More importantly: Does a city get anything out of the exercise?
Our weekly roundup of the most intriguing articles about cities and urbanism we've come across in the past seven days.
2 years after a devastating earthquake, 160,000 are still without housing.
Hard science is finally backing up centuries of aromatherapy wisdom.
There are big gaps in the Economist's Intelligence Unit rankings.
The two don't necessarily go together, according to a new report.
A Japanese construction company turns demolition into energy using something it calls a "big hat."
Public spaces decked out in the season's finest.
Cities have largely given up on pedestrian scrambles — but some are bringing them back.
An urban hacker from Tokyo thinks street poles should look like candy canes, and he's built the 'bot to do that.
The famed architect's vision for Tokyo's New National Stadium is gorgeous and a little intimidating.
Also, the Portland Loo is voted best public bathroom in Canada, and Japan deploys a toilet soccer goalie.
150 specialists, 750 buildings, 5,500 photographs, 100 years. Plus a crucial carrying case with a handle.
Using GPS technology implanted in shoes, artists envision the paths that runners love to tackle.
The Brooklyn couple behind Lineposters discuss their creative process and inspiration.
All aboard the Math Homework Express!
A recent ruling sets a precedent for transit sex abusers to roam free.
A Japanese artist fills an old phone booth with water and goldfish, to the delight of passers-by.
A new "green island" on top of a mall comes with more than 80 kinds of plants and an air purification system.