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Urban Issues and Policy

For decades, superstar cities could thrive and grow despite high taxes, expensive housing and poor policy choices. The pandemic’s surge in remote work has changed that for good. Governance matters more than ever.
Efforts to improve the city’s streets for bikers and pedestrians are being held up by the Texas Department of Transportation, which has reasserted its ownership of state roads and is focused on prioritizing traffic flow for drivers.
With the help of city school kids, an organization is restoring long-depleted oyster beds that once flourished in the waters that surround New York City. The bivalves are cleaning the water and protecting shorelines.
Water pressure is back in Mississippi's capital but it's still not safe to drink. Residents have been through this so many times that they've learned how to cope. That doesn't mean they're happy.
Rules that mandate excess parking in new development projects have added to the overlapping crises of housing affordability, urban sprawl and climate change, advocates say. California could soon bar cities from imposing them.
It deals with very different urban issues than the West. Its population is exploding, with all 20 of the world’s fastest-growing cities based in Africa or Asia. I’m taking a long trip through the region to find out more.
A monthlong shutdown of the Orange Line in Boston has riders scrambling for other transportation options. And many are choosing Bluebikes.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot is under an unflattering spotlight for her signature move tying taxes annually to the consumer price index. Meanwhile, the city council is about to receive a huge inflation-linked pay raise.
It seems logical that we would be rushing to turn vacant office buildings into apartments and condos. So far it’s not happening on a large scale, but there are reasons to think it’s in our urban future.
Data-informed solutions that prevent rather than punish can break cycles of violence and help neighborhoods heal, and voters support them. They just need to be scaled up.
Though roughly two dozen cities have appointed food policy directors at the local level, an estimated 53.6 million people still live outside an easy walk or drive to a full-service supermarket.
Tulsa has long relied on oil and gas to fuel its economy. It's created a tech and entertainment ecosystem that turned out to be a perfect fit for the era of remote work.
Without both, a new book argues, a community can’t achieve its highest purpose. Some cities and suburbs have managed to combine them. Most are finding it difficult.
We shouldn’t give in to the idea that it’s too large and complex to be solved. The policies most responsible for homelessness were enacted by public officials, and it’s within their authority to fix them.
They disproportionately impact low-income residents. “Segmenting” them — setting prices based on ability to pay — can improve lives while actually increasing local-government revenues.