Perspective

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.

a photo of Zack Barber, 12, riding his bicycle in the Sandtown section of Baltimore.

In Trump vs. Baltimore, No One Is Winning

In his tweets targeting Congressman Elijah Cummings, the president attacked a city that’s already suffering. We can try to ignore him, or try to fight back.

A photo of Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings

What ‘Infests’ Baltimore? The Segregation History Buried in Trump's Tweets

In slamming Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings’s 7th District as “rodent infested,” Trump borrows from the rhetoric that first segregated the city.

A photo of downtown Youngstown, Ohio

The Latest Bad News Out of Youngstown Is Different

The closing of The Vindicator, Youngstown’s daily paper, means that this long-suffering Ohio city won’t have the ability to shape its own narrative.

Hurricane Barry: Lessons From a Disaster That Wasn’t

Hurricane Barry largely spared New Orleans, but it underscored that climate change brings complex impacts and hard choices.

Little kids under a blanket.

How U.S. Child Care Is Segregated: a Brooklyn Story

At a daycare in a gentrifying Brooklyn area, is the entrance of racially diverse, middle-class families income integration, or more akin to colonization?

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It

The automobile took over because the legal system helped squeeze out the alternatives.

A satellite image of Manhattan with an orange square superimposed, indicating one square kilometer.

What Micro-Mapping a City's Density Reveals

Exploring density by the square kilometer reveals as much variation within cities as between them—and shows that raw statistics can be deceptive.

School children facing the camera with three adults in the back.

How Gentrification by Urban Millennials Improves Public School Diversity

In rapidly gentrifying areas of Queens and Brooklyn, the new population is spurring a gradual desegregation of some New York City public schools.

a photo of an e-scooter.

A Lawyer Explains Why Electric Scooter Laws Don’t Work

Bird, Lime, and other shared micromobility services are disrupting the legal landscape, too.