Feargus O'Sullivan

Feargus O'Sullivan

Feargus O'Sullivan is a contributing writer to CityLab, covering Europe. His writing focuses on housing, gentrification and social change, infrastructure, urban policy, and national cultures. He has previously contributed to The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, and Next City, among other publications.

a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it

How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

In Paris’s Suburbs, a Bike Trail Plan Carries a Big Promise

Cycling advocates have proposed a network of bicycle paths connecting the suburbs and city center, comparing their plan to the region’s rapid transit system.

People cross in the crosswalk at Abbey Road.

On Abbey Road, the Beatles Made a Crosswalk Famous—and a Hot Mess

Fifty years ago, the Beatles crossed Abbey Road. The iconic album cover created the world’s most famous crosswalk, and a traffic nuisance that endures today.

Berlin's Friedrichstrasse will test a car ban starting in October 2019.

Why Berlin’s Approach to Car Bans Is a Little Different

The German capital will experiment with banning cars on two popular retail streets—but it’s being notably more cautious than its European counterparts.

A Modest Proposal to Make Air Travel Obsolete

To reduce emissions from air travel, Germany’s Green Party wants to eliminate the need for domestic flights by making big investments in trains.

a photo of a pedestrian near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The ‘Toxic Fallout’ From the Notre-Dame Disaster: Lead Contamination

A French environmental group is suing the city over widespread lead dust contamination released in the historic cathedral fire on April 15.

Women pose as sex workers in videos at the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution in Amsterdam's red light district.

Gawking Tourists Force Amsterdam to Reconsider the Red Light District

As travelers overwhelm De Wallen—the neighborhood known for its sex industry—the city considers changing its appearance or moving it altogether.

Europe’s Cities Weren’t Built for This Kind of Heat

A record-breaking heat wave across London, Paris, and Amsterdam is signaling an urgent need for design and cultural changes to combat climate change.

A two-story building in the High Tech style with an exposed steel frame.

A 1980s Grocery Store Is London’s Latest Protected Building

The building, designed by architect Nicholas Grimshaw, is the first-ever supermarket to appear on the National Heritage List for England.

In Madrid, a Car Ban Proves Stronger Than Partisan Politics

A new mayor vowed to bring vehicles back to the city center. The strong citizen backlash suggests that European cities’ car bans are not, in fact, in peril.

Rendering of the top of the 'Tulip' above London's skyline at night, with The Shard in the middle distance.

Why London’s Proposed ‘Tulip’ Tower Won’t Bloom

Sadiq Khan used his discretionary powers to cancel the Norman Foster design. Does this signal a tougher attitude to flashy development?

A woman wheels a suitcase on a platform toward a train.

In Denmark’s Train Dream, the Next Big City Is Only an Hour Away

A newly revived rail plan could see Denmark’s trains catch up with its reputation for other types of green transit.

Berlin’s Plan to Preserve Affordable Apartments: Buy Them

To ward off rent hikes and evictions at the hands of new building owners, the city will purchase about 700 homes the much-coveted Karl Marx Allee neighborhood.

A bridge-like elevated park in London, with the River Thames in the background.

That Sinking Feeling: London's 'Tide' Disappoints

London’s newest destination, on North Greenwich Peninsula, shows why it’s time to stop copying New York City’s High Line.

France’s Next High-Speed Trains Could Be Run by Spain

Spain’s national rail operator has quietly become a leader in Europe. Now it wants to compete with its neighbor to the north.

European Cities Fear They’ll Lose Power to Regulate Airbnb

Facing housing shortages and mass tourism, 10 major cities want the European Union to protect their ability to regulate vacation rentals at the local level.

a photo of Parisians cooling off in the fountains of the Trocadero Gardens earlier this week

As Record Heat Roasts Europe, Paris Prepares for the Worst

The French capital is rolling out its new heat emergency procedures as Europe boils in a record-breaking heat wave.

a photo of Zurich, Switzerland

Death to Livability!

What does it really mean when certain kinds of cities keep getting ranked as the world’s “most livable”?

A photo of Madrid's Gran Via

Is This the End of the Road for Madrid’s Car Ban?

With more conservative leadership moving in after elections, the Spanish capital’s pollution-fighting regulations on private vehicles may be in danger.

Berlin Will Freeze Rents for Five Years

Local lawmakers agreed to one of Europe’s most radical rental laws, but it sets the stage for a battle with Germany’s national government.

Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.