Life

A large tank truck parked in front of new apartment buildings.

The Divides Within, and Between, Urban and Rural America

Economic growth is not only uneven between urban and rural places—it is uneven within them, too.

Remembering the ‘Mother of All Pandemics,’ 100 Years Later

The Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 offers important lessons in balancing truth and panic during public health crises.

A mural on the side of a building shows a man standing in a city street.

The Polarizing Mayor Who Embodied ‘Blue-Collar Conservatism’

Frank Rizzo, Philadelphia’s mayor from 1972 to 1980, appealed to “law and order” and white working-class identity—a sign of politics to come, says the author of a new book.

What Worker Wouldn’t Move to Scandinavia in America?

Chasing an HQ2 is a dying model. As the nature of working changes, U.S. cities that provide workers with the support that companies once did, will prosper.

A Fifties-style diner with blue booths and chairs and pink walls.

Why a ‘Memory Town’ Is Coming to Your Local Strip Mall

Weeks after opening near San Diego, a model town for treating dementia is set to be replicated around the U.S.

A Bug’s Death

RIP Volkswagen Beetle, the car that conquered the city.

Jeff Bezos Talks Everything But HQ2

Amazon’s CEO wanted to talk about his new philanthropic initiatives at a high-profile dinner Thursday night. Attendees had other topics on their minds.

The Bodega Signmakers of New York

How these curbside canvases came to be, according to the men who make them.

A photo of the two mayors using ladles to pack lunches.

Don’t Overlook Equity Issues in City Climate-Action Plans

Cities that fail to make issues of equity and empowerment central to climate-action initiatives are not living up to the values of the movement, says a former mayor of Portland, Oregon.

Cynthia Nixon is pictured.

Why Cynthia Nixon Can't Have the Bagel She Wants

The unspoken rules of local food are a recurring nightmare for politicians.

Is This Experiment in Digital Democracy Too Crazy to Work?

A startup called Voatz wants to build an unhackable way to vote over the internet. What could possibly go wrong?

How ‘Social Infrastructure’ Can Knit America Together

Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People, talks about how schools, libraries, and other institutions can restore a sense of common purpose in America.

Homeless, But Part of Society in Montreal

Montreal has a multi-million dollar plan to address homelessness. At the center is social inclusion.

Italy Defied Starbucks—Until It Didn't

The chain’s new store in Milan reveals some unexpected ways that coffee connects with national identity.

A palm tree accentuates a large, square void in the middle of a tall building.

The Architects Who Made Miami ‘Magic’

No one has expressed Miami’s glamour, boldness, and precarious beauty quite like Arquitectonica.

How Smart Should a City Be? Toronto Is Finding Out

A data-driven “neighborhood of the future” masterminded by a Google corporate sibling, the Quayside project could be a milestone in digital-age city-building. But after a year of scandal in Silicon Valley, questions about privacy and security remain.

The Barbers of Mexico City

Five local hairstylists speak to CityLab about the state of their city’s coiffing preferences.

A woman adjusts the equipment in front of large metal vats at a brewery.

Craft Breweries in Colorado Brace for Less Water

People in the booming beer industry in Colorado worry about predicted water shortages and threats to the high quality of Rocky Mountain water.

A power plant behind a row of homes in Somerset, Massachusetts.

NIMBYs Dominate Local Zoning Meetings

A study of the Boston area shows that those who participate in planning and zoning board meetings are older, wealthier, and much more NIMBYish.

Florence Is Fed Up With Tourists Eating in Public

The Italian city is imposing a €500 fine for eating in some popular, crowded areas.