“There are a lot of basic things that America has still not accepted in terms of how to live a happy urban life.”
Editor: Sophie Gonick
Past Editor: Max Holleran
Nonprofit Neighborhoods: How Not to Fight Poverty
Wishing to end poverty “wherever it existed,” LBJ acted not with government aid, but with a non-profit. The results have been catastrophic.
Milwaukee Socialists’ Triumph & Global Impact
In 1910, the new mayor didn’t promise speed, but pledged “to do all our limited means permit to make Milwaukee a better place for every citizen.”
“At the End of Everything”: Talking with Shannon Mattern
"My first book was used by actual librarians, planners, architects. I realized, wow I can do work that matters beyond the academy."
The New Geography of the Carceral State
As the urban poor are displaced to metropolitan peripheries, policing and punishment have become more suburban.
Living with the Future in South Asia
For decades, South Asian architecture was impelled by the promise of a new society after empire. Now, such buildings are being demolished.
Why Renters Fought NYC’s Push for Ownership
“Doesn’t every New Yorker really want to own a co-op?,” a realtor asked a crowd of tenants in 1972. But this provoked only “a chorus of noes.”
Public Thinker: Sophie Gonick on Housing Justice and Mass Movements
“As often the most vulnerable in our cities, immigrants face struggles that reflect the wider landscape of housing precarity.”
Can We Repair the Past?
For the righting of historical wrongs, to simply transfer property continues to perpetuate violence. True reparations require far more work.
Is “Regulation from Below” Possible?
A powerful grassroots movement campaigned in the ’70s and ’80s for banks to reinvest equitably in red-lined urban communities. It failed—but why?
The US Arrested Her—Then She Changed Chicago
In the 1960s, Chicago’s white neighborhoods didn’t want Mexican Americans moving in. But one determined real estate broker changed everything.
How Mexican Chicago Remembers Tenochtitlan
500 years have passed since the fall of the Aztec capitol. But like that city, Pilsen’s power lies not in its buildings, but in its people.
Baghdad: The Once and Future City of Stars
The city testifies to the vast intellectual curiosity of medieval Muslims, and the splendor they translated from astrology into their designs.
“Streets Like Rivers”: Talking New York City with Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
"Often, the question of which place-names stick is about which ones hit our ears right."
Build Culture, Build Community, Break Fascism
On both sides of the border, artivistas—art activists—infuse their creative and political work with minority struggle and solidarity.
Long Live the Gay Bar
Many think the loss of discrete queer spaces is bad, even as the loss of the need for them is good. What is the nature of that loss?
Laboratory of Conversations: The 15M Movement
Ten years ago today, Spain’s “15M” movement burst on the scene. In short order, everything changed. Or has it?
Spatial Abolition and Disability Justice
Revealing the multiple histories of disability justice can expand how we think of and design the places we build.
Urban Democracy’s Documentarian
How to explain the miracle of an institution as gargantuan, complex, and pivotal to society as “government”? Watch Frederick Wiseman’s City Hall.
The Arch of Injustice
St. Louis seems to define America’s past—but does it offer insight for the future?