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. Design

    A History of the American Public Library

    A visual exploration of how a critical piece of social infrastructure came to be.

  2. Equity

    Berlin Builds an Arsenal of Ideas to Stage a Housing Revolution

    The proposals might seem radical—from banning huge corporate landlords to freezing rents for five years—but polls show the public is ready for something dramatic.

  3. A photo of a design maquette for the Obama Presidential Center planned for Jackson Park and designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
    Design

    Why the Case Against the Obama Presidential Center Is So Important

    A judge has ruled that a lawsuit brought by Chicago preservationists can proceed, dealing a blow to Barack Obama's plans to build his library in Jackson Park.

  4. Maps

    Mapping the Growing Gap Between Job Seekers and Employers

    Mapping job openings with available employees in major U.S. cities reveals a striking spatial mismatch, according to a new Urban Institute report.

  5. A ferry docked next to a warehouse in Long Island City, Queens
    Amazon HQ2

    Why the Amazon Pushback Is Also About Immigrants

    After the HQ2 cancellation in Queens, Amazon’s connections to federal immigration enforcement are drawing scrutiny and criticism in other cities, too.