Perspective

Netflix’s ‘Street Food’ Reveals a Thriving and Threatened Culture

In cities globally, street vendors are an essential source of food and provide critical income to women but recent crackdowns are threatening this lifestyle.

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.

Four scooters that say "Available on Uber."

The California Legislature Is Getting Played by Micromobility Companies

If the California legislature passes AB 1112, cities can’t require companies like Bird, Lime, and Jump to limit numbers, meet equity goals, or fully share data.

A man walks on the street with a guitar on his back.

A Smart City Is Rarely Smart Enough to Account for People’s Feelings

Smart cities are efficient, but tech can’t account for human emotion. In the Mission District of San Francisco, officials are learning to bridge the gap.

An artist's rendering of a space colony, with farms, a university campus, an elevated train track, and skyscrapers in the background.

Jeff Bezos Dreams of a 1970s Future

If the sci-fi space cities of Bezos’s Blue Origin look familiar, it’s because they’re derived from the work of his college professor, the late physicist Gerard O’Neill.  

a photo of drivers entering Manhattan

The Technology That Could Transform Congestion Pricing

As cities like New York move ahead with plans to charge motorists to enter certain urban areas, we need to think about the best ways to manage road tolling.

Most of America’s Rural Areas Are Doomed to Decline

Since the Great Recession, most of the nation's rural counties have struggled to recover lost jobs and retain their people.

People of different faiths in front of a church.

What the Mutual Admiration Among Jews and Muslims in the U.S. Reveals

A Muslim-American former state department officer analyzes a new poll and finds fertile ground for officials to engage faith groups before tragedy strikes.

A man rides a motorized Lime scooter in San Francisco.

The Right Way to Regulate Electric Scooters

As dockless shared-mobility devices spread nationwide, so do the risks of accident and injury. Here’s why more federal safety oversight is needed.

a photo of a man surveying a home garage.

How Single-Family Garages Can Ease California's Housing Crisis

Given the affordable housing crisis, California cities should encourage single-family homeowners to convert garages into apartments and accessory dwelling units.

Segregation Is Preventable. Congress Just Isn’t Trying.

Again and again, federal efforts to promote integration have been whittled down almost to nothing.

A U.S. Marine helps a young Cuban child off a refugee boat

Trump’s Sanctuary Cities ‘Threat’ Echoes Castro’s Mariel Boatlift Spin

Like the Cubans who came in the Mariel boatlift, most immigrants aren’t criminals. The Trump proposal to let them into U.S. cities shows he knows that.

World Mayors pose for a group picture

Cities Are Rising in Influence and Power on the Global Stage

Cities are challenging their invisibility in global governance structures, like the United Nations, by forging new alliances to influence international policy.

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.

A 1948 photo of people getting transfers at the New York City subway.

The United States Needs a Universal System to Pay for Public Transit

Why doesn’t the United States have a national system for transit payment? In some countries, a single travel card works to ride any train, bus, subway or tram.

Facade of Cuties cafe in Los Angeles.

I Found My L.A. Self at an LGBTQ+ Cafe

At a cafe in Los Angeles a transplant finds a new home, one that gives her the strength and support to “lay down her swords.”

The sign for General Motors Flint Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan.

How to Bring Back Struggling Cities

A Manhattan Institute report offers strategies to revitalize such struggling cities as Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and Youngstown, Ohio.

You Can't Have an Equitable Economy While Ignoring Police Violence

Cities like Pittsburgh can’t herald inclusive innovation without stepping up to protect black lives like Antwon Rose’s from police.

A photo of boats along the Copenhagen waterfront in 2017.

What Can European Socialists Teach the American Left?

In the cities of Northern Europe, social democracy has a sophisticated playbook that balances public and private interests.

A photo of a police officer guarding the New York Port Authority Bus Terminal.

The Troubling Limits of the ‘Great Crime Decline’

The fall of urban violence since the 1990s was a public health breakthrough, as NYU sociologist Patrick Sharkey says in his book Uneasy Peace. But we must go further.

a photo of a man on an electric bike riding through heavy smog in Shanghai, China.

To Avoid Climate Disaster, Urban Transportation Must Change, Now

Cities have a key role to play in confronting climate change, and it starts with shared mobility—and taking back the streets from the private car.