Life

The Twitter Bot that (Dis)cribes Cities

L.A. looks like "a Cactus." Is that plain wrong? Or is our hubris keeping us from recognizing the profound meaning behind these captions?

Lab Report: How Mexico City's Earthquake Leveled Class Divisions

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

How Human Activity Is Changing Animal Migration Patterns

A new book maps how animals navigate a world heavily altered by urban development and climate change.

Visitors to (The) Living Room Project.

A (Short-Lived) Living Room for the Homeless

As a housing crisis afflicts Seattle, a pop-up parklet brought something rare to the city’s most vulnerable residents: a welcoming public space.

Resurrecting L.A.'s Lost Latino Murals

The city’s walls have been one of the few places for minorities to tell their side of history. But too often, even those attempts have been thwarted.

Dan Doctoroff on Rebuilding New York After 9/11

The former deputy mayor of economic development describes the policy discussions that led to rezoning 40% of the city during a period of dramatic growth.

A painted mural of a steelworker surrounded by colorful graffiti

The Rust Belt Needs Legal Immigration

A new study finds that the Midwest is heavily dependent on this “demographic lifeline.”

Suburban homes are pictured in Fresno, California.

Lab Report: What Kind of Suburbs Do Millennials Want?

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

City Buyer Beware: Not Even Amazon Is a Sure Bet

It’s rosy at best to presume that the next 20 years will be as kind to Amazon as the last 20. Local taxpayers shouldn’t bear the risk of the corporation’s financial future.

A Juggalo standing in front of Buffalo City Hall.

The Juggalo March Is Not a Joke

Facepainted fans of the Insane Clown Posse are gathering on the National Mall this weekend. And they have something important to say.

The Rise of Public-Sector Crowdfunding

Around the country, local governments are soliciting donations for everything from dog parks to public defenders. Is this a practical response to budget cuts or a sign that publicly funded services are in trouble?

How Park(ing) Day Went Global

One tiny DIY parklet became a model for reclaiming streets around the world.

An Unlikely Pairing of Sustainable Development and Hip Hop

Eight entrepreneurs and eight rappers try to sell the world on the UN’s environmental agenda through rap battles.

An illustration of people talking in a car.

How to Talk to the Stranger Driving You Around Town

A Lyft driver’s pro tips for breaking through awkward silence and small-talk when you hail a ride.

The Rescue Impulse

Communities and spontaneous volunteers are the real first line of response in the wake of natural disasters.

Shoppers are pictured.

The Future of Retail Is Stores That Aren’t Stores

“Honey, I’m about to run to the town square—you need anything?”

A woman is pictured reading in a bookstore.

Indie Bookstores Embrace the Side Hustle

A rebounding industry is finding success by doing what Amazon can’t. So grab a drink, make some friends, and stay awhile.

A prospective buyer looks at a rendering of a new apartment complex in Seoul in 2005.

Why Koreans Shun the Suburbs

In cities around the world, harried urbanites look to the suburbs for more space or a nicer house for their money. But in South Korea, the city apartment is still the dream.

A young black man looks at the camera, sitting in a field surrounded by people wearing white.

Documenting Detroit Through Local Photographers' Eyes

This nonprofit gives its fellows resources, mentorship, and the chance to tell the stories of their city.

Jeff Bezos is pictured.

Lab Report: Why Should Cities Fund Amazon's New HQ?

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Dar Williams on the Rise of Large Towns and Small Cities

In her new book, the singer-songwriter identifies her own recipe what makes a strong community.