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

  • 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.

  • Tall Stories 121: Toronto: The Bentway

    Aug 28 2018

    Monocle’s Toronto bureau chief shows us around The Bentway, a newly opened public area for the city under the Gardiner Expressway.

  • Urban thoughts

    Aug 23 2018

    We tour a new exhibition shining a light on Jerusalem, meet the architecture duo building libraries to bring the community together and ask: if everyone else was giving up their data, would you do it too?

  • Tall Stories 120: Hyde Park’s Mastaba

    Aug 20 2018

    Monocle editor Andrew Tuck takes us on a stroll through London’s Hyde Park to visit a structure floating in the Serpentine: the Mastaba.

  • Book club

    Aug 16 2018

    We profile two new books: Alexandra Langue’s ‘The Design of Childhood’ and Kelvin Campbell’s ‘Making Massive Small Change’.

  • Tall Stories 119: Fritz Wotruba

    Aug 13 2018

    Far away from the splendours of Vienna’s historic city centre lies a stupendous piece of architecture. It’s all concrete and glass, and it would be a perfect example of brutalist architecture were it not more of a sculpture than a building.

  • Privacy

    Aug 09 2018

    Our thoughts on what should be private or off-limits are changing in every aspect of our lives, including the way we inhabit cities.

  • Tall Stories 118: Domino Park

    Aug 06 2018

    Monocle’s Ed Stocker takes us to the Williamsburg waterfront in New York, where a new space has just opened to the public.

  • Shhh, be quiet

    Aug 02 2018

    What role does the humble public library play in cities today? Join us as we hear about the impromptu libraries popping up in private houses, reminisce about the bookmobile, discover how one library has employed a team of bats and hear about public libraries in North America.

  • Tall Stories 117: the hypermarket

    Jul 30 2018

    These white elephants are blamed for destroying communities around the world but Monocle’s Fernando Augusto Pacheco suggests that we look at them differently.

  • Crime and the city

    Jul 26 2018

    We focus on our home city, London, because recent statistics back up what many Londoners have been feeling for months: that we are living through a spike in crime. Andrew Tuck is joined by Anna Mansfield, Rory Geoghegan, Livvy Haydock and Richard Sennett to discuss if there is an urban solution.

  • Tall Stories 116: The Westway

    Jul 23 2018

    We turn our attention to the stretch of elevated motorway that was built as part of an abandoned scheme to turn London into a motor city.

  • Beirut Design Week 2018

    Jul 19 2018

    Beirut’s Design Week wants to encourage designers and planners to engage more in solving the city’s many urban issues. So can some tactical urbanism improve quality of life in the Lebanese capital?

  • Tall Stories 115: London’s pedway

    Jul 16 2018

    This week our editor Andrew Tuck goes cycling in London to bring us an elevated experience.

  • Time to cool it

    Jul 12 2018

    We take a step back, look at the life unfolding around us and ask: have our cities become a little too orderly?

  • Tall Stories 114: Il Quadrilatero

    Jul 09 2018

    This week we’re in the Adriatic port city of Trieste, where Monocle’s Alexei Korolyov has been to visit a brutalist council home with a troubled history.

  • Cities on the rise

    Jul 05 2018

    This week we’re in the Irish port city of Cork for the Academy of Urbanism’s annual congress. The focus of this year’s edition is as much about unlocking the potential of so-called second cities as it is about tackling the challenges posed by the bigger ones.

  • Tall Stories 113: Ridley Road Market

    Jul 03 2018

    As the gentrification of London accelerates, is it possible to achieve a symbiotic relationship between locals and newcomers? This week we delve deep into one of Hackney’s oldest markets to find out how much has changed.

  • Zürich special

    Jun 29 2018

    A special edition of the show as we broadcast from our new bureau in the city. Reports include a closer look at the lake, Zürich’s relationship with noise and why you should venture to the northern reaches of the city.

  • Tall Stories 112: Rote Fabrik

    Jun 25 2018

    Originally built in 1892, this former factory was due for demolition in the 1970s but was saved by local campaigners. It now stands proudly next to Lake Zürich as a cultural hub.

  • Resite 2018

    Jun 21 2018

    We report from the Resite conference in Prague and explore the theme: ‘accommodate’. From businesses, to homes and people: how should cities be planned to ensure there is enough space for everyone? Featuring Jeanne Gang, Sou Fujimoto, Elizabeth Streb and Dara Huang.

  • The Walt Disney Concert Hall

    Jun 18 2018

    Standing proudly in downtown Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall is difficult to miss. The complex may fool you at first with its sharp stainless steel edges but once inside the tone changes and it becomes warm and inviting.

  • Football and urbanism

    Jun 14 2018

    From floating pitches to the importance of stadiums to their cities, as fans around the world prepare for kick-off in Russia, we take a broader look at the role that football can play in bringing people together.

  • Tall Stories 110: Seoul

    Jun 11 2018

    This week our correspondent Jason Strother delves into the history of Seoul to explore what keeps this vibrant city afloat.

  • Smart cities and housing

    Jun 07 2018

    We speak to Jonathan Woetzel from the McKinsey Global Institute to hear how we can use technology to improve our quality of life. Plus: commuting between Austria and Slovakia and the president of the Urban Land Institute.

  • Tall Stories 109: Merihaka

    Jun 04 2018

    This week we head to Helsinki to hear the story of the brutalist high-rise Merihaka: one of the cities most unloved buildings.

  • Venice Biennale and more

    May 31 2018

    We report from the Venice Biennale 2018 where we sit down for a chat with the architect David Chipperfield and also with Helsinki’s mayor Jan Vapaavuori. We also meet the architect running for mayor of Bratislava and find out what he might bring to the table.

  • Tall Stories 108: London’s Principal

    May 28 2018

    We visit London’s Bloomsbury neighbourhood to hear the story of a recently refurbished 1890s gem: the Principal hotel.

  • Cities in focus

    May 24 2018

    We meet the architect and artist Daan Roosegaarde to hear about his projects tackling air pollution, look at the legacy of the outgoing mayor of Vienna and catch up with Egypt’s plans for a purpose-built administrative capital.

  • Tall Stories 107: Alexandra Palace

    May 21 2018

    This week we hear the story of one of London’s Victorian wonders: Alexandra Palace. It has long served as a centre for entertainment in north London, despite its tumultuous past.

  • Mobility and more

    May 17 2018

    This week we report from a new exhibition highlighting how London changes once the sun sets, have a discussion about driverless cars and ask if a light-rail project is finally coming to Canberra?

  • Tall Stories 106: Wellington’s waterfront

    May 15 2018

    This week we head to New Zealand’s capital to discover the resourceful way the city has expanded since its 19th-century European settlement.

  • What’s new?

    May 10 2018

    This week we meet graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, hear all about Groningen’s cycling revolution and get a sneak peek of the University of Toronto’s School of Cities.

  • Tall Stories 105: Tsukiji Honganji

    May 07 2018

    If you were trying to picture a traditional Japanese temple it probably wouldn’t look anything like Tsukiji Honganji. This week our Asia bureau chief Fiona Wilson brings us the story of one of Tokyo’s most iconic Buddhist temples.

  • A few things

    May 03 2018

    We empty out The Urbanist closet to bring you some of the stories we’ve been working on, including: urban art in Toronto, architecture through the eyes of Claude Monet and a chat with Bruce Katz about his new book ‘The New Localism’.

  • Tall Stories 104: Sea Point Pavilion

    Apr 30 2018

    More than two decades since the end of Apartheid in South Africa, the city of Cape Town still struggles with a unique form of urban segregation. There is one space, however, where people of all backgrounds regularly come together to breathe in the salty Atlantic air and enjoy a day by the sea.