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.

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.

The Empty Spaces That Elevate London’s Brutalist Masterpiece

A new plan aims to fill in some of the Barbican Estate’s loftier spaces and alter the original footprint. Will the integrity of the historic complex be at risk?

a photo of a tourist taking a picture of a fox in the abandoned city of Pripyat, near the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.

No, Instagram Is Not Ruining Chernobyl

A (mostly mythical) surge in visitors to the nuclear disaster site raises a question: Can mass tourism spoil a place that’s already famous for being uninhabitable?

When Street Food Builds One Community, and Rankles Another

Berlin’s Thaipark has long represented the best of what informal food markets have to offer. So why does the city think it’s a problem?

Ireland Is Ready to Bet Big on Battery-Powered Trains

In an effort modernize its rail system, the country is looking to a technology it pioneered in the 1930s and ‘40s.

a photo of protesters carrying anti-Trump signs in London.

Trump's State Visit to London Got Weird Fast

The U.S. president began his U.K. trip by insulting London Mayor Sadiq Khan; soon the Trump baby blimp will fly again.

World War II Bombs Still Pose a Threat to German Cities

More than 70 years after the war ended, unexploded bombs are being unearthed with remarkable regularity—in part because of a nationwide building boom.

As Tourism Booms, Amsterdam Shifts to Damage Control

Fed up with raucous tourists, the Netherlands will stop promoting its capital as a destination. But new airports, cruises, and hotels will keep them coming.

a photo of traffic on the ring road outside Paris.

Traffic Is Unbearable on Paris's Beltway. The Fix? Remove Lanes.

The city wants to turn the Boulevard Périphérique, one of Europe’s most congested highways, into a slower, smaller, and greener “urban boulevard.”

Paris Will Create the City’s Largest Gardens Around the Eiffel Tower

The most famous space in the city is set to get a pedestrian-friendly redesign that will create the city’s largest garden by 2024.

‘Fairbnb’ Wants to Be the Unproblematic Alternative to Airbnb

The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?

Still from 'Game of Thrones' showing three characters trudging through a burning city.

King’s Landing Was Always a Miserable Dump

Game of Thrones’ destruction of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms revealed a city of mean living conditions and rampant inequality.

New Ideas for Paris's Outdated Infrastructure

After a criticized first installment, the city's design competition has a wider talent pool and a fairer distribution of commissions to redesign urban sites.

A photo of a newly pedestrianized area of central Brussels in 2015.

In Car-Choked Brussels, the Pedestrians Are Winning

The Belgian capital is one of the most congested in Europe. But an ambitious suite of street makeovers is pushing traffic outside the central city.

In Switzerland, Everyone’s an Urban Planner

To reimagine its largest public space, the Swiss city of Lausanne organized a citywide consultation and workshop that asked: Just who is the public?

A photo of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire in Paris.

Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope for Restoration

Flames consumed the roof and spire of the 13th-century cathedral in Paris. The good news: Gothic architecture is built to handle this kind of disaster.

When Weird Things Get You a Free Ride

The Netherlands recently let train travelers ride free if they carried a book. Here are other strange offers that covered the cost of train or bus tickets.

Can Paris’s Olympic Village Make for a Healthier Saint-Denis?

The project fits into the suburb’s plans for a more equitable future, but some are skeptical, as similar ambitions have not panned out at past games.

London Puts a High Price on Driving Older, Polluting Cars

A new Ultra Low Emissions Zone is expected to affect more than 60,000 vehicles in central London—and it’s just the start of something much bigger.

Madrid Bans Airbnb Apartments That Don’t Have Private Entrances

A new vacation rental law aims to ease the strain of tourism in central Madrid and spread the industry’s benefits to other parts of the city.