A trip back to Sheffield, Alabama, is filled with reminders that boundaries aren't just physical.

Throughout this week, CityLab is running a series on borders—both real and imagined—and what draws so many of us to places on the edge.

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  1. a photo of the Maryland Renaissance Festival
    Life

    The Utopian Vision That Explains Renaissance Fairs

    What’s behind the enduring popularity of all these medieval-themed living-history fairs?

  2. Transportation

    A Horrifying Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Future Transit Commute

    A comic artist’s take on what the future of transportation might really feel like.

  3. A photo of Little Rock Central High School
    Life

    An Attempt to Resegregate Little Rock, of All Places

    A battle over local control in a city that was the face of integration shows the extent of the new segregation problem in the U.S.

  4. A cyclist rides on the bike lane in the Mid Market neighborhood during Bike to Work Day in San Francisco,
    Perspective

    Why We Need to Dream Bigger Than Bike Lanes

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  5. Life

    Why U.S. Tech Inventors Are So Highly Clustered

    New research finds that high-tech inventors are significantly more productive when they work in large clusters—but there are drawbacks.

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