Life

Portrait of Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City speaking at a news conference.

Why Mayors Keep Trying to Woo Business With Tax Breaks

U.S. mayors are split on whether business incentives are good politics, but most believe—despite evidence to the contrary—that they’re good policy.

Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online

We shop online for almost everything. Why not food?

A construction crane in front of tall residential buildings in Seattle, with the port's cranes in the background.

No, Zoning Reform Isn’t Magic. But It’s Crucial.

The finding of a new study—that upzoning didn’t quickly increase development in areas of Chicago—shouldn’t make zoning reform any less of a priority.

Condo buildings under construction in Miami

How Affordable Housing Can Improve the American Economy

Building more affordable housing units in the metros that are centers of innovation will increase demand for the wares that fill houses, and increase productivity.

Paris Will Finally Let You Have a Little Fun in Public Parks

Bikes, games, picnics, and dogs are finally getting a warmer welcome in the French capital’s famously stringent parks and gardens.

17 Candidates Want to Be NYC’s Public Advocate. Does the Public Care?

A special election for New York City's top watchdog has many asking how the office can be more effective, or if it should exist at all.

a photo of police officers of Mossos d'Esquadra during an anti-terrorist operation in Barcelona, where crime has been on the rise.

Amid Tourists and Gentrification, Barcelona Faces a Crime Wave

The city’s historic district, Ciutat Vella, is seeing a rise in street crime. What’s driving it?   

Car Nostalgia Gets Its Own TV Show

The Ride That Got Away reunites drivers with the vehicles they can’t get over, and puts America’s relationship with cars on blast.

A billboard advertising a new condominium tower stands in front of dilapidated houses.

Does Upzoning Boost the Housing Supply and Lower Prices? Maybe Not.

A new study of zoning changes in Chicago finds that they led to higher, not lower, local home prices, while having no discernible impact on local housing supply.

a photo of a Minneapolis bike rider in winter

What It’s Like to Bike at 20 Below

All it takes is the right equipment to stay warm and safe on a bike, even in the middle of a polar vortex, these brave St. Paul cyclists say. Here’s what you should wear.

Former New York Mayor John V. Lindy in front of a podium

City Hall to the White House: Can’t Get There From Here

Before Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti decide to run, they ought to look back on Lindsay and Yorty in 1972.

An illustration of an older person with a young woman on a park bench.

The Quest for the Multigenerational City

The lives of the young and the old rarely cross in many American cities. After I moved to Austin, I used a volunteer opportunity as a way to change that.

A police officer displays a handgun checked in during a community gun buy-back program.

Teen Suicide Rates Are Higher In States Where More People Own Guns

A new study finds a striking correlation at the state level between rates of household gun ownership and youth suicide.

The Crushing Logistics of Raising a Family Paycheck to Paycheck

Stephanie Land’s new memoir, Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, sheds light on the grueling work—and the bureaucratic complications—of being a maid and a single mother.

Vashon Island residents work in their Emergency Operations Center to discuss how to respond should a major earthquake take place.

Preparing for ‘The Big One’ in an Isolated Island Town

Vashon Island is just a few miles from Seattle. But if a major earthquake hits, the community expects to feel a world away.

A photo of a woman with a stroller along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade across from lower Manhattan.

How ‘Vasectomy Zoning’ Makes Childless Cities

Municipalities shouldn’t block or raise the cost of things young parents need, like day-care centers and two-bedroom houses or apartments.

A narrow Italian street flanked by four-story apartment buildings painted blue and pink.

Will ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Gentrify a Naples Neighborhood?

Residents of Rione Luzzatti never expected it to become a tourist destination. Then Elena Ferrante set her bestselling novels there.

What Cities Get When They Offer Free Tech Support to Residents

Computer repair isn’t cheap—so D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer is lending its own technicians to help residents fix their devices for free.

People cross Corrientes Avenue in Buenos Aires at night, with the Obelisk in the background.

Buenos Aires's Waterfront 'Youth District' Stirs Debate

Argentina’s capital hopes to revitalize part of its riverfront, but critics say the plan is socially exclusive, too commercial, and environmentally risky.

Women wait in a long line for the public bathroom at a sports arena.

The Long Lines for Women’s Bathrooms Could Be Eliminated. Why Haven’t They Been?

It’s been more than 30 years since states started trying to achieve “potty parity,” but many queues are still unequal.