Perspective

photo: Cyclists in Buffalo Bayou Park in downtown Houston.

How Car-Clogged Houston Could Be a Climate Policy Leader

Houston’s infamous lack of zoning could become a climate-policy asset as the sprawling Texas metropolis attempts to steer a more sustainable course.

After moving out of the Higher Ground homeless shelter in Minneapolis Douglas Pyle, 49, reacts to seeing his hotel room for the first time Friday, May 1, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN.

Coronavirus Exposes the Inextricable Connection Between Housing and Health

Escalated efforts to get homeless and unsheltered people off the streets during coronavirus can serve us long after the crisis is over.

This Is How Hard It Is to Invest in Black Neighborhoods

The story of one investor trying to revitalize a crumbling block in Birmingham, Alabama, shows how little value American institutions place on black properties.

photo: A Metropolitan Transit Authority worker wearing a protective mask looks out the window of the subway as the F train departs Coney Island.

A NYC Councilmember’s Plan to Save Public Transit

A New York City councilmember’s plea: We can’t reopen the nation’s largest city without safe public transit. But it won’t be easy, or cheap.

When a Walk Is No Longer Just a Walk

After Ahmaud Arbery’s death, even stepping out the front door for a walk provokes a protracted mental checklist of how to stay safe in my own neighborhood.

I’m a Hospital-Worker Mom, and I Need Daycare on the Job

Health-care workers have needed better child-care options for decades. The coronavirus pandemic should be a tipping point.

photo: The Manhattan skyline is reflected in a lake in New York City's Central Park

Density Isn’t Easy. But It’s Necessary.

Americans have always had a difficult relationship with urban density. But in a crisis, we need what cities can provide.

Will Commuters Ever Go Back to Commuter Trains?

No form of public transportation has lost more riders in the coronavirus crisis than the trains that carry suburban workers to urban jobs. Will they ever recover?

photo: a crowded scene of Times Square in NYC

In New York City, Density Saves Lives, Too

Before coronavirus transformed urban life, New York had achieved a massive public health success, thanks in part to the city’s now-maligned layout.

photo: A sign advising passengers to wear face masks is displayed on a New Jersey Transit bus in Atlantic City.

How U.S. Public Transit Can Survive Coronavirus

Subway and bus systems in the U.S. face financial peril as ridership collapses due to lockdowns. To keep transit alive, here’s a playbook for immediate and long-term fixes.

We Can’t Wait Until Coronavirus Is Over to Address Racial Disparities

Early data show worse outcomes for Americans of color from Covid-19. This isn’t only a reflection of historic inequality. The response is creating inequality, too.

The Health Emergency That’s Coming to West Louisville

The spread of Covid-19 into communities long suffering from environmental inequities could spell disaster for local residents, like in Louisville, Kentucky.

photo: A line of shuttered shops in downtown Cincinnati.

For Cities, This Is a Fiscal Disaster

America’s smaller towns and cities face a fiscal calamity. The next federal stimulus must save the local governments that face a financial crisis due to the coronavirus.

photo: A deserted street 
in the Saint Michel district of Paris, France.

Is the City Itself the Problem?

There’s a long history of blaming urban areas rather than economic factors for physical and moral ills. But density can be an asset for fighting coronavirus.

photo: a scooter rider in San Francisco

Anyone Feel Like Saving Electric Scooters?

The shared e-scooter services that proliferated in cities before the coronavirus pandemic now face a bleak financial outlook. Should cities help them survive?

AIDS and Coronavirus: What's Different Now

Some aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic are eerily reminiscent of the AIDS crisis — others are unrecognizable.

How We Stopped Villainizing the Social Safety Net

The coronavirus crisis has made clear to more American people and politicians what was true all along: Giving workers a social safety net benefits us all.

photo: A cyclist rides past a closed Victoria Park in East London.

The Power of Parks in a Pandemic

For city residents, equitable access to local green space is more than a coronavirus-era amenity. It’s critical for physical, emotional, and mental health.

In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

photo: a mix of vacant and inhabited homes in Detroit.

Another Way Cities Can Protect Homeowners: End Tax Sales

Auctioning homes over unpaid taxes only makes racial and income inequities worse. The coronavirus crisis offers a good time to halt the practice, permanently.

Black Businesses Left Behind in Covid-19 Relief

The latest U.S. coronavirus aid package promises a partial and uneven economic recovery that leaves behind the African American community.