 15 2018

    We devote an episode to London’s most recognisable form of transport: the bus. Authors Travis Elborough and Joe Kerr discuss their book ‘Bus Fare’.

  • Tall Stories 132: London’s Soho

    Nov 12 2018

    Monocle 24's Fernando Augusto Pacheco examines the changing face of London's Soho, from it being a place where you’d go to dance to becoming a mecca for menswear.

  • CityLab 2018

    Nov 08 2018

    This year’s edition of CityLab brought together more than 600 city leaders to discuss some of the world’s most urgent urban issues; here’s our report.

  • Tall Stories 131: Kavanagh building

    Nov 05 2018

    Monocle editor Andrew Tuck takes us to Buenos Aires to bring us the story of what was once the highest skyscraper in Latin America.

  • Special live edition

    Nov 01 2018

    Monocle editor Andrew Tuck is joined by Henry Squire, Alice Cabaret, Sam Potte and Kat Hanna for a live edition of the programme, celebrating the launch of ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’.

  • Tall Stories 130: Old Elbe tunnel

    Oct 29 2018

    We head to the port city of Hamburg to explore a centenary structure that connects the centre to the southern shore of the Elbe.

  • Genoa: after the Morandi bridge

    Oct 25 2018

    On 14 August, during heavy rainfall, a motorway bridge collapsed in Genoa. It brought the region to a standstill and now, two months on, we’re back in the city to try and understand the consequences.

  • Tall Stories 129: Royal Tyrrell Museum

    Oct 22 2018

    We’re in the small town of Drumheller in central Alberta to hear the story of a building that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

  • Toronto’s mayoral election

    Oct 18 2018

    As Toronto gears up to elect a new mayor, we bring you a special edition unpacking the key issues. Plus: interviews with the candidates: incumbent John Tory and former chief city-planner Jennifer Keesmaat.

  • Tall Stories 128: Y-Block

    Oct 15 2018

    We’re in Oslo to hear the story of a former government building left in limbo since the 2011 terrorist attacks. But many argue in favour of its architectural value, mainly due to the large mural on its façade designed by Pablo Picasso.

  • Cities on screen

    Oct 11 2018

    From sci-fi to rom-coms and beyond, we cast our gaze to the silver screen to get some notes on how to build our cities right, plus a bit of set-jetting too.

  • Tall Stories 127: Community cinemas

    Oct 08 2018

    Despite the arrival of streaming services and multiplex theatres, good independent cinemas are thriving. This week we examine the charm – and power – of the community cinema.

  • Highlights

    Oct 04 2018

    This week we raid our archive and bring you a special highlight episode: we discover how Albania has cracked down on organised crime, why violent crime rates have been dropping in the US and much more.

  • Tall Stories 126: Millennium Dome

    Oct 01 2018

    This bold urban project was designed to usher the UK into the third millennium but it didn't quite go according to plan.

  • On the move

    Sep 27 2018

    It’s the last instalment of our series unpacking ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. This week we turn our focus to mobility.

  • Tall Stories 125: Helsinki Central Railway Station

    Sep 24 2018

    With 200,000 passengers a day, Helsinki Central Railway Station is Finland’s most visited building. But its significance for the Nordic nation lies in much more than just the people who travel through its doors.

  • Work & the city

    Sep 20 2018

    We continue to unpack our new book, ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. This week we turn our focus to chapter 7, looking at the places where we work.

  • Tall Stories 124: The Melnikov House

    Sep 17 2018

    Konstantin Melnikov’s most significant building was the house he built for himself in 1929. It remained in the Melnikov family for decades until, in 2014 after much legal wrangling, it was taken over by the Moscow Museum of Architecture.  

  • Building Better Cities: Barcelona

    Sep 13 2018

    We continue to explore the pages of ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. This week we’re off to the Catalonian capital to hear how the city has changed through the years and what lessons it has learned for the future.

  • Tall Stories 123: Rowley, Canada

    Sep 10 2018

    After being a ghost town for decades, Rowley in central Alberta has been reinvented. With old Western-style buildings still intact, it has become a quirky spot in the middle of the Canadian prairies and an open-air museum of sorts.

  • Building better cities

    Sep 06 2018

    All this month we’re dedicating the show to chapters from our new book: ‘The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities’. We start off with a series of essays that look at some of the challenges our urban areas face and how cities would be nothing without the people who inhabit them.

  • Tall Stories 122: Peckham Rye

    Sep 03 2018

    Peckham Rye has long been a source of inspiration to artists and writers; in this week’s Tall Stories we explore the history and atmosphere of the London park where William Blake once saw angels and to which Muriel Spark summoned devils.  

  • Rediscovering London

    Aug 30 2018

    There is something magical about finding an old photo of a familiar place and seeing how much it has changed. It is a powerful reminder of the life that unfolded on the streets long before you arrived.