Life

Can Toyota Turn Its Utopian Ideal Into a 'Real City'?

The automaker-turned-mobility-company announced last week it wants to build a living, breathing urban laboratory from the ground up in Japan.

The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

photo: a couple tries out a mattress in a store.

What’s the Future of the ‘Sleep Economy’?

As bed-in-a-box startup Casper files for an IPO, the buzzy mattress seller is betting that the next big thing in sleep is brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

photo: Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders Wins Endorsement From the Internet’s Premier Urbanist Meme-Makers

In backing the Vermont senator, the popular Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens” is leveraging some offline political clout.

photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.

What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

a detail from Andrew's Cuomo's 2020 State of the State goals

The Squid and the Governor

Design experts sound off about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s unusual, cephalopod-filled graphic design sensibility.

photo: The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore

In the 1980s, Every City Needed a Science Center

Civic boosters were once convinced that planetariums and Tesla coils could revive American downtowns.

Photo: Jack Kemp meets California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1967

How Jack Kemp Rewrote the Urban Poverty Playbook

In the 1980s, a pro football quarterback-turned-politician championed big ideas to revitalize America’s cities. It didn’t work.

Photo of census

New York City’s Campaign to ‘Get Out the Count’ for the 2020 Census

New York City is investing an unprecedented amount—$40 million—in hopes of getting the city’s most elusive residents to fill out the 2020 Census.

Turning a Vast, Post-Industrial Wilderness Into a Park in Pittsburgh

The city acquired the 600-plus acres of Hays Woods, once used for mining and munitions, in 2016, but the work of restoring the land has only just begun.

What Defined the Decade Since CityLab Launched

What’s changed and what hasn’t since we set out to chronicle cities in 2011? To answer this question, we went back to CityLab’s roots.

photo: a video doorbell screen on a smartphone

How the On-Demand Economy Reshaped Cities

Since 2010, a slew of on-demand companies and technologies have managed to use consumer data to transform the commercial significance of urban living.

photo: a couple in a Christmas market.

Why Do Christmas Movies Hate Cities So Much?

The typical plots of holiday rom-coms involve women finding love in a make-believe small town—and getting out of the cruel big city.

a photo of Paris, France in the mid 1970s

The Book That Captured Mid-’70s Paris

Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris documented the tumult, traffic, and street life of the French capital over three days in 1974.

photo: Tsunami evacuation route sign in Washington State.

How Portland’s Earthquake Preppers Are Planning for the Worst

To survive the “Really Big One,” some neighbors in the Oregon city are organizing block parties that promote emergency preparedness.

New York City Unveils a Next-Generation Trash Can

The winner of the BetterBin design competition is easier for sanitation workers to lift and deters bulk trash-dumpers. It could replace the ubiquitous green litter basket.

a whole bunch of photos of women eating lunch and laughing

What Have We Done to Lunch?

From the Automat to Sweetgreen Outpost, grabbing a bite during the workday has long sacrificed human contact and flavor to value and efficiency.

People clink together glasses of beer at a bar.

Has the Rise of Uber Led to More Heavy Drinking?

New research suggests that ride-hailing is associated with increases in drinking behaviors in U.S. cities and metro areas.

photo: Boulder second-graders pose with an in-progress draft of the Growing Up Boulder map.

A City Map Made for (And by) Kids

Growing Up Boulder created the nation’s first printed kid-friendly city map, designed to help parents and children find their way in the Colorado city.

photo: A daycare provider reads to students in New York City.

How Universal Pre-K Drives Up Families’ Infant-Care Costs

An unintended consequence of free school programs for three- and four-year-olds is a reduction in the supply of affordable child care for kids younger than two.