Monocle Magazine’s international cool cities guide

Shouldn’t there be a multimedia magazine by now that captures cool culture, business and design from around the world? As of earlier this year, there is now a contender to take on that role, Monacle Magazine. They’ve teamed up with the International Herald Tribune to provide an international multimedia city guide for compelling, creative places to check out.

Some of the highlights (links to these are on the left of the online guide):

Like seemingly most everyone else, they have their 20 most livable (big international) city list, in order: Munich, Copenhagen, Zurich, Tokyo, Vienna, Helsinki, Sydney, Stockholm, Honolulu, Madrid, Melbourne, Montreal, Barcelona, Kyoto, Vancouver, Auckland, Singapore, Hamburg, Paris, Geneva.

The 25 Examples of Good Urban Design is a fun look at the details that define a city, like the bike lift profiled previously, or the open air cinemas of Athens (one of the 25 examples). Slide shows illustrate these examples, as well as the top cities, especially the top two (Munich, Copenhagen).

At the Cityscapes link, read about how individuals helped define their city going about their own business. Under Videos, one is an animated, narrated slideshow of the aforementioned examples of good urban design, and another lays out the best main street businesses from around the world to create the ideal city street in the vision of the Monocle editors (though maybe too many chains).

Finally, the highlight in my opinion is Globespotters, a crowdsourced blog of sorts with people posting photo vignettes of their experiences from around the world.

Source: Hungary JR.

  • Tammy

    what city is that in the above photo? I know it’s Europe but I don’t know where.

  • Munich

  • Tammy

    Thank you!

  • Tammy

    Thank you!

  • We spent a week in Munich last year, and didn’t want to leave. (Although when we did, we went to Prague, so no worries there!) Interesting that Honolulu us the only US city that made it! But not especially shocking.

  • Varia

    Life in Melbourne.

    Ok, Melbourne is that place at the bottom end of Australia, down, down under. It was recently voted the most liveable city (and I may be a little biased) but it’s pretty damn cool. Life in Melbourne centres around food and especially coffee… the coffee culture brought to us by immigrants from Italy and Greece.

    Anyways for coffee and bars and a “little Italy” experience, you can’t go past Lygon Street in Carlton, just out of the city centre. It’s round the clock Italian cuisine and little coffee shops, the best gelati, designer shops etc. In Spring there is an Italian Festa and there is a street party with live music, food galore and rollercoaster rides.

    For the artsy, the eclectic and the Bohemian– Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is a must. Johnston st runs perpendicular to it and this is renowned for Spanish/Latin clubs, little delis, speacialty shops. Meanwhile Brunswick Street has university bars, i recommend “Bimbos” and “Bar Open” for live music and beer. Shopping here can be done safely at night and there are plenty of little cafes and a real party vibe. Australia isn’t Australia without the beach… Melbourne’s premier inner city hangout beach is Saint Kilda. A palm tree lined oasis in the heart of the city, here you can rollerblade, check out the talent, go to Luna Park which is a theme park built at the turn of the century. Saint Kilda has a lot of little Jewish cafes that serve gorgeous cakes, check out Acland Street for cool jazz and funky drinks.

    In the centre of Melbourne city is the new open air public space, Federation Square which has inspired debate for years as it was being built. It has been embraced as a place to meet, to grab a drink and to hang out watching the huge screen in the square.

    Melbourne has really cool alley ways in the city, which house specialty musical shops, more cafes (are you seeing a trend here?) shops, shops shops and it feels a little like Europe, small, quaint and romantic. There are 19th century arcades too that run across the main city streets (Bourke St, through Collins and FLinders ST) these make a nice change from the chain department stores and the impersonal chain coffee houses that seem to be invading the world these days.

    Ahh! there is so much to say, I haven’t mentioned Chapel Street, which is THE mecca for die hard fashionistas, a 24/7 parade of the beautiful people and their beautiful cars. If you are not into that, there are plenty of bars and pubs, restaurants. People get around by tram, train and bus if they live in the inner city. Handy, if you are a pub fiend… hehe.

    The Docklands were some decrepid shipping yard that have been transformed into a hip suburb for yuppies and twenty-somethings, think open air markets, seafood restaurants, and towering apartment blocks on the harbour, within stone’s throw of the city.

    Lastly, for I am afraid i am on a rant… there are the many hidden treasures that you find and call your own. A little garden in the heart of the city, a cafe on top of a shoe shop that has ferns growing everywhere, a jazz lounge in a lane. I have my little village inside the city – Williamstown (think quaint old buildings and great coffee and multi cultural eateries and add a yacht club and beach). Yes, we like our gardens, there are gardens everywhere and at night you can feed the possums.

    OK, I’ll shut up. have fun wherever you live!

    Originally posted on December 31, 2003