London

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The Uncomfortable Politics Behind the History of Urban Fires

A new book offers a sweeping look at how fire – and the way we’ve responded to and manipulated it – has shaped cities in every part of the world.

POOL New / Reuters

Has the London Mayor's Office Been Too Successful?

One columnist believes it has.

Adam Cohn/Flickr

Grisly Reports From Britain's Worst-Rated Public Toilets

Bathroom users warn of the boogers, blood and unbearable stench in the U.K's allegedly three foulest loos.

Reuters

Big Cities, Bad Cities, Beer Cities: The Best #CityReads of the Week

Our weekly look back at the stories you may have missed.

Alisa Andrasek and Jose Sanchez

A Massive, Infinitely Reshapable 'Toy' in Trafalgar Square

A new piece of interactive design invites community participation.

Reuters

The Case for Distinctive Taxi Cabs

What we lose when cities begin copying each other.

Shutterstock

What Makes a Public Space Good for Democracy?

The best world capitals to raise a democratic ruckus. 

Andreas Marx/Flickr

This Week in Bans: It's Criminal To Say Men Have 'No Balls'

Also, a British city forbids its own employees from watching the Olympics and a Tennessee burg attacks noisy street preaching.

Brian Smithson/Flickr

50 Years After the Beatles, Liverpool Is Back

England's Detroit has boosted its cultural offerings to become a tourist magnet.

C. Doersch et. all

Data-Mining a City's Visual Identity

Researchers train an algorithm to tell us why Paris looks like Paris.

Caroline Buchanan/Twitter

Keep Those Off-Brand Condoms Out of Olympic Village

The brand police investigate a bucket full of non-Durex condoms. Perhaps they're taking this whole sponsor protection thing a bit far.

Reuters

The Divided Global City

Global class conflict is still playing out on a local scale.

Prelinger Archives

London, 1918 Versus Today

Rare footage offers a glimpse of the city right after World War I. Compare those with sleek aerial footage from today.

Columbia Pictures

The Geography of James Bond

Who's been to more cities, you or 007?

James Cheshire

Mapping a City's Surnames

An amazing new tool tracks the names and nationalities that dominate parts of London.

Rev Stan/Flickr

Ghost Town on the Thames

Olympic visitors came for the sports, and stayed for the karaoke bar in the mall. Why aren't they visiting London?

United Nations

Confirmed Stereotype of the Day: Brazilians Love to Dance

The World Cities Culture Report came out today, and most of what you thought is true.

Reuters

Beach Volleyball Bikinis and Women's Bodies in Public Space

The perception of women’s bodies as public property to be commented upon and regulated is one of the universal undercurrents of urban life.

Paul Hackett/Reuters

Is London's Air Up to Snuff?

How does England's air quality compare to that of past hosts, and could it affect athletes?