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Time Traveling in a Plague Year

Some aspects of the coronavirus pandemic are eerily reminiscent of the AIDS crisis — others are unrecognizable.

How We Stopped Villainizing the Social Safety Net

The coronavirus crisis had made clear to more American people and politicians what was true all along: Giving workers a social safety net benefits us all.

photo: A California voter casts his ballot in 2016.

With Signatures Hard to Gather, Ballot Measures Are on Hold

Campaign events are canceled, canvassers are homebound, and ballot initiatives are stalled as coronavirus lockdowns limit voter-led democratic efforts.

photo: A cyclist rides past a closed Victoria Park in East London.

The Power of Parks in a Pandemic

For city residents, equitable access to local green space is more than a coronavirus-era amenity. It’s critical for physical, emotional, and mental health.

These States Are Sowing Confusion About Cities’ Power to Fight Covid-19

Mixed messages on the legal concept of preemption are confusing cities that want to pass stronger Covid-19 actions, like closed beaches and shelter in place.

photo: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency employees turn an empty cable car in San Francisco on March 4.

As Coronavirus Quiets Streets, Some Cities Speed Road and Transit Fixes

With cities in lockdown and workplaces closed, the big drop in traffic and transit riders allows road repair and construction projects to rush forward.

In a Pandemic, We're All 'Transit Dependent'

Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

What Bigotry Looks Like During Social Distancing

As reports of harassment and assault against Asian Americans increase, community advocates are finding new ways to tackle the spread of xenophobia.

The Coronavirus Class Divide in Cities

Places like New York, Miami and Las Vegas have a higher share of the workforce in jobs with close proximity to others, putting them at greater Covid-19 risk.

photo: homemade protective face masks.

The Maker Movement Mobilizes to Fight Coronavirus

To sew masks, build protective gear, and fabricate medical equipment needed for Covid-19, networks of small-scale DIY manufacturers are springing up nationwide.

photo: a dog being trained to detect Covid-19

Can Dogs Smell Covid-19?

In the U.K., researchers believe they can train dogs to sniff out the distinctive odor of coronavirus, potentially assisting in mass infection screening efforts.

The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.

The Geography of Coronavirus

What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

Readers: Share Your Hand-Made Maps of Life Under Quarantine

As coronavirus transforms our private and public spaces, how would you map what your neighborhood and community look like now?

Traffic-free Times Square in New York City

Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.

photo: A lone tourist in Barcelona, one of several global cities that have seen a massive crash in Airbnb bookings.

Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?

The short-term rental market is reeling from the coronavirus-driven tourism collapse. Can the industry’s dominant player stage a comeback after lockdowns lift?

A State Besieged by Coronavirus Asks Police to Slow Arrests

Despite Covid-19’s spread in New Orleans, police have recently increased arrests for nonviolent crimes. Louisiana’s top court could put a stop to that.

The Great Global Child Care Crisis

What's a parent to do when all of the schools and daycares suddenly close? For some workers in some places, options are starting to emerge.

photo: empty streets of New Orleans

City Leaders Rally Around a Fix: Cancel the Rent

To prevent a housing disaster, leaders in nine U.S. cities called on state and federal officials to give more support to tenants as the Covid-19 crisis deepens.

photo: a mix of vacant and inhabited homes in Detroit.

Another Way Cities Can Protect Homeowners: End Tax Sales

Auctioning homes over unpaid taxes only makes racial and income inequities worse. The coronavirus crisis offers a good time to halt the practice, permanently.