Life

A photo of empty storefronts in a small American town.

How ‘Heartland Visas’ Could Reduce Geographic Inequality

Place-based immigrant visas could help revitalize America’s left-behind cities and regions, economic researchers say in a new report.

A photo of reporters Gary Massaro and Judi Villa in the newsroom of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

When Local Newsrooms Shrink, Fewer Candidates Run for Mayor

A study of 11 California newspapers shows that when cities have fewer reporters, political competition and voter turnout suffer.

A photo of a mural of Chuck Brown, the godfather of go-go, with former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry.

Do Cultural Plans Really Help Cities Save Their Art and Music Scenes?

From D.C. to Dallas, cities are drafting documents to help protect their cultural resources from economic changes. But too often, these plans lack teeth.

When People Move Into Tiny Homes, They Adopt Greener Lifestyles

Every major component of a downsizer’s lifestyle is influenced, including food, transportation, and consumption of goods and services.

When Weird Things Get You a Free Ride

The Netherlands recently let train travelers ride free if they carried a book. Here are other strange offers that covered the cost of train or bus tickets.

A miniature suburban street at dusk.

The Secret History of the Suburbs

We all know the stereotypes: Suburbia is dull, conformist, and about “keeping up with the Joneses.” But what about the suburbs of utopians and renegades?

a photo of people waiting for the metro

A Zine That Captures the Many Faces of Washington, D.C.’s Metro Riders

Photographer Patrick Wright carried his camera on the city’s rapid transit system for four years, taking photos of over a thousand riders.

A photo of the George Washington Bridge

Fort Lee, Beyond Bridgegate

The town next to the George Washington Bridge is fed—and cursed—by cars and trucks flowing to New York City. But there’s more to Fort Lee than traffic.

Why France’s Former Prime Minister Wants to Be a Mayor in Spain

Manuel Valls is running for office in Barcelona, where his trumpeting of European values has gained little traction in the face of everyday politics.

People handle guns on display at a show in Las Vegas.

The 3 Gun-Control Laws That Work Best in the U.S.

States with stricter gun-control laws have fewer homicides, especially when they’re used in combination, according to a new study.

A blue, red, and gray map indicating income inequality in 2013

How the 1 Percent Is Pulling America’s Cities and Regions Apart

America’s growing geographic divide derives from economic inequality, especially the tremendous gains of the 1 percent.

Madrid Bans Airbnb Apartments That Don’t Have Private Entrances

A new vacation rental law aims to ease the strain of tourism in central Madrid and spread the industry’s benefits to other parts of the city.

How Bad Is It to Let Your Cat Outside?

Your adorable house cat is also a ruthless predator. A conservation biologist makes the case for keeping cats indoors, or at least on leashes.

Millennials Are Rejecting America’s All-or-Nothing Drinking Culture

They might be getting sick of booze, but they’re not giving up on it completely.

A Restored Norfolk Theater Is Back in the Spotlight

After years of vacancy, name changes, and collapsing ceilings, the Attucks still holds a special place in the collective memory of Norfolk’s black community.

The Marx Brothers Playground on the border of East Harlem and the Upper East Side.

Are Playgrounds the Site of New York City’s Next Big Land Grab?

A proposed luxury development in Manhattan has highlighted the murky status of Jointly Owned Playgrounds. Are they people’s parks or possible development sites?

Jason Hardesty poses with a pup outside a New Orleans bar.

A Perk of Delivering Mail: Meeting All the Good Dogs

Meet the UPS driver who proves once and for all that mail carriers and dogs can live in harmony.

Preserving the Legacy of Black Baseball in Detroit’s Hamtramck Stadium

An effort to restore one of the last remaining Negro League ballparks uncovers a hidden history of America’s pastime.

How Cincinnati Turned Baseball Into a National Sensation

In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings began an 81-game winning streak that changed how America thought about professional baseball.

A photo of crowds at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The Economic Power of American Arts and Culture

The contribution of culture and art to the U.S. economy is bigger than the economic output of Sweden or Switzerland, according to a new report.