City Makers: Global Stories

The people and ideas reshaping urban life

The Best of City Makers

Looking back on our series about the people and ideas changing cities around the world.

How Gary, Indiana, Got Serious About Tackling Blight

The mayor of Gary is determined to stop a tide of vacant, neglected buildings in her post-industrial city. Data-rich parcel mapping is the first step.

Can These Colorful Garbage Trucks Make Trash Collection ... Cool?

Valparaiso, Chile's third-largest city, is tackling its garbage problem with a new fleet of brightly painted trucks.

One City's Trash Is Artistic Treasure

Inside the artist-in-residence program at the San Francisco dump.

The College of Lost Arts

A small college in Charleston, South Carolina, seeks to revive the centuries-old fine building trades.

How an Audio Booth Changed the Conversation Around a Major S.F. Redevelopment Project

The team reviving a former power plant in Bayview-Hunters Point partnered with StoryCorps, and the community response was pretty incredible.

The Case for Vertical Farming in Small-Town Wyoming

With harsh winters and a remote location, Jackson, Wyoming, has been unusually dependent on food trucked in from far away. Here's how one company hopes to change that.

Want Your City to Thrive? Look to Its Trees

Communities like Culver City, California, are focusing on urban forest plans to help protect a major economic and environmental asset: the tree canopy.

Improving Cairo for the Many, Not the Few

The Tadamun project seeks to broaden the discussion about Cairo's future.

The School for Young Refugees

In Clarkston, a small suburb of Atlanta, refugee kids settle into their new home at the Fugees Academy.

The Careful Transformation of an Abandoned Paris Scrap Yard

Before it becomes part of a new eco-district, artists and residents of suburban Aubervilliers stopped to commemorate the history in their midst.

In-Between a Bike and a Car

The makers of the ELF believe their enclosed, three-wheeled, low-carbon vehicle is the perfect transportation compromise.

How Urban Farming Could Change Hawaii

For all its lushness, the state imports the vast majority of its food. Advocates like Hunter Heaivilin think they have the solution.

The Promise of the $20,000 House

In Alabama, the Rural Studio design workshop has spent years refining prototypes for a cheap, well-made small house. Soon, they'll start selling the plans.

In Johannesburg, a New Bridge Must Also Address Apartheid's Legacy

The city has an ambitious plan to redress historic inequities through mass transit and redevelopment.

The Difference Choosing Ugly Vegetables Can Make

A Berlin café called Culinary Misfits makes the most of local food by cooking with cast-off produce.

Yes, There Are Black Tech Workers in Seattle

It's not an industry or a city where black professionals have much visibility. But they're finding each other at HERE Seattle.

How the Next Generation of Detroit Artisans Found a Home

At the Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, the maker movement is remixing Detroit's industrial heritage.

Why Architects and Second-Tier Cities Need Each Other

Ambitious architects tend to cluster in the same metropolises: New York, Chicago, L.A. (not to mention Beijing and London). But when they strike out for second-tier cities, it can be a win-win.

Seattle's Hottest New Job: Pot Lawyer

Washington state's marijuana businesses face a maze of regulations. Hilary Bricken helps guide them through it.

Can Boomers Make Cohousing Mainstream?

Popular in northern Europe, cohousing is still a fringe option in the U.S. But the number of cohousing communities here is set to climb, thanks to Baby Boomers.