Scott Beyer is a journalist who focuses on American urban issues. For the last several years he has traveled around the United States as part of a private research project to learn about cities.

In the summer of 2014, he will begin another two-year trip, living in 24 cities for a month each to write a book advancing the idea that cities, many of which struggle with dysfunctional economies and social fabrics, would benefit from looser markets, reformed public services and political climates that better embrace economic growth.

Beyer's articles and commentaries have been published by The Atlantic, National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, City Journal, American Magazine, Reason Magazine and the Cato Institute. His work can be found collectively on his blog, He is a resident of Charlottesville, Va.

March 13, 2017

Build, Baby, Build: A New Housing Movement’s Unofficial Motto

It's a counter to the "not in my backyard" mentality that has led to housing shortages in some cities.
January 26, 2017

When Local Control Backfires

The housing shortages that plague most urban areas are a prime example of the complications that can arise when states take a back seat.
November 14, 2016

When Texas Stopped Looking and Feeling Like Mexico

They still share a border, but the cities along it differ in nearly every way possible.
September 1, 2016

San Antonio’s Key to Economic Success: Immigrants

The city demonstrates how to leverage foreign partnerships.
July 18, 2016

When Outsourcing Works

Oklahoma City successfully farmed out economic development.
May 12, 2016

The Perils and Promises of a Popular Yet Controversial Financing Method

Tax increment financing has been used to build stadiums, libraries and parks.
March 25, 2016

In the Birthplace of Jazz, Noise Complaints Get Louder

New Orleans has been battling an increase in noise complaints ever since outsiders moved there after Hurricane Katrina. Its found a way, though, to keep residents happier and music going.
January 1, 2016

Be Nice, It May Help Your City’s Economy

In some cities, the personality of its residents may play a part in economic success (or failure).
November 1, 2015

Puerto Rico’s Biggest City Is Its Biggest Problem

The island’s future depends a lot on San Juan.
September 1, 2015

What Cuba Can Teach America About Ride-Sharing

Havana has a complex Uber-like system that might be worth imitating in U.S. cities.
July 1, 2015

How Miami Fought Gentrification and Won (for Now)

Unlike other rapidly growing cities, Miami doesn’t regulate building heights.
May 1, 2015

How to Design a Pedestrian Mall That Works

Once inaccessible and crime-ridden, Charlottesville, Va.’s now-popular pedestrian mall offers a blueprint for other cities.
March 1, 2015

The Dangers of Busting Law-Breaking Businesses

Regulating businesses is necessary, but it can have negative impacts on struggling cities.
February 1, 2015

The Neighborhood Has Gentrified, But Where’s the Grocery Store?

In many gentrifying neighborhoods, attracting new residents and restaurants is the easy part. Finding the right mix of retail is much harder.
January 1, 2015

San Francisco’s Major Thoroughfare Gets a Makeover

The city’s changes to one of its most dangerous streets follows an urban trend of making streets safer for pedestrians and bikers.
December 1, 2014

Immigrants Help Reverse Baltimore’s Decline

The city’s aggressive attempts to attract immigrants have helped increase its population for the first time in decades. Should other struggling cities adopt a similar strategy?
November 1, 2014

The Website That Could End Homelessness in Los Angeles

L.A. County is using a computerized system to link homeless people with the social services that best fit their needs.
October 1, 2014

FHA Policies Discourage Density

At a time when people are flocking to cities, federal policies still heavily promote single-family homes and make it harder for people to buy condos.
September 1, 2014

Why Don't More Cities Sell Air Rights?

Vertically inclined cities could make a lot of money allowing private developers to build high-rise apartments or business spaces above libraries, city halls and schools.
July 1, 2014

How to Keep Construction from Killing Businesses

Scaffolding, closed roads, hidden store signs, you name it. Public works projects annoy customers and hurt businesses. But there’s a lot cities can do to soften the blow.