POV

Children and adults sit on and around a deck with multi-colored chairs and giant LEGOs.

If You Build It, They Might Not Come: Animating City Spaces

Why do revamped areas remain barren after so much thought and money are put into redesigning them? A case study in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers clues.

A photo of the Lord & Taylor building on Fifth Avenue.

Work Habits Are Changing: Cities Need to Keep Up

What does work sprawl mean for urban planning?

Cars, taxis, buses, and pedestrians on Manhattan's 42nd Street.

Rethinking Manhattan’s Grid

What do you get when you layer the Barcelona “superblock” and the Dutch woonerf onto Manhattan’s grid? Streets that are for people.

I Chased Down the Only Electric Citi Bike in Manhattan

Seeing a single bike bounce around so often over my lunch break highlighted the value of bikeshare in a way that ridership statistics can't, writes an MTA analyst.  

When the Federal Government Takes on Local Zoning

Back in the first Bush Administration, Jack Kemp's HUD tried to rein in exclusionary housing restrictions. What happened?

Traditional taxis vie for street space with ride-hailing vehicles from Uber and Lyft in New York City.

Why Reining in Ride Hailing Is So Critical

City leaders need to reckon with the reality that sometimes shared ride services are not part of the answer to urban congestion, argues transportation researcher Bruce Schaller.

In Dhaka, a protester writes a slogan on another one's shirt during demonstrations over the death of two students in a traffic accident.

View From the Protests: Dhaka Should Go Car-Free

For nearly two weeks, Bangladesh’s capital city has been riven with protests following the death of two students in a traffic incident. A longtime Dhaka resident reports on the situation and offers a solution to the traffic problem.

Is All American Politics Really National Now?

There’s much we gloss over when talking about the role of place in our politics.

Illustration of a house with separate activities taking place in different rooms.

The Case for Rooms

It’s time to end the tyranny of open-concept interior design.

An augmented reality view of a city being used as an urban planning tool from MIT Media Lab.

AR Is Transforming Tech. What Can It Do for Cities?

If it isn’t already there, augmented reality is coming to a device near you. Cities need to work to ensure that AR makes the leap from “cool experience,” to a technology that improves residents’ lives.

A building and street signs are reflected in flood waters.

The Cost of Flood Insurance Is a Price Worth Paying

Hours before it was set to expire, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. That’s a good thing: Despite its many problems, America needs it now more than ever.

Downtown Kampala

Maize Sellers Where Skyscrapers Could Be

Africa is rapidly urbanizing but central city development is not keeping pace.

Traffic on 42d St. in New York City.

If Your Car Is Stuck in Traffic, It's Not Uber and Lyft's Fault

Cities have been congested and transit has been poorly used for years before ride-hailing companies set up shop.

A festive arrangement of lights at a Texas mobile home community.

The Urbanist Case for Trailer Parks

You want density and affordability? You should want manufactured housing. Too bad it’s often illegal.

On March 31, 2016, a transportation enforcement worker watches ride-sharing vehicles pull into their spaces at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the first day they could legally pick up and drop off customers there.

Don’t Enact a ‘Lazy’ Ride-Hailing Tax

A former mayor of Portland, Oregon, outlines what a smart ride-hailing tax looks like for American cities.

Voters and campaign volunteers at the Durham County Library, North Regional in Durham, North Carolina, 2018.

When Black Lawmakers Get Elected, Zoning Decisions Change

Bias in land use decisions is difficult to measure, but new research in Durham reveals that race has been a significant factor.

U.S. Postal Service letter carrier Jamesa Euler delivers mail on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, in Atlanta.

Man of Letters

What I learned about America, and myself, working as a mail carrier.

Illegally constructed buildings about 30 miles north of Cairo. The pace of unlicensed building exploded in the security vacuum following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

Rapid Urbanization Is a Risk to Global Security

The international community needs to focus on assisting the development of well-planned, stable cities, for both strategic and humanitarian reasons.

What ‘Skyscraper’ Doesn’t Get About Skyscrapers

The Rock’s new movie should have gotten more thrills out of high-rise design, an engineer argues.

Cities Will Automate First. We Should Prepare Now.

Urban spaces are the testing grounds for the automation revolution. Will they destroy our jobs, or just make new and better ones?