POV

London's Grenfell Tower covered and illuminated with green light on June 14, 2018, one year after the deadly fire.

Grenfell’s Problem Wasn’t Just Lax Regulation

After the tragic, deadly fire in London, there have been calls for increased regulation and inspection, but that alone will drive up rents for the most vulnerable. Cities need a radical change in the way they approach housing.

To Build a Better Bus System, Ask a Driver

The people who know buses best have ideas about how to reform the system, according to a survey of 373 Brooklyn bus operators.

An Amazon worker in Phoenix, Arizona, wheels a dolly with boxes.

HQ2 Employees Might Unwittingly Pay Their Taxes to Amazon

Some cities vying for HQ2 offer a way for companies like Amazon to automatically recoup a percentage of employees’ salaries from…the employees.

You Can’t Fix Mass Transit By Destroying It

A suggestion that the New York City subway could be replaced by tunnels for autonomous cars would only exclude the riders who need it most.

A golfer tees off during the first round of the 2005 Irish Open.

Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield

As the sport’s popularity wanes, vast amounts of underutilized land will open up. Can it be developed?

State and local campaign signs hang along a bridge outside of Charleston, West Virginia, 2018.

One Nation, United Yet Different: Valuing Localism

The United States is an amalgam of places and people. As long as essential values are preserved we should appreciate the ability of local government to respond to unique communities.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and U.S. President Barack Obama meet in 2015. Something in common?

Fortress ‘Black in America’: Closed to Africans?

In a real-life Killmonger-T’Challa story, a writer of Kenyan origin reflects on her experience as an immigrant in America and her struggle to find bonds with black Americans.

Debris left behind in Ellicott City, Maryland, after catastrophic flooding on Sunday.

When the Water Came for Me

In just a few hours on Sunday afternoon, the residents of Ellicott City, Maryland, became climate refugees. Here’s what that feels like.

Floodwaters surge through Ellicott City, Maryland

America Is Flooding, and It’s Our Fault

Floods like the one that devastated Ellicott City on Sunday are not “natural” disasters outside our control—we can reduce the impacts and risks if we resolve to.

Yes, Transit-Rich Neighborhoods Are More Affordable

Contrary to the implications of a recent attention-grabbing study, “location efficiency” matters—good transit does lower transportation costs. Decades of research show how.

What Surfers Understand About Gentrification

When it comes to waves, newcomers are not wanted.

Metro trains arrive at the Gallery Place-Chinatown station in Washington D.C.

D.C. Metro's New App May Need a Pre-Launch Update

Washington D.C. transit officials announced plans to update the payment system for rail and bus with a great new app. But if they don’t go further, this writer says, the speed of transit innovation will soon leave them scrambling.

The Problem With Opportunity Zones

Will tax incentives really encourage investors to help revitalize low-income communities? Research on similar efforts from the past suggests otherwise.

It's Not Cool to Argue About Whether D.C. Is Cool

Can increasingly unaffordable urban places have too many trendy restaurants and hipsters? Maybe that’s not the right question.

The musician Esperanza Spalding snapped a photo of the authors, Penny Woolcock and Stephen Griffith, at Angel Station in London

London's 'War Zone': What Trump and Others Don't See

Trump angered Brits when he cited London’s increasing knife violence recently, saying a city hospital there was “like a war zone.” In this excerpt from Tales of Two Londons, the authors describe the joys and threats in a London neighborhood.

Children receiving polio drops in Aprll during an anti-polio campaign in Karachi, Pakistan.

Like People, Diseases Travel Fast These Days

Since the 1918 flu pandemic that wiped out about five percent of the world’s population there have been strides toward eradicating most communicable diseases, yet the vulnerability of certain parts of the world affects everyone. This, the writers say, must be addressed.

In Oct. 2017, women filled bottles with water in Zagora, Morocco during a water shortage.  Experts blamed the shortage on growing populations, climate change and agricultural choices.

What If People Were Paid to Use Less Water?

Pilot programs in Morocco and California are rewarding people financially for conserving water, rather than charging them for excessive consumption.

D.C.'s "sliced-off" skyline

The Case for D.C.'s Flat Skyline

Some Washingtonians complain that the city’s height limit has resulted in lookalike, boxy buildings. But creativity can emerge from constraint, a West Coast critic argues.

New housing under construction in San Marcos, California.

The YIMBYs Lost in California. But They're Just Getting Started.

The defeat of SB 827, California’s ambitious pro-housing bill, masks a wider trend: Similar initiatives are on the march nationwide.

The Manhattan Criminal Courts building, New York, New York

America's Justice System Has the Wrong Goals

Two former prosecutors argue that we need a justice system that rewards prosecutors for reducing incarceration.