Civic Life

A city overpass with parked cars and sparse trees

How 'Temporary Urbanism' Can Transform Struggling Industrial Towns

Matchmaking empty spaces with local businesses and the tiny house movement are innovative solutions that can help post-industrial cities across Europe and North America adapt to the future.

DeVon Douglass standing in front of flags

What Makes a 'Resilient' City? For Tulsa's Chief Resilience Officer, It's People

DeVon Douglass defines the murky term in her own words.

Michael Bloomberg speaks at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Bloomberg's $200 Million Challenge to Cities

The latest rendition of the competition asks cities to come up with innovations that can move the entire nation forward.

A sign in front of sunflowers with a busy intersection in the background

Creating a Better Community Through Text Messages

As cities make their data more transparent and accountable, this project in New York found one way to use technology to engage the residents in the planning process—by prompting locals to text in ideas.

A shopper peruses the offerings at the Food Bank For New York City Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem.

Why Can't America Solve the Hunger Problem?

The new book Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance Between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups argues that food banks and pantries don’t chip away at underlying issues that keep people food-insecure.

Barcelona's Old Town Gets A Reboot

The city seeks to control the excesses of tourism without making its oldest quarters feel like an empty shell.

Danny McFadden, of Phoenix, a driver for AZ Iceman, loads up a pallet of bagged ice as temperatures were predicted to hit 115 during a heat wave in July 2007.

How Phoenix Helped Its Working Poor Beat the Summer Heat

The city organized a massive outreach campaign when it learned that low-income communities didn’t know about its free cooling stations.

Marin County’s award-winning "Game of Floods" invites citizens to think through tough planning decisions.

When Planning for Sea-Level Rise Turns to Play

Marin County’s “Game of Floods” teaches citizens how to make tough decisions for the future.

Can Florida's First Needle Exchange Help Curb HIV?

The state leads the nation in new diagnoses, and close to six percent are attributed to injection-drug users sharing used or infected needles.

Designs for Amsterdam's Central Station

Amsterdam Is Flooding, On Purpose

Widened canals—and underground bike parking—will bring the city’s Central Station a little closer to nature and history.

In Disaster Recovery, Social Networks Matter More Than Bottled Water and Batteries

When it comes to bouncing back, never underestimate the power of communities.

Venice Fights Back

The world's most beautiful city has never been more threatened. But a passionate movement of locals is determined to keep it alive.

The High Line's Next Balancing Act

The famed “linear park” may be a runaway success, but it’s also a symbol of Manhattan’s rising inequality. Can its founder help other cities learn from its mistakes?

A Portland Start-Up Is Smashing Barriers to Affordable Housing

Tyrone Poole, the founder of NoAppFee.com, was homeless once. Now he’s demystifying the rental search, one application at a time.

The Best Ideas of 2016

Not everything is terrible!

How Sacramento Rolled Out a Mobile Restroom for the Homeless ​​​​​​​

The Pit Stop project hired restroom attendants who can empathize with the population they’re trying to reach.

The Women Replacing Spain's Franco-Era Street Names

Cities are finally getting rid of streets that honor fascist figures, and they’re addressing a gender imbalance at the same time.

The Future of 311 Could Be Weird

Non-emergency city service hotlines are celebrating their 20th anniversary, and eyeing immersive new possibilities.

Restoring a Historic Athens Neighborhood, One House at a Time

A community-led approach to historic restoration focuses on crumbling 19th century buildings.

Closing the Child Care Access Gap

It’s not just a matter of affordability. It’ll take an “infrastructure investment,” a new report claims.