Politics

Darkroom Daze / Flickr

Why Can't the United States Build a High-Speed Rail System?

The problem isn't geography, demographics, or money—it's federal will.

Serdar Tibet/Shutterstock.com

Braving the New World of Performance-Based Zoning

Conventional zoning is an outdated barrier against good urbanism, but there's disagreement on the best way forward.

Matt Dellinger

What a Train Trip From L.A. to S.F. Can Teach Us About California's High-Speed Rail Future

The state is as likely a place as any to see the future of rail unfold.

Reuters/Eduardo Munoz

How U.S. College Rankings Haven't Changed Over the Past Century

Elite institutions have remained that way for more than 100 years for a reason.

Metro Library and Archive/Flickr

Transit Projects Shouldn't Take Longer to Finish in 2014 Than They Did in 1925

Here are a few ways to make sure they don't.

REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

Why Mayors Need a UN-Like Organization of Their Own

The world’s mayors are running the biggest and most important cities in all of human history. They need to have a forum.

Photos
REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

10 Years Later, Here Are the Remains of Athens' Olympic Games

A look at the aging symbols of Greece's pre-crisis spending.

U.S. Geological Survey

How Man-Made Earthquakes Are Changing the Seismic Landscape

Scientists say fracking is part of why Oklahoma now rivals California in quake activity.

Photos
Las Vegas News Bureau

Atomic Tests Were a Tourist Draw in 1950s Las Vegas

Nevada's nuclear-bomb testing spawned a spectator culture tinged with both profound fear and Sin City delight.

CityFixer
Daniel Lobo/Flickr

How Vancouver Became One of North America's Most Family-Friendly Cities

It took very concerted policy efforts going back to the early 1990s.

Lauren Quock

Public Bathrooms Are Gender Battlegrounds, Mostly Due to Terrible Signage

Well-designed, simple signs can solve real problems for gender-nonconforming people while diffusing political noise. 

ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock/Robinson Meyer

The Evolution of Slang

For a century and a half, The New York Times has been earnestly—and hilariously—defining the evolving language of cities. 

Jaroslav Moravcik/Shutterstock.com

Amsterdam's Weird Culture War

Conservatives want to power-wash the city of its intrinsic character—which includes pot shops and sex shows, but also a uniquely Dutch balance.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Toledo's Water Is Now Safe to Drink, but the Causes Behind Its Toxicity Linger

After a weekend ban, 400,00 residents can safely turn their faucets back on. But the Great Lakes as a water source are still in bad shape. 

Darin Echelberger/Shutterstock.com

Colorado Cities Fight State and Industry Reps for Resident Input on Fracking

Locals say one-size-fits-all regulation won't work across the diverse, resource-rich state.

Maps
Reuters/Brian Snyder

Where the Great Recession Made Inequality Worse

The most dramatic increases were not in the usual places. 

AP/Elise Amendola

The Tornado That Didn't Wreck Enough to Warrant Federal Aid

A Massachusetts city is denied FEMA assistance after being blindsided by a twister that did major damage—but not quite enough.

Doug Shutter/Shutterstock.com

Colorado Made 'Intelligent Decisions' on Its Rollout of Legal Marijuana

New data shows that seed-to-sale tracking and other tight controls have made the state's legal-weed transition a success.

Danny Howard/Flickr

Strong Mayor, Weak Mayor, No Mayor—In Terms of Policy, It May Not Matter Much

Efforts to reform municipal governance systems have little impact on actual policies, researchers say.