Why the American Dream is more attainable in some cities than others

It pays to have friends in high places. That’s no secret. But a pair of groundbreaking studies published today in the peer-reviewed journal Nature substantiates this in a profound way, showing that cultivating these kinds of relationships is crucial for upward mobility... More

Cities love to use Tax Increment Financing to boost development. Should they?

Tax Increment Financing. Local governments often hail this tool as a way to revitalize investment-deprived neighborhoods, fix dilapidated roads, clean up polluted waters, revamp blighted property, and foster commercial activity and job creation. It’s often poorly understood by city taxpayers, but it... More

Five Low Cost Ideas to Make Your City Wealthier

What we have not figured out—and what we won’t figure out with another flood of federal infrastructure spending—is how to translate maintenance into growth. How do we go out and fill potholes and fix leaking pipes and have that result... More

Public Transit Is a Public Good. It’s Time to Fund It That Way.

This is the year we almost let public transportation die. The cuts that cash-strapped transit agencies proposed before being bailed out by Congress—eliminating 40 percent of New York City’s subway service, a fifth of the DC region’s Metro stations, two-thirds of Atlanta’s... More

MapLab: The High Cost of Wide Streets

Among the most visible changes in the built environment from the pandemic are reimagined streets. During lockdowns, cities all over the world turned residential and commercial corridors into slow (or no) vehicle zones for pedestrians, cyclists, cafe seating, parklets and... More

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