American Cities


American Cities Should Be More Colorful

Designer Rachael Smith argues that a Puritan attitude toward color explains why so many American cities are clad in grays and browns, and links the gray-ification of cities to their gentrification.

March 31, 2021 - Next City

California Shelter-in-Place

Two Stories From 2020: Which Is True?

Have all cities lost people due to COVID-19, or just a few high-cost ones?

March 1, 2021 - Michael Lewyn

Trump Sign

We Are (Sort of) Less Polarized Than in 2016

After moving toward Democrats for decades, central cities moved toward Republicans in 2020.

December 2, 2020 - Michael Lewyn

New York Police Department

Which Cities Are Becoming More Violent?

Some cities have become significantly more violent since the George Floyd protests began—but not all. Why have some cities been more successful than others?

September 14, 2020 - Michael Lewyn

White House Seder


Those of us who cherish cities have much to be grateful for (at least in some cities).

April 2, 2018 - Michael Lewyn

Empty Retail

Should Online Shopping Change How We Use Ground-Level Space?

Urbanist Jane Jacobs' support for mixed use development has long been seen as the best urban design strategy, but this vision assumed that the retail space under housing could be rented. What if that is no longer the case?

February 19, 2017 - Shelterforce/Rooflines

Freeway Construction

The Smart Growth Movement: A (Partial) Success

Has the smart growth movement succeeded? It depends how you measure "success."

December 27, 2016 - Michael Lewyn

Trump Sign

Malign Neglect? Urban Policy in the Trump Era

How much do we have to fear from the president-elect's policy plans for urban America? We can hope that he will follow his party's playbook and largely ignore the cities, but potential changes to housing policy are more serious.

December 1, 2016 - Shelterforce/Rooflines

Downtown Palmyra

Does Place Matter Anymore? Cities and the 2016 Election

Cities have appeared to figure very little into the presidential election up to now. To get a sense of whether this impression is accurate, I spent some time looking at the two party platforms, and the two candidate's websites.

August 16, 2016 - Shelterforce/Rooflines

Pokémon Go

Time to Try Pokémon Go: Augmented Reality Connecting People to Places

Planners across the globe have been exploring opportunities to use augmented reality to enhance the way the public engages with the city. Over the last few days Pokémon Go took off, and now people are wandering across cities to catch Pokémon.

July 13, 2016 - Jennifer Evans-Cowley

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Affordable Housing: Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.