Welcome to The Atlantic Cities

What you should—and shouldn't—expect from The Atlantic's newest website

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By Flickr user granth, used under a Creative Commons license

A majority of the world’s population now lives in a town or city. That’s a fact you’ll run into more than once on this website today, but it bears repeating, and not only because it is a remarkable, indeed historic new reality. It’s also a big part of the reason why we’ve created this site. To understand cities is to get a handle on how most of us live, work, and play.

For the last six years, I’ve been trying to understand one city in particular. As the first full-time editor of DCist.com, then later at TBD.com and Washingtonian, I’ve been an online journalist working the District of Columbia beat. During this time, I’ve seen how passionate people can be about issues like transit, housing, and urban planning. The advent, and now really, proliferation of city-specific sites devoted to these issues, like Greater Greater Washington or Plan Philly or Grid Chicago (all of which, by the way, have joined a growing group of Atlantic partners pointing our readers to excellent, on-the-ground coverage), is a testament to how widespread that passion is in cities all over the country.

What can you expect from The Atlantic Cities? With this new site, we aim to do four things. First, we want to offer reported features that tell great stories about where cities are today, where they’ve been, and where they’re heading. Second, we want to deliver short, authoritative takes on the latest news and events happening in cities across the globe. Third, we want to gather the smartest thinkers and researchers in urbanism, anchored by the innovative work of Atlantic senior editor and Atlantic Cities godfather Richard Florida, to facilitate a bigger-picture, ideas-based conversation with our readers. And fourth, we want to use a variety of media, from charts and maps to photos, video and text, to tell these stories.

One point of order for those of you who may have arrived here unintentionally: The Atlantic Cities is not a place to locate bus schedules or hotel information for trips to Atlantic City, New Jersey (perhaps you’re looking for something more like this?). Sorry about that.

With today’s launch we also introduce a number of features, including:

  • The Big Fix: A weekly exploration of how cities attempt to solve problems, one issue at a time. We’ll be looking to both practitioners in the field, as well as regular readers, to chime in with their experiences on wide range of topics.
  • Democracy in America: Tales of the occasionally noble and often absurd nature of American civic life at the local level.
  • Why I Love My City: An interview series about all the reasons why we choose to make a particular place home.
  • City Pages: One-stop destinations for top U.S. and international cities, including key data and information as well as a repository for all of our content related to each city. If you don’t see your city in there yet, fear not. We’ll be adding more and more as we go along.

So add us in your RSS reader, follow us on Twitter, or just visit us regularly. And along the way, share your thoughts and suggestions by commenting on stories, sending me an email at smathis@theatlantic.com, or hitting us up on social media.

About the Author

  • Sommer Mathis is editor of CityLab. Previously she spent five years editing and reporting on the D.C. metro area at DCist.com and TBD.com.