Civic Life

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The Best Ideas of 2016

Not everything is terrible!

Carlos Eliason/City of Sacramento

How Sacramento Rolled Out a Mobile Restroom for the Homeless ​​​​​​​

The Pit Stop project hired restroom attendants who can empathize with the population they’re trying to reach.

David Pérez (DPC), Wikimedia Commons, License cc-by-sa-4.0

The Women Replacing Spain's Franco-Era Street Names

Cities are finally getting rid of streets that honor fascist figures, and they’re addressing a gender imbalance at the same time.

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The Future of 311 Could Be Weird

Non-emergency city service hotlines are celebrating their 20th anniversary, and eyeing immersive new possibilities.

Samuel Treindl

Restoring a Historic Athens Neighborhood, One House at a Time

A community-led approach to historic restoration focuses on crumbling 19th century buildings.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Closing the Child Care Access Gap

It’s not just a matter of affordability. It’ll take an “infrastructure investment,” a new report claims.  

Bruna cs/Flickr

Challenging Latin American Cities to Change

This could be the biggest task yet for the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge.

Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Free Mental Health Care, on Demand

A city-run hotline connects New Yorkers with local counselors.

Freewheelin' Community Bikes

Building Community Through Bike Repair

Kids walk out of an Earn-A-Bike program in Indianapolis with life skills and a new set of wheels.

Chrystyna Czajkowsky/AP

Wanted: A Better Way to Predict Public School Enrollment in NYC

The city is challenging urban wonks and concerned citizens to come up with a more granular approach to figuring out which school district might see a surge in population.


The Big Lesson Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge Winners Can Teach Other Cities

Talking and listening is as important as a bright idea.

Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

The Heartbreaking PSAs Targeting Ethiopia's Drunk Drivers

Leaders in the capital city of Addis Ababa have rolled out a campaign aiming to reduce crashes caused by alcohol.

Petros Giannakouris/AP

Protecting the Street Art of Athens

The Street Art Conservators battle time and the elements in an effort to preserve the Greek capital’s world-class cache of graffiti.

The Real Junk Food Project

Welcome to the World's First 'Waste Supermarket'

The U.K.’s Real Junk Food Project is bringing its network of pay-what-you-can cafés, stalls, and grocery stores to the U.S.

Roofmeadow and Studio Ludo

Designing the Future of Play

Over the next several months, 50 innovative recreation spaces will spring up in cities across the U.S.


London's Plan to Set Up 'Creative Zones' for Artist Housing

London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to protect creative workers from displacement.

Ewan Munro/Flickr

Lisbon Moves to Protect Historic Stores

Can a city experiencing a tourism boom avoid turning into a place geared mainly for visitors?


These Whimsical Parklets Promote Walkability

In Covington, Kentucky, local businesses and design teams collaborated on quirky installations that take up as much space as a car.