Boston

a photo of Boston's CultureHouse.

From Dead Store to Pop-Up ‘Social Infrastructure’

A Boston nonprofit called CultureHouse is demonstrating how empty storefronts can be transformed into instant “social infrastructure.”

Here’s What the Heat Island Looks Like in East Coast Cities

Maps of urban heat islands show where residents can find pockets of cooler air in Boston, Philadelphia, Richmond, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.

‘Reading the City’ Helps Travelers Find Books About Their Destinations

If guidebooks aren’t your thing, check out these stories to learn about the cities you’re visiting next.

When ‘Big Plans’ Could Change the World

A new exhibition looks back at the period of grand urban design and social reform in New York City, Boston, and Chicago.

Detail of a Brutalist building.

Can This Flawed Brutalist Plaza in Boston Be Fixed?

The chain-link fences are finally down at Boston’s long-closed Government Services Center, thanks to some clever design updates.

A photo of a new apartment building under construction in Boston.

How to Block Multi-Family Housing, Boston-Style

Despite the area’s progressive politics, NIMBY-minded residents in and around Boston are skilled in keeping residential construction at bay.

U.S. Cities Are Seeing a Big Drop in Tourism From China

Travel from China to the U.S. fell for the first time in over a decade. That could mean money lost for big cities as well as smaller places near national parks.

Boston is an I. M. Pei City

Boston was where I. M. Pei produced work that would come to define the city and cement his own reputation as one of the world’s most evocative architects.

Is This the Next Mayor of Boston?

City Councilor Michelle Wu, a Chicago native, has pushed for fare-free transit, tangled with Airbnb over housing regulations, and shaken up the politics of Old Boston.  

an illustration of children and a school bus

The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools

In 1966, a group of Boston-area parents and administrators created a busing program called METCO to help desegregate schools. They thought of it as a quick fix to a passing problem. But the problem hasn’t passed, and METCO isn’t enough to fix it.

To Build a Better Bus Lane, Just Paint It

“Red carpet” bus lanes can be a cheap, fast, and effective way to smooth commutes for public transit users and drivers alike.

A Valentine’s Day Tradition, Born in the Heart of Boston

In the 1800s, candy helped make Boston an industrial powerhouse. Candy hearts have been a lasting legacy of that era, though their future is less certain.

How the Boston Molasses Disaster Ushered in the Era of Modern Regulation

100 years ago, a massive wave of molasses marked one of the strangest industrial disasters in modern history. It also marked a major moment in U.S. public policy.

How Boston Got Its ‘T’

Designers Peter Chermayeff and Tom Geismar talk about how they gave the MBTA an enduring makeover.

Lyft Just Became America’s Biggest Bikeshare Company

By acquiring Motivate, Uber’s chief rival will take over the docked systems in New York, D.C., San Francisco, and more.

A Getaway cabin is pictured.

City Life Stressing You Out? Flee to These Tiny Homes in the Woods

A startup is betting that young city-dwellers need to unwind in the least urban place imaginable.

Black and white West Charlotte High School students pose together in and around their school bus in 1972.

How America's Most Integrated School Segregated Again

A new book tracks how a Charlotte, North Carolina, high school went from an integration success story to the city’s most isolated and impoverished school.

The Far Right's Day in Boston

Participants in a “free speech” rally say they aren’t white nationalists, but claim there is a “war against whites” in America.

Students use tongs to fill up their plates with healthy lunch options at a school salad bar

Can Boston Solve School Lunch?

What does it take to transform cafeteria options in city schools for the better?

Boston City Government Has A Racial Pay Disparity Problem

There is a significant gap in the earnings of white employees and people of color. A new racial equity strategy for the city plans to correct that.