Perspective

How Cities Address the Housing Crisis, and Why It’s Not Enough

Local officials from across the U.S. are gathering to discuss ways to address the affordable housing crisis but, they say the federal government must do more.

a photo of a row of Citi Bikes in NYC.

‘Walled Gardens’ vs. Open Mobility: The Battle Begins

Why did Lyft block users of a third-party app from accessing New York’s Citi Bike? It’s the start of what could be a fundamental showdown over mobility choice.

A photo of residents blocking a Philadelphia intersection on a July weekend in 1953.

The Hidden History of American Anti-Car Protests

A wave of traffic safety activism in the 1970s helped reshape Dutch streets. But the U.S. had its own anti-car movement earlier, led largely by women.

a photo of the abandoned Richman Brothers garment factory in Cleveland in 2012.

The Inclusive Growth Problem

Can left-behind Rust Belt cities in the U.S. catch up to booming tech hubs without magnifying local economic disparities? So far, the evidence is mixed.

a photo of a street in Zürich, Switzerland.

What Does This Street In Zürich Mean?

If you see how cars, streetcars, bikes, and pedestrians use this Swiss street, you can better understand what’s wrong with so many other urban thoroughfares.

Two people walk through the decorated front gates of a squatter community.

First, There Was Artwashing. Now There’s … Squatter Chic?

Will developers start to copy the look of urban squatter and protest communities? London’s Nomadic Community Gardens suggests they might.

a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it

Parking Reform Will Save the City

Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

A sign says Homestead for profit immigrant child prison.

There's a Reason Trump Shouldn't Reopen This Child Detention Center

Activists in Florida shut down the nation’s largest detention center for children with migration complications. The Trump administration wants to reopen it.

A man rides an electric scooter in Los Angeles.

Why Do City Dwellers Love to Hate Scooters?

Electric scooters draw a lot of hate, but if supported well by cities, they have the potential to provide a widespread and beneficial mode of transportation.

a photo of the 2020 Democratic presidential debate stage.

The Question the Presidential Candidates Don’t Get Asked

Affordable housing is an urgent crisis, and 11 candidates have presented plans for solving it. But you wouldn’t know this by watching the TV debates.

America’s Transportation History is Full of Mistakes. Let’s Not Make Another One.

Instead of battling it out, cities and private mobility companies have an opportunity to work together and lay the foundation for a multimodal future.

‘Travelers Like Me Are Loving the World to Death’

As a global climate crisis deepens, even professional travelers should cut back on their air miles.

a photo of rush hour traffic outside Dallas, Texas.

What Urban Sprawl Is Really Doing to Your Commute

Urban traffic congestion is growing dramatically, according to a new report. So why aren’t drivers taking longer to get to work?

Black and white photo of a smiling woman at the market.

My Life Spent in Mexico City's Food Markets

The relationship between the writer and her food merchants is a familial one extending through generations, and beyond the hunt for that one perfect taco.

a photo of a BYD-built electric bus.

A Car-Centric City Makes a Bid for a Better Bus System

Indianapolis is set to unveil a potentially transformative all-electric bus rapid transit line, along with a host of major public transportation upgrades.

a photo of a tiny house in Oregon

How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

The downtown St. Louis skyline.

Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

Square co-founder Jack Dorsey is expanding the company’s presence in St. Louis and demolishing vacant buildings on the city’s north side.

a photo of Tara Conley outside novelist Toni Morrison's birthplace in Lorain, Ohio, not far from Cleveland.

In Toni Morrison’s Hometown, the Familiar Has Become Foreign

The late novelist was born a few miles from me in Lorain, in a small-town Ohio she called “neither plantation nor ghetto.” But much has changed.

Book covers of Native Country of the Heart and The Yellow House.

A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles

Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House and Cherríe Moraga’s Native Country of the Heart reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities.

Protesters with signs reading "Arrest Synder" and "Fix Flint Now."

A New Approach to Saving Distressed Cities: De-municipalization

Flint, Michigan, offered a devastating lesson in how state takeover of a city can fail. Agency control—“de-municipalization”—is a better idea.

a photo of tents beneath a highway overpass in Seattle, WA

Fix the Housing Crisis? It’s Complicated, But Not Insurmountable.

Different U.S. cities have their own versions of the housing affordability problem. It’s time for them to share solutions.