Housing deterioration is a serious problem for lower-income households. Home repairs address deep-seated racial and environmental injustices, and substandard housing can be a matter of life and death.
The numbers are still at historical lows. Civic engagement is the most important factor in building trust in our institutions, and our communities need to find better ways to encourage active participation in civic life.
Houses of worship are experiencing a great emptying, becoming disconnected from their communities as congregations shrink. Jane Jacobs had some ideas that could help churches and their cities thrive.
Layoffs, buyouts, closures and mergers have resulted in spreading news deserts. There are a few scattered bright signs, efforts to revive local journalism in some form.
There are lots of ideas out there for bringing the numbers down. But so far nothing seems to work better than simply getting a roof over their heads, even if it’s only a dilapidated motel room.
Some center cities are coming back from the pandemic, with residential populations increasing even as many continue to work from home. While restaurants and retail are still suffering, it seems fair to speculate that something meaningful is happening.
Our regions may be entering a new era in which they simply try to maintain what they have, or manage their decline. It’s going be harder for urban and suburban leaders to rise to the top by attracting new major corporate tenants.
People love to be close to a lake, a river or an ocean, and waterfronts can be a major urban achievement. Why have so many cities done a poor job of cultivating this amenity?
You can make the case that it is, and not just in size. Every city is distinctive in some way, but nothing comes close to New York in the breadth and depth of its demographics, neighborhoods and culture.