Equity

New York Just Set a ‘Dangerous Precedent’ on Algorithms, Experts Warn

NYC’s task force on algorithms was supposed to be a beacon of transparent government. It couldn’t even gain access to basic information.

photo: people in an atrium

Four Coastal Areas Dominate a New Measure of Tech-Company Startup Diversity

Just four coastal areas of the country dominate on the Startup Complexity Index, a new measure developed by researchers at the Brookings Institution.

photo: Robert Marbut, the incoming director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness,

The Consultant Leading the White House Push Against Homelessness

In Texas and Florida, Robert Marbut Jr. sold cities on a controversial model for providing homeless services. Now he’s bringing it to the White House.

Suburban Jobs Are Growing Fastest, But Urban Jobs Pay More

New labor data show that the suburbs have the fastest job growth in the U.S. But we shouldn’t assume the future of employment will be suburban.

Why Smaller Cities Are Expanding Their Jails, and Their Populations

While many cities are using incarceration alternatives, some smaller cities and rural areas are building—and filling—costly new jails, new research shows.  

photo: A vacant home in Oakland that is about to demolished for an apartment complex.

Fix California’s Housing Crisis, Activists Say. But Which One?

As a controversy over vacancy in the Bay Area and Los Angeles reveals, advocates disagree about what kind of housing should be built, and where.

photo: In a scene from 'Queen & Slim,' the film's fleeing protagonists find temporary refuge in a Deep South juke joint.

‘Queen & Slim’ Is a Cinematic Ode to Black America's Last Safe Space

The film asks you to believe that an African American couple fleeing police would have a better shot at freedom in the Deep South than in the North. Here's why.

photo: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue

What the USDA’s New Food Stamp Rule Will Do

By tightening food stamp work requirements, the Trump administration limits states’ ability to aid high-unemployment areas. And more regulations are coming.

An abandoned Chinese restaurant with signs advertising an African performer.

What the Gentrification of Baltimore's Chinatown Means

As developers turn to Baltimore’s historical Chinatown, Ethiopian residents worry about displacement while others worry about cultural commodification.

The National Public Housing Museum Eyes a 2021 Opening

The museum will tell the history of American public housing in a remnant of a 1930s public housing complex on Chicago’s Near West Side.

Mapping America’s Stark Wage Inequality

Since 1980, economists say, wage growth for the highest-paid workers has been roughly triple that for the lowest paid. In some cities, the disparity is wider.

photo:  At the Standing Rock Indian Health Service in Fort Yates, North Dakota, Dr. Lynelle Noisy Hawk examines a patient

How ‘Indian Relocation’ Created a Public Health Crisis

Melissa Walls of the Center for American Indian Health in Duluth, Minnesota, talks about the lasting health effects of “Indian Relocation” policies of the 1950s.

When Cities Don’t Accept Cash for Public Services

This year saw a wave of backlash against cashless retail, but what about when cities like Washington, D.C., want to move toward all-digital payments?

The Baltimore Museum of Art Made a Pledge to Buy Art by Women. Is It Just a Stunt?

The museum will only purchase artwork made by women in 2020. That won’t do much, if anything, to change the balance of representation in its collection.

photo: An Amazon shop opens in Paris in 2018.

Paris to Amazon: No Free Delivery for You

Mayor Anne Hidalgo wants the e-commerce company to pay for the carbon emissions and traffic congestion that online shopping generates in the French capital.

photo: an online shopper staring at a computer screen

Taxing Online Sales Won’t Save Cities From the Retail Apocalypse

The Supreme Court’s year-old Wayfair decision allows most U.S. states to collect sales tax from online shopping. Can cities expect a revenue bump?

A row of urban storefronts at dusk, with one light on.

How to Grow the Wealth of Poor Neighborhoods From the Bottom Up

A new report spells out how to move from the top-down, grant-based model for community development to a more localized, entrepreneurial approach.

When Affordable Housing Is Separated By Design

Connecticut’s approach to affordable housing creates pockets of poverty, where low-income people are locked out of opportunities that are just around the corner.

photo: passengers in D.C.'s Metro

The ‘Namewashing’ of Public Transit

D.C.’s Metro plans to raise extra revenue by having companies buy naming rights for public transit stations. But corporate “namewashing” may not be easy money.

Neighborhoods With More People of Color Pay Higher Energy Bills

Not only are residents of minority neighborhoods paying more of their income for energy bills, but federal government housing policies are a huge part of the reason why.

A woman works on her laptop, surrounded by toys.

The Toll of Parenting on the American Woman’s Workweek

Though they pick up more hours than ever, mothers’ proportion in the workforce has stalled, finds a new report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.