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Alex Marshall

Alex Marshall


A journalist and consultant, Alex Marshall is the author of The Surprising Design of Market Economies; Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities; and How Cities Work: Suburbs, Sprawl and the Roads Not Taken. He writes a regular urban affairs/infrastructure column for Governing and has contributed to Bloomberg Voice, Metropolis, The New York Times, Architecture, The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and many other publications.

Marshall has taught about infrastructure at the New Jersey School of Architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. From 2002 to 2018 Marshall was a Senior Fellow at the Regional Plan Association in New York City. In 1999-2000, he was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. He has consulted with Arup, Sidewalk Labs and other organizations. He holds a master's degree from Columbia University’s journalism school and a bachelor's in Political Economy and Spanish from Carnegie Mellon University. A native of Norfolk, Va., he was a staff writer and columnist for The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk from 1989 to 1999.

He can be reached at or on Twitter at @Amcities.

In our effort to make children’s play areas safe, we have taken some of the fun out of them. That's not the case in Europe, where the playgrounds are more adventurous and challenging.
The old buildings that housed multiple sellers under a single roof were more than just places to shop. They were community-making institutions.
The famous road in Austria’s capital is a masterpiece of monumental design. But it’s no model for American planners to emulate.
Back in the 1970s, the city of Prague pushed an ugly arterial road past some of its most precious landmarks. It’s trying to undo the damage.
You can build all the subways you want, but they won’t produce city life without attention to what’s around them.
Improving public transit, whether it’s for subways, buses, light rail or trolleys, is very tricky. But some enhancements turn out to be surprisingly simple. Here’s what we can learn from one of the best transit systems.
We’re used to blaming the Army Corps of Engineers for monolithic, expensive reclamation projects that go bad. Here’s something they did right, and at a very low cost.
Road reformers want to demolish aging center-city freeways to make up for old racial harms. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it may be an effective argument.
The battle over Route 17, a rural highway in upstate New York and a popular route to the Catskills, is a microcosm of national divisions and choices in transportation policy.
President Biden seeks to broaden the definition of a crucial piece of government. It’s part of a debate that's been going on more than two centuries.