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Vivek Prakash/Reuters

The Most Polluted Playgrounds in the World

Without play sets, slum children frolic in garbage dumps and toxic rivers.

Kingyobu

Turn Your Old Phone Booths Into Aquariums

A Japanese artist fills an old phone booth with water and goldfish, to the delight of passers-by.

Reuters

Michigan Is Getting the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

A new state program matches companies with participants.

Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com

Is Portland Really Where Young People Go to Retire?

According to a new study, the city attracts the young and college-educated at some of the highest rates in the country.

Jonathan Burton

An Optical Illusion Commemorates Nelson Mandela

Is it thorny prison bars or the South African leader's profile? Depends on where you stand.

NRDC

How California Legislated Its Way to Smarter Growth

A landmark 2008 land use law has led to more sustainable communities.

Vimeo/FidiGlobal

Crowdfunding a Skyscraper

You don't need a wealthy developer when you've got thousands of small investors.

Alex E. Proimos/Flickr

Housing Shortage in Paris? Blame the Foreigners!

At least that's the popular attitude. But the truth is much more complicated.

Zoe Strauss

Dearborn: Where Americans Come to Hate Muslims

How a city of 97,000 became a must-visit location on the newly established anti-Muslim protest circuit.

Espegel-Fisac

How Spanish Urbanism Lost its Leading Edge

The country has long been a model for flashy, absurd infrastructure, but austerity is finally slowing it down.

Bart Everett/Shutterstock

Finding of the Day: 8% of L.A. Childhood Asthma Cases Due to Freeway Proximity

Kids who live near busy roads are more likely to develop asthma.

Moment Factory

Barcelona's Famed Cathedral Finally Gets the Color It Wanted

Special-effects wizards used Antoni Gaudì's sketches to psychedelically animate the La Sagrada Familia.

Reuters

The Crazy Pidgin Language That Unites Africa's Megacity

Finding a common linguistic ground in a city of 20 million and 500 languages.

Scott Davidson/Flickr

Pontiac Ex-Councilman in Cocaine-Trafficking Bust: Officials Gone Wild

A roundup of the latest crimes, blunders and everyday embarrassments perpetrated by our esteemed municipal leaders.

Be Open

A Box of Sound in Trafalgar Square

Be OPEN reminds us that public art doesn't have to be visual.

A Key Historic Preservation Tool Is on the Brink of Extinction

What's at stake if Congress cuts the historic preservation tax incentive.

Reuters

Kicking Off Yom Kippur With Chicken Dolls and Goldfish

In Israel, Orthodox Jews prep for the Day of Atonement.

flickr/gilgamesh

Can Detroit Live Up to Its Hype?

Boosters promise a city poised to become the next start-up hub. But driving around the downtown's empty streets, I'm not so sure I see a rosy future.

Flickr/The Shopping Sherpa

The Tricky Politics of Vacant Lots

A Philadelphia local transformed a lot into a park on his own dime. But the city says the conversion was illegal, and is threatening to sue.