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 Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. An illustration of a front porch.
    Life

    America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

    In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.

  3. Navigator

    The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms

    How the future ‘Living Single’ reboot can reclaim the urban narrative ‘Friends’ ran off with.

  4. Equity

    More Evidence That the Olympics Won't Fix Your City

    London really tried to use the 2012 Games to improve people’s lives. A new report shows the skeptics were right all along.

  5. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.