Life

The Bias Hiding in Your Library

The ways libraries classify books often reflect a “straight white American man” assumption.

A Mormon temple with two spires, at dusk.

Understanding the New Mormon Temple in Rome

Despite its olive trees and piazza, the new temple will look familiar to American eyes.

North Carolina's legislature building.

North Carolina’s Contentious Bid to Bridge the Urban-Rural Divide

The state plans to relocate its Division of Motor Vehicles from booming Raleigh to lagging Rocky Mount. Can this be a national model for decentralizing power?

Homes in Amsterdam are pictured.

Amsterdam's Plan: If You Buy a Newly Built House, You Can't Rent It Out

In an effort to make housing more affordable, the Dutch capital is crafting a law that says anyone who buys a newly built home must live in it themselves.

Think You’re Faster Than the D.C. Streetcar? Think Again.

Streetcars without dedicated lanes tend to be on the slow side. But beating this much-maligned public transportation mode on foot wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Kamala Harris's $15 Million Proposal to Fix Local Government Tech

The 2020 presidential candidate introduced a bill to help local governments modernize their digital services. Is this the lifeline cities need?

a photo of French yellow vest protesters

France’s Yellow Vests Are Rebels Without a Cause

As weekly protests continue in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron is still trying to figure out what the “yellow vest” movement wants. It’s not an easy task.

People in New York City

How Density Can Deter Growth in America’s Largest Metros

A new report examines why the largest U.S. metros actually face population decline.

Old Stone Walls Reveal How Earth’s Magnetic North Changes Over Time

The orientations of the stone walls that crisscross the Northeastern U.S. can tell a geomagnetic tale as well as a historical one.

Who Were Milwaukee’s ‘Sewer Socialist’ Mayors?

The city stands apart for electing three socialist mayors, but their work on infrastructure, parks, and housing looks much like what’s expected of mayors today.

A suburban Atlanta house with downtown skyscrapers in the background

Urban, Suburban, and Rural: We’re More Alike Than We Think

No matter the nature of the locale—urban, suburban, or rural—differences stem more from who we are than what we want in our communities.

How #Trashtag Inspired People to Clean Up Their Parks

A social media challenge had people across the globe cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers—and urging their friends to get in on the action.

Sorry, Houseplants Don’t Really Purify the Air in Your Home

The science is clear: Even the most enthusiastic indoor gardeners don’t have enough vegetation to make a difference in air quality.

An App For Mapping Crime, or Urban Paranoia?

The crime-tracking app Citizen, which recently launched in Baltimore, alerts users to danger nearby. Where some critics see risks, others see a tool for empowerment.

How I Plugged In to My City’s Music Scene

Flashband brings D.C.’s hobbyist musicians together for a rollicking concert of short-term bands. Here’s what I learned from my month-long stint.

How Marvel Packs a Universe Into New York City

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive mythos with the Big Apple at its center. Here’s what Spider-Man, Iron Man, and other superheroes say about their city.

Large houses line a street in suburban Ohio.

The Persistent Economic Advantage of America’s Suburbs

A new study finds that suburban neighborhoods outperform urban ones across the board.

Your City Is Full of Ways to Get an Incidental Workout

New research shows the health benefits of short bursts of incidental physical activity. Here’s how to sneak in some exercise into the normal course of your day.

A bright-pink bus, converted into a mobile restroom, awaits customers in the Indian city of Pune.

Why an Indian City Is Turning Old Buses Into Bathrooms

In Pune, refurbished buses offer something that many local women need: a clean, safe place to use the restroom away from home.

a photo of an auto worker

A Town Made By Cars Awaits Life After General Motors

It wasn’t long ago that GM’s Hamtramck plant was being hailed as a Detroit comeback story. Now it’s closing, and the town around it faces the end of its manufacturing era.

A map of geographic mobility in the United States

The Geography of America’s Mobile and ‘Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.