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Articles on Cities

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The mayor of Montréal, Valérie Plante, the mayor of Chicago, Brandon Johnson, and his counterpart from Milwaukee, Cavalier Johnson, at the annual conference of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, on May 15, 2024 in Montréal. Cities must unite to discuss their major issues. (Canadian Press/Ryan Remiorz)

Cities around the world share many challenges. To address them, they need to develop science diplomacy

What will our daily lives be like in 50 years’ time? What will our challenges be? Scientific data and analysis are essential, and municipal diplomacy is the key to sharing knowledge.
Housing activists demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on April 22, 2024. Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Supreme Court rules cities can ban homeless people from sleeping outdoors – Sotomayor dissent summarizes opinion as ‘stay awake or be arrested’

In a major homelessness ruling, the Supreme Court holds that cities and municipalities can punish people for sleeping outside, even when they have nowhere else to go.
Poverty, fiscal stress and abandoned homes have fueled a long-standing stray dog problem in Detroit. AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

When people are under economic stress, their pets suffer too – we found parts of Detroit that are animal welfare deserts

A study in Detroit finds large areas without pet resources, mainly in lower-income and minority neighborhoods. Better access to supplies and services could help owners and animals thrive together.
Rooftop construction at a high-rise building undergoing conversion to apartments in Manhattan’s financial district in New York City, April 11, 2023. AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Cities with empty commercial space and housing shortages are converting office buildings into apartments – here’s what they’re learning

Turning excess office space into apartments isn’t a panacea for the housing shortage, but it’s producing thousands of new units yearly and is more sustainable and economical than new construction.
Police drag away a tent from a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of California, Irvine on May 15, 2024. Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

Who gets to decide what counts as ‘disorder’?

Framing dissent and poverty as a menace to public order can threaten fundamental rights, particularly when it’s used to justify the deployment of predictive technology.
Water runs into a storm drain in a Los Angeles alley on Aug. 19, 2023, during Tropical Storm Hilary. Citizen of the Planet/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

As climate change amplifies urban flooding, here’s how communities can become ‘sponge cities’

US cities are doing green infrastructure, but in bits and pieces. Today’s climate-driven floods require a much broader approach to create true sponge cities that are built to soak up water.

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