The Kaleidoscopic Community of a Coronavirus Hotel

3 min read

Masked chambermaids, sanitized keycards and nurses who pop in to see how you’re feeling.

Japan’s ‘Disaster Parks’ Help Explain Its Coronavirus Response

4 min read

Benches that become stoves and manholes hiding emergency toilets reflect the survival instincts of a country that has learned to live with peril.

New Zealand May Completely Eliminate the Coronavirus

3 min read

In this week’s briefing: Kiwis crush the curve, a Brazilian school exceeds all expectations and transit projects leverage car-free streets to hurry forward.

Can Facebook Predict Coronavirus Spikes?

2 min read

In this week’s news briefing: social media data is tracking COVID-19 and schools begin to open with anti-viral measures in place.

Coronavirus Help Is Everywhere

3 min read

American bartenders get a lifeline, French perfumers churn out hand sanitizer, Britain grows a volunteer army and locked-down Chinese students find classmates in Israel.

The Coronavirus-Proof Nation

4 min read

Taiwan has built a pragmatic, solutions-oriented society where democracy is expected to deliver results. Amid the pandemic, it’s paying off.

The Media Can Help Beat the Coronavirus

4 min read

If the press can learn from the mistakes it made during the Ebola outbreak, it could become one of our best assets in fighting the current pandemic.

The Case of the Vanishing Cafeteria Tray

3 min read

Once a staple of communal dining, food trays are disappearing — along with a harmful human impulse.

In Sweden, Drones Are Beating Ambulances to the Scene — and Saving Lives

5 min read

New technology is intervening in the moments where speed matters more than anything. Welcome to the future of emergency medicine.

Vaccines Were a Mysterious Lifesaver Long Before We Understood Them

5 min read

How a science that now saves countless lives started with dairymaids who never got smallpox.

Why Our Staff Is Optimistic about Climate Change

4 min read

As the world’s biggest climate conference comes to a close, we see reasons for hope on the horizon.

Cops Are Learning Jiu-jitsu for Saner Policing

6 min read

“The gentle art,” which involves no punching or kicking, teaches how to restrain one’s opponent without injuring them.

How Baltimore Escaped the Worst of Covid-19

7 min read

High vaccination rates, broad health coverage and bipartisan cooperation protected a city that initially looked vulnerable.

The Movement to Give ‘Personhood’ Rights to Animals

6 min read

Legal systems around the world are beginning to confront an existential question: What rights does an animal have?

Once Upon a Pandemic, New York Let Its Street Vendors Thrive

12 min read

When vendors in Queens started self-governing during Covid, the city got a glimpse of how public spaces can truly flourish.

South African Women Are Reclaiming Their Voices in the Media

6 min read

With elections approaching, the stakes are high. One organization is making sure journalists listen to women.

Sierra Leone Is Turning Roadway Vibrations into Electricity

3 min read

A locally owned startup’s devices are powering hundreds of homes and over a dozen schools.

The Surprising Lives of Germany’s ‘Basic Income’ Raffle Winners

& 6 min read

For nearly a decade, a German contest has given hundreds of people 12 months of no-strings cash to see how it might change their lives.

Policing Without Cops Finds Its Way from Oregon to New York

3 min read

A program pioneered in the little city of Eugene is improving policing in Harlem.

The Gay ‘Green Book’ Is Going Online

5 min read

A digitization project will ensure that a series of 20th century guides for LGBTQ travelers aren’t lost to history.

The ‘Cosmetics Shop’ Using Code to Help People Escape Their Abusers

4 min read

“When a woman places an ‘order’ and gives us her address, that’s the signal for us to send the police.”

How a Tent City Controversy Became a Community’s Epiphany

9 min read

When an affluent California city erected temporary shelters in a public parking lot, angry residents revolted — and then they got involved.

Spain’s Four-Day Work Week Is a Game Changer

3 min read

Most experiments with four-day weeks have been motivated by corporate self-interest. That could be changing.

Government ‘Ministries of Loneliness’ Bridge the Gaps of Social Distance

6 min read

Where isolation is an official policy, alleviating it is becoming one, too.

Portland’s ‘Hygiene Hub’ Goes Way Beyond Free Showers

5 min read

A full-service facility run by the people who need it offers hot water, laundry, medical care — and legitimization.

4 Clever Ways We’re Getting More Shots into Arms

5 min read

From veterinarian vaccinators to pop-up sites at mosques, here are some of the methods making the vaccine campaign more effective and equitable.

‘Vaccine Altruists’ Are Finding Appointments for Strangers

4 min read

For those who don’t have the time or computer savvy to scour the internet, a volunteer movement is emerging.

In France, Accents Are Now Protected by Law

8 min read

A groundbreaking new rule aims to let people speak freely and without fear of discrimination.

Free the Playgrounds!

4 min read

Elaborate, over-programmed playgrounds increasingly dictate how kids should use them. Can a new type of playscape unwrite the script?

The Deal That’s Saving San Francisco’s Restaurants

5 min read

As the lockdowns began one year ago, Lenore Estrada discovered a customer base that would save dozens of businesses like hers.

When You Know How to Shop, There Are Plenty of Fish in the Sea

3 min read

Meet the marine geographer teaching Chennai urbanites how to buy seafood the traditional way.

For a Dramatic Covid Recovery, Doctors Prescribe Opera Lessons

2 min read

The English National Opera has partnered with a hospital to turn lung recovery exercises into song.

The NFL Team That Covid Couldn’t Touch

3 min read

How the Seahawks finished the season as the only team in the league without a single infection.

More States Say of Roadkill: Why Waste It?

6 min read

A no-waste, no-cost solution — endorsed by everyone from hunters to PETA — is finally going mainstream.

Alaska’s Vaccine Rollout Is an Inspiration

3 min read

Defying harsh weather and roadless terrain, America’s most undeveloped state has achieved one of the country’s highest vaccination rates.

The Year in Cheer

10 min read

112 bits of good news that kept us sane in 2020.

The Year the ‘Third World’ Came in First

4 min read

The pandemic has finally busted the outdated myth that so-called developing countries are less resilient than their wealthier peers.

When Life Gives You Milk, Make Cheese

3 min read

Large dairy farms started dumping their milk during Covid — until smaller ones swooped in to turn it into food for the hungry.

New Zealand Is Infusing Policing With a Social Work Philosophy

6 min read

Nimble, culturally nuanced and collaborative, this Māori-led response gets to the roots of family violence.

The City That Guarantees the Right to Eat

3 min read

Defining access to food as a human right, a city in Brazil is making sure everyone can afford a trip to the market.

Take Two Carrots and Call Me in the Morning

6 min read

As the pandemic makes supermarkets a no-go zone for some, cities are writing prescriptions for free fruits and vegetables, delivered right to residents’ doors.

The Evolution of Trans Health Care

5 min read

“Trans-competent” health care services — often staffed with trans doctors and nurses — are enhancing a medical system that has been slow to change its ways.

The Tiny Town With Its Own Currency

3 min read

A Depression-era form of relief is helping residents of Tenino, Washington through the crisis.

New York Is Using Data to Stop Homelessness Before It Starts

5 min read

The city is pinpointing residents who are on the verge of losing their homes and getting them help before it happens.

The San Francisco Housing Policy That’s Stopping Displacement

5 min read

In the city’s Mission District, renters are collectively buying their buildings before they get priced out.

Lesotho’s Top-Flight Soccer Team Just Broke the Glass Ceiling

3 min read

The African nation’s Premier League football club will become the first in the world to fund its men’s and women’s teams equally.

‘Microcredentials’ Are Changing the Pandemic Job Hunt

8 min read

Some universities are offering college credits as industry-recognized certificates instead, allowing students to use them in the job market long before they graduate.

How to Keep Going

4 min read

Embracing uncertainty may be the survival tactic that gets us through this.

Wine Country’s Farmworkers Are Staying Healthy Against All Odds

6 min read

Populated by seasonal laborers, Oregon’s Willamette Valley could have been devastated by the coronavirus. Instead, it’s become a model for how to keep workers safe.

The Perks of Roommates With a 50-Year Age Difference

7 min read

Intergenerational homesharing has taken off. The pandemic has complicated the calculus, but some say it’s more vital than ever.

The Deep-Red City that Elected a Trans Woman

3 min read

“When folks say, ‘I cannot believe a trans person could win in a place like West Virginia,’ I think, ‘This is the very place I believe a trans person could win elected office.”

The Youth Who Turned a Prison Into a Farm

11 min read

In North Carolina, teens who were once at risk of being locked up have created a place where good things grow.

A Mental Health Service for Inmates that Reduces Recidivism

5 min read

In an effort to make its prisons more than punitive, Washington D.C. has begun offering cognitive behavioral therapy to incarcerated individuals.

Kentucky’s Abandoned Coal Mines Are Elk Heaven

3 min read

The remnants of a destructive form of mining have inadvertently helped the elk return to coal country for the first time since the Civil War.

How Portland Makes Local Food Work for Everyone

6 min read

A food hub known as the Redd solves the business and logistical challenges of local food — and helps small farmers become a big deal.

Protesters Are Showing What Policing Could Look Like

3 min read

At a police-free zone in Seattle, “sentinels” are keeping the peace in peaceful fashion.

We Know How to Fix the Police

8 min read

The data proves that regulating police behavior results in fewer killings of civilians.

Seattle’s Tiny Houses Keep the Virus Out

3 min read

Shelters and hotel rooms are expensive and temporary. Are tiny houses a homelessness solution that can outlast the crisis?

Protecting Insect Habitats Is Saving Multitudes

8 min read

As awareness about their ecological importance grows, a movement to grant insects the same protections as more majestic creatures is gaining steam.

5 More Countries Dodging the Virus

5 min read

After we featured a list of places beating the coronavirus, many of you wrote in with your own countries’ success stories. Here are five you said we shouldn’t miss.

No-Strings Cash Is Helping Black-Owned Businesses Survive

5 min read

Money from friends and family is what helps many startups survive during tough times. One organization is playing that role for black entrepreneurs.

An Antidote to Violence

3 min read

Some advocates, seeing violence as an epidemic, are starting to treat it like one.

How a Bronx Community Is Winning the Census

6 min read

Co-Op City was built as a grand experiment in social-justice housing. Fifty years later, its civic values are paying off.

Socially Distanced Architecture That Brings People Together

6 min read

When correctly designed, housing that gives people personal space can make them feel closer.

These Unsung Countries Are Vanquishing the Virus

6 min read

While success stories like Germany and South Korea are rightly hailed, some of the most effective responses are in countries that haven’t been making the news.

France to Airlines: Go Green If You Want a Bailout

2 min read

How one country is using its economic rescue to clean up a polluting industry.

The Race to Measure the Global Emissions Plunge

5 min read

A heroic effort is underway to record the global lockdown’s ripple effects — before they disappear.

Germany Is Leading the World Toward a Green Recovery

6 min read

As Europe’s biggest economy reboots, it — and many others — are planning to transition away from fossil fuels.

Alaska Is Using South Korea’s Method to Beat the Virus

6 min read

With the fewest infections of any state, Alaska proves contact tracing can work — even in America.

These Streets May Stay Open Forever

5 min read

Hundreds of cities have handed over their streets to pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic. Some of them plan to keep it that way.

Seeing the Forest for the Bees

3 min read

In this week’s briefing: Reviving a woodland refuge for honeybees and partnering with poachers to bring back buffalo to a national park.

Emptier Jails Could Stay That Way

6 min read

Covid-19 is showing us what ending mass incarceration could look like. Some judges and prosecutors like what they see.

Now Anything Is Possible

5 min read

In a new series, we explore how the Covid-19 pandemic is making changes once dismissed as pipe dreams happen seemingly overnight.

Infrastructure that Helps Wildlife Migrate

3 min read

In this week’s briefing: building bridges to assist wildlife on their journeys, Italy gets homeschooled and a debate over the merits of poop-powered energy.

Can We All Be Like Texas?

4 min read

How a conservative, oil-pumping state became one of the world’s biggest generators of wind power.

China’s Green Decade Impacts the Whole World

3 min read

In this week’s news briefing: renewable energy has an undisputed leader, and anti-violence outreach workers help their at-risk clients shelter in place.

These First Responders Are Rescuing Food

5 min read

As farms and restaurants close, organizers are mobilizing to make sure the food left behind gets to where it’s needed most.

Utah Has Perfected Social-Distance Voting

6 min read

Americans may find themselves following the state’s stay-at-home playbook in this year’s presidential election.

This ‘Carbon-Negative’ Burger Is Fighting Climate Change

6 min read

As fake meat floods the market, some fast-food joints are insisting that their ultra-sustainably raised beef is better for the planet.

Hong Kong’s Subway Was Built for This

4 min read

A profit-making enterprise with a mandate to serve the people, the city’s transit system is uniquely designed to weather a crisis.

France’s High-Speed Hospital

2 min read

In this week’s news briefing: Governments help companies pay their workers, France uses its bullet train for high-speed triage and Indigenous graduation rates soar.

The World Is Changing — So Can We

4 min read

The pandemic is revealing the many ways our lives intersect. Is this an opportunity for us to reimagine what we can be?

Why Hospitals Are Building Housing

4 min read

As people’s homes become bulwarks against the pandemic, funding for health care is being spent on housing. Maybe they were the same thing all along.

The Pandemic Will Be Livestreamed

4 min read

The coronavirus is creating an explosion of quarantined online performance that is unscripted, unshowered and surprisingly uplifting.

A Balm to Heal Strip-Mined Mountaintops

3 min read

In this week’s news briefing: the strafed summits of Kentucky find a grizzled savior and an underground turbine keeps the lights on in Halifax.

My bookmarks