Life

photo: rooftops in Paris, France

Airbnb’s Olympic Sponsorship Deal Isn’t Playing Well in Paris

The home-rental company inked a massive deal to sponsor the Olympics until 2028—over fierce objections from the host city for the 2024 Games.

photo: A stylish new funeral parlor called Exit Here in London.

Death Be Not Dull

U.K. restaurateur Oliver Peyton’s newest project, a style-forward funeral home called Exit Here, aims to shake up a very traditional industry.

A female doctor in a white coat examines a patient

How AI Could Change the Highly-Skilled Job Market

A new study uses artificial intelligence to find that jobs done by highly skilled workers are the most likely to be affected by AI.

Berlin Wants to Freeze Rents for 5 Years. Can It Really Do That?

The German capital is about to begin a groundbreaking rental law, but looming legal challenges and new revelations cast doubt on whether it’s possible at all.

Talent May Be Shifting Away From Superstar Cities

According to a new analysis, places away from the coasts in the Sunbelt and West are pulling ahead when it comes to attracting talented workers.

The Three Personalities of America, Mapped

People in different regions of the U.S. have measurably different psychological profiles.

Holland Aims to Bring Back Its Starry Nights

Campaigners want government agencies and companies to turn off the lights so citizens can rediscover the beauty of darkness.

a photo illustration of a map from "Treasure Island"

The Treasure Map That Led Me to the Bottom of the Sea

It wasn’t always easy being a black woman in my early days as an oceanographer. But a fictional pirate and a pioneering ocean explorer helped chart my course.

audience members at venue

What Early-Career Income Volatility Means for Your Middle-Aged Brain

A long-term study of people in four cities finds that income volatility in one’s 20s and 30s correlates with negative brain effects in middle age.

photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.

In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

Tailored Place-Based Policies Are Key to Reducing Regional Inequality

Economist Timothy Bartik details the need for place-based policy to combat regional inequality and help distressed places—strategies outlined in his new book.

The Zombie Storefronts of America

If retail is dying, then pop-up shops might be what replace it.

How Advertising Conquered Urban Space

In cities around the world, advertising is everywhere. We may try to shut it out, but it reflects who we are (or want to be) and connects us to the urban past.

photo: Swedish journalist Per Grankvist, AKA the "Scandinavian Malcolm Gladwell."

To Survive Climate Change, We’ll Need a Better Story

Per Grankvist is “chief storyteller” for Sweden’s Viable Cities program. His job: communicate the realities of day-to-day living in a carbon-neutral world.

a photo illustration of map of Denver

What an Old Map of Denver Can Teach a Newcomer

There’s more to the fast-changing Mile High City than beer, hiking, and skiing. An old map gave me a clue about where to look.

The skyline of New York.

Instead of the Big Apple, NYC Could Have Been La Grosse Pomme

If the first European explorer to reach New York Harbor had gotten the name "Nouvelle Angoulême" to stick, NYC might be NAC, according to a new documentary.

for sale signs on lawns

The Changing Demographics of America's Suburbs

The changes in the demographic makeup of America’s suburbs are so profound that some urbanists are calling for a new sociology of suburbia.

photo: a student displays her clear plastic backpack

The Empty Promise of the Clear Plastic Backpack

Since the 1990s, transparent plastic book bags have been promoted as a security solution after school shootings and terror attacks. But their true effects are hazy.

Smashing the Great Pumpkin-Waste Problem

Community pumpkin-smashing events aim to cut down on Halloween’s contribution to America’s food waste problem and reap the benefits of composting.

Photo: Media members report on a burning home as a firefighter douses flames during the Hillside fire in the North Park neighborhood of San Bernardino, California on October 31, 2019.

California’s Wildfires Are Not a Morality Tale

The fire-scorched state’s history has long been marked by calamities. But its latest disaster did not come to teach Californians a lesson.