the city

7 articles
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On the palm trees of Los Angeles.

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On killing and eating small game in Seattle.

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On the development of South Korea’s New Songdo and Cisco’s plans to build smart cities which will “offer cities as a service, bundling urban necessities – water, power, traffic, telephony – into a single, Internet-enabled utility, taking a little extra off the top of every resident’s bill.” The demand for such cities is enormous:

China doesn't need cool, green, smart cities. It needs cities, period -- 500 New Songdos at the very least. One hundred of those will each house a million or more transplanted peasants. In fact, while humanity has been building cities for 9,000 years, that was apparently just a warm-up for the next 40. As of now, we're officially an urban species. More than half of us -- 3.3 billion people -- live in a city. Our numbers are projected to nearly double by 2050, adding roughly a New Songdo a day; the United Nations predicts the vast majority will flood smaller cities in Africa and Asia.

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What a century and a half of piled-up housing reveals about New Yorkers.

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Passengers get a free ride. Drivers get a passport to the HOV lane. Nobody pays, nobody talks. On “slugging,” the DIY commuter system in D.C. that’s being used by 10,000 people a day and taking thousands of cars off the road.

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On the enduring racial segregation in Chicago and why it’s an issue no mayoral candidate is willing to touch.

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“Look, we all know that every city is unique. That’s all we talk about when we talk about cities, those things that make New York different from L.A., or Tokyo different from Albuquerque. But focusing on those differences misses the point. Sure, there are differences, but different from what? We’ve found the what.”