Benjamin Schneider

Benjamin Schneider

Benjamin Schneider is freelance writer and former editorial fellow at CityLab.

Illustration showing different neighborhoods of a city in different colors, resembling a 3D zoning map.

CityLab University: Zoning Codes

Don’t know your R1 from your FAR? We’re here to explain how zoning laws work, how these ordinances shape your city and neighborhood, and why we fight over them.

Photo of a large, angular modern building clad in metal and glass.

Meet Seattle’s Snazzy New … Electrical Substation?

Rather than the usual mess of metal, Seattle’s Denny Substation is a work of architecture and a public space—with a controversial price tag.

A one-story building with a strip-club sign above the entrance.

The Architecture of Adult Entertainment

Photographing strip-club exteriors from Miami to L.A. for his series “Gentlemen’s Club,” François Prost found pink stucco, flashy signs—and lots of parking.

A modern stone and concrete house cantilevered over a waterfall.

8 Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright Added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Eight Wright buildings, located around the country, are the first American works of modern architecture that UNESCO deems “of outstanding universal value.”

a photo of a Bird scooter in San Francisco.

What Happened When I Rented an E-Scooter for (Almost) a Month

Bird’s new monthly rental program could force users and cities to reconsider e-scooters as a real mode of transportation. But there are some drawbacks.

Illustration of houses arrayed in a circle, like slices of a pie.

CityLab University: Shared-Equity Homeownership

Community land trusts and housing co-ops are alternative forms of homeownership that often serve those shut out by traditional markets.

With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

A portrait collage of famous thinkers, writers, planners, and designers

CityLab University: The Who’s Who of Urbanism

15 people who changed how we plan, design, think about, and live in cities.

A photo of a small small house in San Francisco's Noe Valley that sold for $1.8 million in 2014.

Why Cities Must Tackle Single-Family Zoning

As cities wake up to their housing crises, the problems with single-family-home residential zoning will become too egregious to ignore.

CityLab University: Induced Demand

When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. What gives? Here’s how “induced demand” works.

Behold San Francisco's $2 Billion Bus Station

The Salesforce Transit Center, San Francisco’s new bus and (someday) high-speed rail terminal, has been billed as the Grand Central Station of the West. But it might just become the Bay Area’s answer to the High Line.

The Dirty Truth About San Francisco's Sidewalks

Is the city really drowning in filth?

CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

A young man rides a hoverboard along a Manhattan street toward the Empire State Building in New York

Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City

Nearly all of them look silly, but if taken seriously, they could be a really big deal for urban transportation.

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.