Assessments

The idea has come up again and again, and now there’s a flurry of experimentation. But it never seems to take hold.
It's gaining in popularity around the country, touted as a way to restore civility and bipartisanship. But it's not a perfect solution, and it doesn't come without costs.
It's been with us for nearly four decades, but we still can't definitively answer the question of whether it prevents crime in our cities.
It’s clear that adding lanes to urban expressways or building new ones doesn’t reduce congestion. Sometimes it makes things worse. So why do we keep doing it?
We miss the locally owned shops that once sustained community on our Main Streets. We need to try to sustain them in a radically different economic world.
Just about everybody agrees that we need more affordable housing, and there are lots of ideas for making it happen. So far, though, none of them have come to much.
In examining six older industrial cities, two urbanists raise a lot of good questions, though they don’t provide any definitive solutions.
It's true that some cities have been losing population, but it's not because of a mass exodus to escape the coronavirus. Don't look for a lot of moving vans heading from Brooklyn to Mayberry.
A few of them have worked out well. Most of them have been failures. But the idea of building new ones has never died, and there are signs of still another incarnation.
Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood is rich and mostly white, but the same jump in violent crime that many cities are seeing has alarmed its residents. Some of them think secession is the answer.
Most states set a mandatory retirement age for their judges, typically 70. Does that still make sense in this day and time? The wisdom and stability of longevity are worth something.
How much authority should governments have to protect people misbehaving in ways that are, in most cases, dangerous only to themselves?
Lawmakers in much of the country will be doing their work next year by remote control. That will make a tough job even tougher.
By defining the downtown Loop more than a century ago, elevated trains and tracks gave the city a vibrant economic and cultural center. It's a core element that other cities don't have.
Charlotte's majority-millennial city council has accomplished a few things, but mostly what its members have done is squabble with each other. Succeeding as a 'change agent' is harder than it might seem.
One state took a small step this week , but we're a long way from eliminating noncompetitive districts and partisan malfeasance.
It may depend on what millennials really want. But none of the ideas aimed at that generation would make more than a dent in America's acute housing shortage.
Efforts to merge municipalities make a lot of sense, particularly in this virus-plagued, cash-poor moment. But they usually don't succeed. Three struggling Illinois towns are about to try it anyway.
It means different things to different people. In the end, it doesn't really mean much at all. And there's very little that politicians or government can do to uphold or restore it.
Cities keep lurching between electing their governing bodies from districts and choosing them at large. The district approach is gaining, but its fragmentation doesn't promote a broad view of community needs.
Over a half-century in office — and running for office — this man of paradox broke virtually every rule in the politico's rulebook. Californians loved him for it.
They've been trying for a long time to attract city dwellers by installing amenities that urbanites crave. COVID-19 fears are providing them with a new opportunity to get it right.
A scholar who's been studying the place for half a century thinks so, and it does seem to be ahead of other cities in some respects. But there also are some ways it's behind the curve.
White blue-collar families and their racial fears defined the urban landscape of 50 years ago, as Black Americans struggled through destabilizing change. The cities of today are very different places.
We used to look to Washington for leadership in times of national crisis. Those days are gone, and we're seeing a transfer of power. Which level of government will come out on top?
The factors that led to the revival of our city centers will still be there in the aftermath of the coronavirus shutdown: low crime, a craving for entertainment and the desire for physical proximity.
It may seem hard to believe that the time of a deadly pandemic might one day be remembered wistfully by those who lived through it. But something like that has happened before in American life.
With an eye on tourism and development, states keep trying to come up with evocative new taglines. Sometimes they stumble.
Tension between downtowns and neighborhoods isn’t going to go away.
By clustering in cities, even small ones, they have weakened their political impact.
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