In a Town Shaped By Water, the River Is Winning

When we think about climate change and communities threatened by water, we think about coastal cities. But inland flooding happens daily in the U.S., as Ellicott City, Maryland — trying to recover after devastating flooding in 2016 and 2018 — knows all too well.

Author: Linda Poon
Source: CityLab
Published: May 24, 2019
Length: 24 minutes (6,180 words)

The Quest for the Multigenerational City

When Megan Kimble moved to Austin, Texas, she started to volunteer with Capital City Village, a nonprofit that allows people to age in their homes by connecting members with those that can do repairs and offer rides. Simply wanting to truly know her new city and its inhabitants a little better, Kimble discovered that spending time with those far older than her offered not only new friendships, but valuable perspective and solace unavailable anywhere else at any price.

Source: CityLab
Published: Jan 29, 2019
Length: 9 minutes (2,255 words)

How a Booming City Can Be More Equitable

At a time when many U.S. cities are being revitalized — and rapidly gentrified — Barry Yeoman spotlights Durham, North Carolina, his home of 30 years, where activism, diversity- and egalitarianism-minded non-profits, and a community land trust are helping to keep the city inclusive and affordable for those who often get marginalized and pushed out instead.

Source: CityLab
Published: Oct 15, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,395 words)

Mexico City’s Architects of Destruction

After an 8.0 earthquake devastated Mexico City in 1985, the government strengthened building codes to prevent more buildings from collapsing. After a massive quake toppled more buildings in the city in 2017, it became clear that officials weren’t enforcing those codes, and developers were cutting corners.

Source: CityLab
Published: Sep 19, 2018
Length: 6 minutes (1,560 words)

Death to the Open Floor Plan

Maybe having rooms with doors that close and the attendant modicum of privacy wasn’t so bad after all.

Source: CityLab
Published: Aug 6, 2018
Length: 9 minutes (2,342 words)

The Police Brutality Video That Still Haunts McKinney, Texas

Olga Khazan revisits her hometown to ask McKinney residents how they’ve been faring since a 2015 viral video captured Eric Casebolt, a white police officer, using excessive force on Dajerria Becton, a black teenager, at an unauthorized pool party. Khazan soon finds that tensions in the community are still running high three years later, and that the fallout tracks with how private club pools and homeowners’ associations have historically provided a cover for redlining.

Source: CityLab
Published: Jul 23, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,448 words)

A Visual History of the U.S. Census

Vulnerable communities are bracing for an undercount in 2020. It’s a familiar story that traces back to the Articles of Confederation.

Source: CityLab
Published: Jun 29, 2018
Length: 4 minutes (1,240 words)

Who Wins When a City Gets Smart?

Poor public transportation is linked with poor health, from increased anxiety to prenatal conditions. The Smart City Challenge granted Columbus, Ohio $50 million to improve mobility to improve vulnerable residents’ quality of life. Columbus is the fastest-growing metro area in the Midwest, yet it has neighborhoods with high unemployment, above average infant mortality and many single mother households with few cars. So will the city’s new developments help low-income residents access services and the booming economy, or is it just more empty rhetoric?

Source: CityLab
Published: Nov 1, 2017
Length: 12 minutes (3,198 words)

Everyone Should Fear What Happened to the Gothamist Sites

Former LAist editor-in-chief Julia Wick writes on the power of local journalism — and the dangers it’s currently facing.

Author: Julia Wick
Source: CityLab
Published: Nov 6, 2017
Length: 6 minutes (1,540 words)

Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

Henry Wismayer reports on the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire. The worst fire disaster in London since the Blitz during World War II, the blaze claimed 80 lives. To outsiders, London, England may appear to be a “a paragon of functioning multiculturalism,” however the Grenfell fire has become England’s “Katrina moment” — the catastrophic event which exposes society’s egregious treatment of and contempt for its poor.

Source: CityLab
Published: Aug 17, 2017
Length: 10 minutes (2,614 words)