Amy Crawford

Amy Crawford has written for Boston magazine, the Boston Globe, Slate, and Smithsonian. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

A block of shuttered two-story buildings

Can Poletown Come Back After a General Motors Shutdown?

The 33-year-old GM Detroit-Hamtramck plant was renovated less than five years ago. But now that it’s shutting down, some residents are hoping to right a wrong.

A sububan office park

Can Detroit's Suburbs Survive a Downtown Revival?

The city is experiencing a sustained real estate boom, poaching employers—even pro sports teams—from surrounding municipalities. Places like Southfield, Pontiac, and Dearborn will have to find ways to keep up.

A man waters plants in a rooftop garden on top of Le Bon Marché department store in Paris.

Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits.

A Mid-Century Shopping Icon Makes Way For the Future

Victor Gruen’s Northland Center set suburban architectural standards for half a century. Now, partially demolished, its next life is up in the air.

A busy shopping mall on Black Friday

The Backlash Against Piped Music

This holiday season, groups in Michigan and the UK are asking for fewer jingle bells, more silent nights in public spaces.

People use leaning bars at a bus stop in Brooklyn in 2016.

Cities Take Both Sides in the 'War on Sitting'

Cities are removing benches in an effort to counter vagrancy and crime—at the same time that they’re adding them to make the public realm more age-friendly.

Detroit Imagines a Citizen-Led Smart City

Instead of deploying urban sensors as instruments of surveillance for technocrats, what if vulnerable communities controlled the gear—and the data?

In Flint, Providing Safe Water Is a Full-Time Job

Hundreds of locals have been hired to help the city recover from its water crisis.

A Waterfront Revival, No Water Required

The Canal District of Worcester, Massachusetts, is flourishing. Now all it needs is a canal.

Why a Boston Suburb Combined Its High School and Senior Center

Result: a modern two-in-one complex that serves young and old.  

Prototyping the Age-Ready City

At MIT’s AgeLab, researchers work on autonomous wheelchairs, neighborhood design for the cognitively impaired, and a host of other strategies to prepare for the “silver tsunami.”

The College of Lost Arts

A small college in Charleston, South Carolina, seeks to revive the centuries-old fine building trades.

A Providence Library Becomes a Sort of Secular Church

Athenaeums—membership libraries—might seem like fusty relics of the 19th century. But the Providence Athenaeum has become a lively center for intellectual engagement.

Is This What 'Innovation' Looks Like?

As cities go wild for innovation, Boston's award-winning District Hall tries to distill the concept into physical form.

Honolulu Is Building America's First Fully Driverless Transit System

But there are doubts about whether it will inspire other U.S. cities to follow suit.

One Woman's Quest to Design Parking Lots People Don't Hate

Rachel Yoka believes parking can be more than what some might call a necessary evil.

The Big Texas Plan to Copy Japan's High-Speed Rail Success

Texas Central Railway intends to build a Houston-Dallas line with private money.

Does New Mass Transit Always Have to Mean Rapidly Rising Rents?

U.S. cities big and small are struggling to welcome transit development while preserving affordable housing.

The Future of Urban Freeways Is Playing Out Right Now in Syracuse

As I-81 nears the end of its functional life, a city struggles to decide the best way forward.