Benjamin Schneider

Benjamin Schneider

Benjamin Schneider is an editorial fellow at CityLab.

Former president Barack Obama has been playing defense in his adopted hometown over the plans for his Presidential Center

The Obama Center: Caught in an Old David vs. Goliath Drama

After decades of aggressive “urban renewal” by rich institutions in low-income communities, Columbia’s 1968 protests ushered in an era of community benefits agreements. Why won’t the Obama Center sign one in Chicago?

What San Francisco's Mayoral Race Says About the City's Progressive Soul

The campaign has become as much about candidate biographies, super PAC money, and the city’s unique ranked choice voting system as it is about issues like homelessness and property crime.

A man sleeps in a doorway in downtown Portland, Ore., on Sept. 19, 2017.

A Healthcare Giant Enters the Battle for Cheaper Housing

Kaiser Permanente is pledging $200 million toward fighting homelessness and building more low-cost housing in eight states, plus D.C.

An apartment building in Sacramento, California.

The American Housing Crisis Might Be Our Next Big Political Issue

Several new advocacy groups have sprung up to push for better housing policies at the state and national level. Their first job: Communicating how significant the problem really is.

An electric bus awaiting passengers in Washington D.C.'s Union Station bus deck.

Five Breakthroughs That Could Make You Love the Bus

Can new technology radically improve the rider experience?

SB 827 architect and California State Senator Scott Wiener.

YIMBYs Defeated as California’s Transit Density Bill Stalls

SB 827 was killed in its first committee hearing. But for State Senator Scott Wiener and his YIMBY allies, the battle to increase California’s housing supply has just begun.

In San Francisco, public housing units like Hunter's View complex (seen here in 2014) are in very short supply.

Meet the PHIMBYs

In California, advocates who demand “Public Housing in My Backyard” have joined traditional NIMBY groups in fighting a bill designed to boost density in transit-accessible neighborhoods.

Villa 31, an informal settlement in Buenos Aires

The Global Housing Crisis

Scarce, unaffordable housing is not a local problem in a few places, but is baked into the 21st-century global city. It’s time for cities, nations, and global leaders to start acting like it.

How Transit-Oriented Development Can Prevent Displacement

Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood has shown all the economic signs of gentrification without losing its majority-Latino population.

Minneapolis YIMBYs Go to the Mat for Zoning Changes

Activists turn to creative videography in their efforts to allow fourplexes throughout the city.

6 Ideas for a Better New York Subway

The beleaguered system looked outside its own ranks for ambitious new fixes.

Los Angeles City Hall, as seen from refurbished Grand Park

Why L.A. Just Appointed a Design Czar

Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has become the city’s first chief design officer, tasked with making sure the development juggernaut doesn’t get ahead of urban-design principles.  

A burned-out tree in Los Angeles' Elysian Park

L.A. Bets That Equity Is the Path to Resilience

Los Angeles struggles with inequality and the threat of natural disasters turbocharged by climate change. Its new resilience plan seeks to address both issues at once.

The Unhelpful Ways Cities Talk About Bike Helmets

American cities’ preoccupation with helmets might undermine more effective ways to protect cyclists.

In California, Momentum Builds for Radical Action on Housing

The origins of and potential solutions to California’s housing crisis, explained.

Is Streetcar Rage Justified?

No, the D.C. Streetcar isn’t scrapping its fleet and shutting down. But there’s a reason why so many critics of the system thought it was.

The Quiet Rise of the Downtown Tech Campus

While the world focuses on the battle for Amazon HQ2, the other tech giants are consolidating their own urban fiefdoms.

A man crosses a street during a traffic jam on the embankment of the Moskva River in downtown Moscow.

Traffic’s Mind-Boggling Economic Toll

The largest study of its kind ever conducted reveals just how how costly the scourge of traffic is in the world’s greatest cities.

What Just Happened in San Francisco?

High drama at City Hall—involving race, tech money, and politics—lays bare the city’s simmering tensions.

The 7 Stages of Amazon HQ2 Grief

For boosters and residents in the many cities left behind in the HQ2 sweepstakes, it was a day of sadness, anger, regret, and tweeting.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, recovery from Hurricane Maria has been uneven.

Disaster Resilience Saves Six Times as Much as It Costs

A new report finds that federal disaster-mitigation grants produce an average of $6 in societal savings for every dollar spent.