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Urban Issues and Policy

When urbanists gather, too often the bias is to the issues faced by coastal cities and the Sun Belt. The sense of Midwest irrelevance has always been a part of the American psyche.
With miles of second-floor walkways, Minneapolis and St. Paul have struggled to make them appealing without hurting retail businesses at the street level. Then the pandemic hit.
Public stairways were originally built by the hundreds into the hills for a walking workforce that has nearly disappeared. But fans praise the role of the unique transportation system and continue to use them today.
Performative politics is failing our cities, crowding out the substantive policy debates we need to produce better outcomes. Where are the modern-day “Sewer Socialists”?
Often overshadowed by its neighbor Minneapolis, the other twin city has survived the pandemic and racial tensions and is ready to move on. Governing talked to Mayor Carter, early in his second term, about the city’s new momentum.
On Tuesday, Milwaukee voters elected Cavalier Johnson as their first new mayor in nearly 20 years. He harbors great hopes of rebuilding a city that suffers from a serious crime problem.
The median net worth of white households in the U.S. is almost eight times greater than that of Black households. Most mayors agree this is a problem but differ on what solutions are best.
The familiar grid has its detractors, but it also has strengths. Could an eccentric Spanish architect from the 1840s teach us how to do it right?
Racist urban planning in the 1930s still impacts Seattle’s neighborhoods today as people of color, especially Black and Hispanic Americans, are disproportionately affected by high levels of air pollution.
In the 1970s, the city created a new generation of homesteaders by practically giving away vacant homes. Now, the idea has been revitalized by a city councilor. But not everyone is convinced it will work.
We used to allow homeowners to operate commercial businesses on their property. By and large, it worked. We can do it again. Say hello to “accessory commercial units.”
Only a dozen of our big cities have as many people per square mile as the average U.S. city had seven decades ago. The ones that have done best have employed effective strategies.
Companies and job seekers have expanded options if workers don’t have to live where they work. But for city governments, this can mean lost tax revenue.
Ohio’s largest city has never attracted much national attention, but that is beginning to change.
An unlucky generation is coming into its own — getting married, having kids and buying homes. The nation’s fastest-growing Sun Belt metros, with their strong job markets and affordability, stand to reap the rewards.