Urban Wonk

Anatomy of a Boomtown: The Real Story Behind the Rise of Charlotte

Despite recession-era setbacks, the city is celebrated as a success story. Can it stay that way?

Pit Bulls, the Ultimate Urban Dog

Much like cities, pit bulls were unfairly maligned in this country for decades.

Why Mitt Romney Should Love France's Approach to Infrastructure Funding

Here, you pay for the roads and resources you use, thanks to innovative public-private partnerships.

A Brief History of the Birth of Urban Planning

The field first started in America as the purview of three very different types of thinkers.

Who Has the Right to Preserve a City's Past?

As an out-of-towner applies for historic designation, a city considers changing its rules on preservation.

The Laundromat Litmus Test

If your city makes it difficult for residents to accomplish simple tasks like washing their clothes, you've got a problem.

The Case for Separated Bike Lanes

It's time to recognize that most people are never going to "stop worrying and learn to love the traffic."

What Not to Bring to the 2012 Conventions

Your lasers, your bike locks, your pieces of wood, and any hopes you had of actually getting near the action.

Why Restaurant Week Won't Die, Despite the Haters

Every year, critics complain about amateur eaters and disappointing food. So why do so many cities keep the tradition going?

Why Hasn't the Harlem Children's Zone Been Replicated Even Without Obama's Help?

As a candidate, Obama promised to bring this transformative program to 20 cities around the country. That didn't pan out, but is the president to blame?

Facts and Fictions of D.C.'s Gentrification

Urban comebacks like the District of Columbia's can come at a price. This past week showed how sore a subject this still is.

Lessons From Zurich's Parking Revolution

By implementing stricter parking maximums over time, Switzerland's largest city recaptured its public spaces for its people.

'Walk Score' Is Great, But it Still Doesn't Capture 'Walk Appeal'

We need other ways of quantifying walkability on our nation’s streets.

Why Cyclists Run Red Lights

Mostly to turn or because the signal doesn't recognize them, according to the latest research.

Beach Volleyball Bikinis and Women's Bodies in Public Space

The perception of women’s bodies as public property to be commented upon and regulated is one of the universal undercurrents of urban life.

Inside the Surprisingly Lucrative World of Cardboard Theft

With the help of a rental truck, you too can cash in on the multimillion-dollar cardboard-rustling business.

Can We Quantify a Good Walk?

The factors that make some strolls much more appealing than others.

14 Keys To Building People Friendly Communities

Ideas about creating sustainable places where people actually want to live.

Writing the Rules for Smart Cities

There still isn’t a common language or science of cities for the 21st century, but that could change.