A Centuries Old Idea That’s Making Cities More Affordable Today
Before being zoned out of existence, boarding houses gave less privileged city dwellers a place to live. Some places are bringing them back.
Churches Are Becoming Players in Making Cities More Affordable
They own prime land in expensive residential areas and have a mandate to help the vulnerable.
The Cities Trailblazing Transit Service into the Wilderness
“Transit to trails” is opening up breathtaking natural spaces to an outdoorsy crowd that is more urban-based than ever.
Is This the World’s Most Aging-Friendly City?
Arnsberg, Germany’s Department of Future Aging has made it a prototype for how cities around the world can help their older residents thrive.
Singapore Shows What Serious Urban Farming Looks Like
In a city-state that imports 90% of its food, rooftop gardens are a matter of national food security.
The Tiny-House Village That’s Changing Lives
Agape Village is a place where people find community, structure, stability — and a path to permanent housing.
Instead of Eviction, Landlords and Tenants Talk It Out
In Philadelphia, face-to-face mediated chats help both parties get what they need.
Edmonton Is Making Its Alleyways a Great Place to Live
By squeezing in more housing, the city is giving new life to spaces that were once for throwing trash and parking cars.
5 Ways to Decongest a City (Without Making People Work from Home)
The Bay Area is walking back a proposal that would have forced residents to work remotely.
How Oakland Got Real About Equitable Urban Planning
When the city closed streets to traffic during Covid, it revealed a fix for designs that cater to white and moneyed interests.
What a City-Sized Sharing Economy Looks Like
How Canadian cities and First Nations territories discovered the catalytic power of collaboration.
Cooperative Housing Is Redefining ‘Home’ for People with Disabilities
By sharing everything from services to accessibility renovations, co-housing strikes a balance between autonomy and affordability.
Cincinnati Tenants Are Building Equity With Each Rent Payment
Why should homeowners get all the perks? How a different type of rental model puts equity back in the pockets of tenants.
How Europe Engineered Its E-Bike Boom
Millions of Europeans now commute by e-bike, a mobility revolution carefully cultivated by governments and employers.
The San Francisco Housing Policy That’s Stopping Displacement
In the city’s Mission District, renters are collectively buying their buildings before they get priced out.
Edmonton’s New Parking Rule Is an Urban Planner’s Dream
For the first time, a major Canadian city won’t require space for cars on any property.
The Perks of Roommates With a 50-Year Age Difference
Intergenerational homesharing has taken off. The pandemic has complicated the calculus, but some say it’s more vital than ever.
Socially Distanced Architecture That Brings People Together
When correctly designed, housing that gives people personal space can make them feel closer.
These Streets May Stay Open Forever
Hundreds of cities have handed over their streets to pedestrians and cyclists during the pandemic. Some of them plan to keep it that way.
Japan’s ‘Disaster Parks’ Help Explain Its Coronavirus Response
Benches that become stoves and manholes hiding emergency toilets reflect the survival instincts of a country that has learned to live with peril.
Hong Kong’s Subway Was Built for This
A profit-making enterprise with a mandate to serve the people, the city’s transit system is uniquely designed to weather a crisis.
100 Years of Urban Housing Success
As cities around the world confront an affordability crisis, a few have spent a century perfecting the art of subsidized housing for the masses.
Making It Rain
Is rainwater capture the new solar panel? How drought-stricken cities are capitalizing on a building solution so simple, it’s almost like it’s right above our heads.
Free the Transit System!
No, seriously. Like, actually make it free. A rust belt guide to increasing ridership.
Spain’s Happy Little Carless City
Pontevedra, once choked with cars, is a laboratory for how smaller cities can implement a few simple tricks to reduce driving dramatically.
Cars in Cities: How’s That Working Out?
They’re dangerous, destructive, polluting, expensive, inefficient and inequitable—not to mention a pain in the ass. Now cars are being chased off city streets. That’s progress.
A Republican Suburb Designed for Cyclists
A deep-red town in Indiana has a bicycling network that would make Boulder blush. Their secret? Forget the politics and treat bikes more like cars.
Can Flexible Pricing be Fair?
Opponents say fees for urban services hit poor people hardest. But the data show that, implemented right, dynamic pricing can be a tool for equity.
Less Parking, More City
Until recently, Mexico City was building more parking than housing. Now new reforms are pushing the parking aside and returning the pavement to the people.
Crushed by negative news?
Sign up for the Reasons to be Cheerful newsletter.