Tag: Urban Areas

Carlos Moreno Wanted to Improve Cities. Conspiracy Theorists Are Coming for Him.

For most of his 40-year career, Carlos Moreno, a scientist and business professor at Sorbonne University in Paris, worked in relative peace. Many cities around the world embraced a concept he started to develop in 2010. Called the 15-minute city, the idea is that everyday destinations such as schools, stores and offices should be only a short […]

Read More

6 Cities on 5 Continents That Are Reimagining Urban Life

What makes a city great? Whether you’re living in Durban, South Africa, or Medellín, Colombia, perhaps no two people living in one place will have the same answer. But ask residents across different cultures and regions about challenges facing their own cities, and common issues will emerge, like the need for more affordable housing, better […]

Read More

‘The Era of Urban Supremacy Is Over’

I asked Joel Kotkin, presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University and executive director of the Urban Reform Institute in Houston, about the economics of major cities, and he replied by email: “The era of urban supremacy is over. The party that addresses this will win. These areas need infrastructure and tax structures that […]

Read More

City Life, Culture Wars and Conspiracy Theories

I have an apartment on New York’s Upper West Side. It’s a very densely populated area — according to census data the area within a one-mile radius of my place has around 100 residents per acre, or more than 60,000 per square mile. This dense (and, to be honest, affluent) population supports a huge variety […]

Read More

The Sordid Secrets of Cities

The essence of this kind of violent politics is that it happens at the local level, so I’ve also been reading about specific cities, and how their particular flavors of machine politics have sometimes opened up space for crime and corruption to flourish, encouraged state violence, or both. Longtime subscribers won’t be surprised that my […]

Read More

How Chicago’s Mayoral Runoff Could Play Out on a National Stage

CHICAGO — The mayoral runoff in Chicago between Paul Vallas, the former Chicago public schools chief, and Brandon Johnson, a progressive Cook County commissioner, includes idiosyncrasies that have nothing to do with ideology: a white candidate against a Black one, the police union against the teachers, even the question of which man is the true […]

Read More

Why Chicago’s Mayoral Election Matters, Even if You Don’t Live in Chicago

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces eight challengers in a fierce mayoral election and risks being ousted from City Hall after one term. Here’s why the election, at a time of widespread unease in the nation’s cities, reflects issues that are resonating around the country. The race is a referendum on crime and policing. On […]

Read More

Want to Lower Housing Costs? Build in New York’s Suburbs.

Across the New York City suburbs, a thicket of local zoning laws thwarts the building of all but the most expensive single-family homes. In some parts of Scarsdale, in Westchester County, new homes must be built on lots of at least two acres. In most parts of the village of Muttontown, on Long Island, new […]

Read More

The Prophet of Urban Doom Says New York Still Has a Chance

Dr. Van Nieuwerberg chuckled. “Somebody’s got to pay the bills,” he said. He noted the irony of his own circumstances, prophesying a city laid waste by remote work. “And here I am in my office five days a week,” he said. Already the numbers support a doom cycle. On an average weekday, nearly half of […]

Read More

Where American Democracy Isn’t Very Democratic

Earlier this week, I wrote that American policing lies largely outside of democratic control. In practice, despite the formal authority of mayors, city councilors and other elected officials, police departments can and do operate without meaningful accountability or public oversight. But the problem of democracy and American policing goes beyond questions of accountability. The police […]

Read More

Five Years Ago, I Wrote a Fictional Disaster That Is Now Playing Out in Real Time

What could make a person die for trees? About five years ago, I published a novel called “The Overstory,” the tale of several characters who come together to protect an old-growth forest. The book follows these characters as they put their lives on the line in increasingly aggressive confrontations against powerful interests in the hope […]

Read More