Urban Wonk

The 5 Most Important Sustainability Stories of 2013

A new rise of suburban sprawl, getting serious about climate change and more.

A Bold Concept for Post-Sandy Manhattan

Imagine marshes, floating neighborhoods, and hydroponic farms on city land.

America's Most Cutthroat Christmas Tree Market

A bitter feud between two men has sent the price of trees in New York City sky-high.

The Typical Municipal Budgeting Process Is Rigged Against Infrastructure Investments

There's a major structural problem built into how cities spend their money. Here's what we can do about it.

How Japan Has Virtually Eliminated Shooting Deaths

In part by forbidding almost all forms of firearm ownership, Japan has as few as two gun-related homicides a year.

The Uselessness of Economic Development Incentives

States, cities and counties give away $80 billion per year, but that doesn't seem to create stronger economies or lower unemployment.

'Desire Lines' and the Fundamental Failure of Traffic Engineering

Mikael Colville-Andersen makes the cases for designing cities with people in mind.

Building Cities for the Families of Today

American families look a lot different than they did 50 years ago. Here's how we can build the housing and transportation they need.

Can We Please Stop Pretending Cars Are Greener Than Transit?

Freakonomics revives a tried, and tired, debate.

A New Policy That Incentivizes Walkable Neighborhoods

Massachusetts pushes diverse, dense zoning.

The Next Workplace Revolution

More people are working from temporary work spaces, changing how we use offices.

Meet the Man Who 'Repairs the Fabric of Communities'

This developer has done more than almost anyone else to promote green affordable housing.

Realistic Community-Based Principles for the Next 4 Years

The Obama administration probably won't tackle major urban policy reform, but they do have an opportunity to set our neighborhoods on a better path.

8 Urban Policy Ideas for Obama's 2nd Term

8 policy ideas the president should feel more than free to steal.

Will Cities Be Ready for the Next Sandy?

Climate change is here. Here's what cities can do to mitigate some of its worst effects.

Power Outlets for the People

Thanks to Sandy, New Yorkers have created an informal network of public phone-charging stations. But why did they have to?

5 Ideas That Could Have Prevented Flooding in New York

It's time to start seriously planning for climate change in the city.

Why the 'Trick-or-Treat Test' Still Matters

Community designers have this same discussion every year, for good reason.

The 66%: America's Growing Underclass

For almost two-thirds of us, the American Dream is a virtual impossibility.