Comment Policy

Last Updated: October 31, 2019

CityLab reports on news and ideas important to the future of cities. We also publish a wide range of first-person essays and opinion pieces under our “Perspective” tag.

We provide a comment section on each article to encourage healthy and vibrant conversations on these topics. We know that many of you are actively involved in making your town or city a better place, professionally and/or personally. Others are interested in better understanding the complexity of what makes a city function, how to explore the depth of a city, and how to find community. We provide this space for readers to connect, discuss, and build an online community. Your comments and feedback help make our work better and guide us on future topics to cover.

Our Community Rules:
In order for this space to be welcoming, safe, and inclusive, the following types of comments are prohibited:

  • Discriminatory comments and harassment focused on someone’s appearance, religion, race, gender, disability, or sexual orientation. This includes comments that stereotype or generalize a group of people.

  • Profane, obscene, or sexual content—please keep it safe for work.
  • Spam or self-promotion of any kind.

  • Personal attacks, excessive harassment, and name-calling. Commenters should focus on critiquing the substance of arguments, rather than on the person making them.

  • Disrespectful comments about our reporters, editors, or organization. Thoughtful and constructive critique and notes about typos or factual corrections are welcome.

These are comments we would love to see:

  • Thoughtful analysis, reactions, and critiques of our work.

  • Respectful debates on topics discussed in the article.

  • Questions for our staff and freelance writers.

  • News tips or ideas about how we could do our job better.

  • Identifying factual or grammatical errors that need to be corrected.

  • Feedback on how an article helped you to better understand an issue.

  • Reflections based on your personal experience.

  • Concise comments that stay on topic.
  • Positive engagement with other commenters. If someone’s comment was informative, inspiring, well-argued, or made you think, let your fellow commenters know by upvoting it.

Our Moderation Guidelines:
Our moderation rules have the goal of creating a welcoming, safe, and inclusive space for constructive discussions.

  • If a comment violates the rules above, we will delete it.

  • We do not edit the comments. They will appear as submitted. If you don’t see your comment in the thread, it is because it has been flagged by our system for pre-moderation. We will either approve it as soon as we can, or delete it if it violates our policy.
  • If you see a comment that violates our policy, flag it as inappropriate by clicking on the flag icon in the upper right hand column.

  • We reserve the right to ban you from our comment section. If you feel like you have been unjustly banned, you can appeal to us directly: 

If you have questions about our comment policy, please reach out anytime to If you have a question about your Disqus account, please view this help page.