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Inspiring London part II: Monocle Magazine book launch - “Building Better Cities”

Updated: Oct 29, 2019

By Justin Hyatt & Mansi Jasuja, IHS Alumni International


This blog is part 2 of a peek into inspiring work being done in the UK capital, as witnessed by IHS Alumni International (IHS AI).


Author: Ewan Robertson


Monocle Magazine is that glossy, packed volume you can find in airport magazine racks and bookstores around the world. They have long aimed their content at globe-trotting professionals or savvy urbanites who are interested not only in snazzy boutiques and what’s trending in popular city destinations but also in new and innovative ideas or practices that enter the urban fray - such as monorails, e-bikes or the latest tech doohickey.


Their book launch at their London headquarters one late October 2018 evening provided a chance for urbanists or the magazine fans to come and hear 4 city panellists speaking on city topics ranging from current housing challenges to mobility, reshaping and opening up formal office space for use as community hangout, integrating solutions into the city fabric, participatory budgets and behaviour change and also receive a signed copy of a beautiful volume, fresh from the press. As the launch claimed, "sometimes all you need to make a better city is some humanity, a sense of scale and keen citizens".

The event launch was hosted by Monocle editor Andrew Tuck, who spoke briefly about what inspires him when it comes to urbanism. ‪Together with the panellists - Henry Squire from Squire & Partners, Kat Hanna from Cushman & Wakefield, Alice Cabaret from The Street Society and Sam Potter from Make architects - a lively discussion followed on what makes cities tick, now and in the future.


The book itself features numerous authors with essays divided upper topic as well as cities profiled and showcased. Many interesting tidbits can be learned about what is new and making a splash in cities around the world.


A whole host of cities are profiled, ranging from Moscow to Beirut, from Paris to Seoul. Pictures and text showcase major accomplishments and positive contributions to urban design, urban planning or innovative and sustainable practices, be they beautiful parks, riverside swimming pools.



Essays and best practice articles also feature numerous spots and ideas where cities or engaged associations and organizations have taken the lead to provide new value or improvements. Thus we read about the festive use of the temporarily closed Freedom Bridge in Budapest (Szabadsághíd) that was organized by a Budapest based collective Valyó.

Freedom Bridge, Budapest

The Guide to Building Better Cities is a joyful read. It fits nicely on your bookshelf along with other Monocle special issues, featuring the whole gamut of topics from urban news to mobility, travel and more. Just make sure to keep it within easy reach!


This blog is part 2 of a peek into inspiring work being done in the UK capital, as witnessed by IHS Alumni International (IHS AI).