Also: Wages are growing faster in rural areas, and the beautiful (but dangerous) sidewalks of Lisbon.

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What We’re Following

Have a ball: In some cities, transit stations have a lot of empty or underused space. It might be easy to ignore, but what if it could be turned into something that serves as a community hub and encourages people to ride transit? That’s what’s emerging in Atlanta’s MARTA system, where a nonprofit called Soccer in the Streets has revamped unused spaces at two stations by installing mini soccer fields for kids and adults. The vision goes much further: Over the next three years, the plan is to build a network of ten fields that host a transit-oriented soccer league, putting kids and parents just a train ride away from their next match.

People play soccer on a new field below train tracks at Atlanta's West End station. (Courtesy of Soccer in the Streets)

Station Soccer is already popular, with dozens of kids playing at the West End station field that opened in September, plus adult leagues and pickup games. And so far, the change is having a ripple effect in the community. “It creates a totally different relationship for those neighborhoods,” says Atlanta’s commissioner for city planning. “And it becomes a place that’s central to how the neighborhood functions.”

Today on CityLab: Why Soccer Fields are Sprouting Up at Atlanta’s Transit Stations

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Wages Are Higher in Urban Areas, but Growing Faster in Rural Ones

The picture of wages and salaries across the U.S. is not a simple one of urban success versus rural decline.

Richard Florida

On Long Island, Failure to Absorb Sandy’s Lessons

Six years after Sandy hit New York killing 43 people and destroying numerous homes, waterfront development in the region continues with scant attention to cohesive storm-mitigation strategy.

Richard Murdocco

Lisbon’s Beautiful, Dangerous Sidewalks

The artistic and slippery “Portuguese pavement” has become become Lisbon’s calling card. City Hall wants to replace a few stretches of them with concrete—a seemingly sensible decision that has sparked outrage.

Jenny Barchfield

London’s Latest Bit of Rail Infrastructure Is a Very Old Street

After a revamp, a tunneled Victorian thoroughfare has become part of London Bridge Station.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Uber, but for Driving Your Kids Around

A slew of small companies have launched in recent years, offering parents a way to outsource their daily driving.

Joe Pinsker


What We’re Reading

Uber’s online-only restaurants: the future, or the end of dining out? (NPR)

What happens to street performers in a cashless economy? (Next City)

Cities tell Airbnb to make room for affordable housing (Stateline)

Feds order company to stop shuttling Florida kids to school in autonomous bus (Jalopnik)

Is the Sun Belt really becoming progressive? (New Yorker)


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