Life

Voters in a line.

Why Cities Are Less Powerful in U.S. National Politics

A new book shows the historical roots behind the concentration of left-leaning Democrats in large cities and metro areas.

an illustration depicting Tel Aviv in the 1920s

Mapping My Life Through a Changing Tel Aviv

Growing up in Israel, I relied on landmarks to navigate; today’s residents rely on smartphones. But what are they missing?

A crane in the San Francisco sky

What the ‘Crane Index’ Says About Your Changing City

In some cities, a skyline full of construction equipment has become synonymous with change and displacement. But there are things cranes can’t tell you.

Two cyclists and a man on a skateboard travel alongside bus traffic in downtown San Francisco.

The Best and Worst U.S. Places to Live Car-Free

College towns and big coastal cities top our ranking of the metros where it’s easiest to live without a car.

Why Thomas Cook Faltered As Urban Tourism Boomed

With cheap flights and Airbnb at their fingertips, British travelers have branched out from the package beach vacations that were Thomas Cook’s specialty.

Should the Suicide-Prevention Hotline Get a Three-Digit Phone Number?

A simple phone-line change is poised to put millions more people in touch with sympathetic strangers.

Squirrels Speak Bird

The skittish rodents are always listening for cues that tell them if they’re safe or not—including to the sounds of their avian friends.

An apartment building with a crane hovering over it.

For Female Entrepreneurs, a Ground-Floor Apartment Is Key

A new study finds that the home-based businesses of poor women in a Colombian city are much more successful when they are located on the street level.

Mapping the Changing Colors of Fall Across the U.S.

Much of the country won’t see those vibrant oranges and reds until mid-October, which leaves plenty of time for leaf peepers to plan their autumn road trips.

a photo of a security camera

Six U.S. Cities Make the List of Most Surveilled Places in the World

Atlanta and Chicago top the list of U.S. cities that are watching their citizens with security cameras, but China leads the world when it comes to official surveillance.

a photo rendering of "Siemensstadt 2.0" in Berlin

A German City of Industry Gets a Modern Makeover

The German company Siemens is launching an ambitious adaptive reuse project to revitalize its historic corporate campus, with a modern data-collecting twist.

The Forgotten Urbanists of 19th-Century Boomtowns

Before economic-development agencies existed in America, some journalists amassed reams of data and published thousands of pages to promote their home cities.

Groups of people look at their phones while sitting in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

How Socially Integrated Is Your City? Ask Twitter.

Using geotagged tweets, researchers found four types of social connectedness in big U.S. cities, exemplified by New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and Miami.

Dublin Is Changing, and Locals Hate It

The recent loss of popular murals and local pubs is fueling a deeper angst over mass tourism, redevelopment and urban transformation in the Irish capital.

American Migration Patterns Should Terrify the GOP

Millennial movers have hastened the growth of left-leaning metros in southern red states such as Texas, Arizona, and Georgia. It could be the biggest political story of the 2020s.

How Democrats Conquered the City

The 150-year history of how a once-rural party became synonymous with density.

a photo of a country music performer in Nashville.

Why Nashville Can't Quit Country Music

A historian on the Ken Burns documentary Country Music explains why the Tennessee capital’s bond with country music endures, even as the city has boomed.

Two women painting colorful panels outdoors with other artists in the background

East Harlem Hasn’t Gotten Its Subway Yet, But It Is Getting Vibrant Art

As East Harlem waits for the Trump Administration to fund the Second Avenue subway, the Uptown GrandScale Mural Project is changing blight to beauty.

A photo of Providence Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci Jr.,

Un-Corrupting City Hall

These cities all suffered notorious municipal scandals. What have officials and voters done to tackle corruption and keep it from happening again?