Jonathan English

Jonathan English is a Ph.D. candidate in urban planning at Columbia University.

a map comparing the sizes of several cities

The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit? (Don't Blame Cars.)

Streetcar, bus, and metro systems have been ignoring one lesson for 100 years: Service drives demand.

Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

Nearly 80 years ago, a construction standstill derailed the subway’s progress, leading to its present crisis. This is the story, decade by decade.