Citiscope Features

Five views on what the former Portuguese prime minister needs to focus on as he takes over as head of the United Nations.
Gregory Scruggs January 13, 2017
Two new courses, including a free online class open to anyone, take a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding how to build better cities.
Carlin Carr January 6, 2017
The first paper from the Metropolis Observatory also strikes a hopeful tone with recommendations on ways to make urban areas more inclusive and livable.
David Hatch January 5, 2017
Unpacking the themes of an eventful year.
A country where earthquakes frequently turn towns to ruins has become an accidental laboratory for different approaches to rebuilding after a disaster.
Simone d'Antonio December 16, 2016
Uncertainty prevails after a year of progress and setbacks.
Gregory Scruggs December 13, 2016
Startblok Riekerhaven is a ‘European laboratory’ for housing and integrating a wave of refugees.
Letty Reimerink December 8, 2016
Sydney mayor assures: 'There is so much you can achieve even if you do have a government that is not supportive.'
Gregory Scruggs December 6, 2016
National plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions are still coming together — and perhaps falling apart in the case of the U.S. But the winning cities of this year's C40 Awards are already making big progress.
Gregory Scruggs December 1, 2016
With plan for ‘metropolis’ status, Mayor Denis Coderre wants a new relationship with Québec.
Gregory Scruggs November 30, 2016
Nashville's MyCity Academy takes the long view on building connections, trust, and leadership among New Americans.
Christopher Swope November 22, 2016
Leadership, partnerships, citizen engagement and civic pride pay off for a city of 1 million.
Patralekha Chatterjee November 17, 2016
Lessons from one of the world's most sophisticated systems for valuing and taxing property.
Letty Reimerink November 4, 2016
Behind Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s ambitious effort to make Moscow more livable like other European capitals.
Timothy Misir October 28, 2016
As the head of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos is a bit like the world's urban planner. At next week's Habitat III conference, he'll have a global stage to promote his vision for cities.
Gregory Scruggs October 10, 2016
In an interview with Citiscope, Peñalosa discusses his return to office, fighting inequality and some downsides of decentralization.
Neal Peirce and Gregory Scruggs October 7, 2016
A failed project from Romania's Communist era is now one of Europe's largest protected urban nature areas.
Simone d'Antonio September 30, 2016
Part of the bargain is providing good customer service.
Amy Fallon September 23, 2016
Inside the inaugural session of a new forum for city-to-city collaboration.
Letty Reimerink September 15, 2016
Rivers in the Welsh capital once ran black with coal dust. Now, they form a clean lake that has become the revitalized heart of the city.
David Thorpe September 9, 2016
Lessons from the Netherlands in bringing local attention to a global cause.
Letty Reimerink September 2, 2016
While Donald Trump talks of a border wall, local officials on both sides are identifying ways to cooperate with each other.
Ana Arana August 26, 2016
In a year of historic flooding, China is betting on new strategies that allow cities to soak in rainwater rather than expel it.
Wade Shepard July 28, 2016
Behind the bottom-up push to make the Congolese capital the ‘Paris of Africa’
Most of the world's cities don't have official street names or addresses. A UK company has a way to fix that.
Flavie Halais July 14, 2016
The ridesharing service is putting more money in the pockets of drivers and inspiring them to open what is often their first bank accounts.
Flavie Halais July 13, 2016
Local authorities are key players in a worldwide effort to shape development for the next 15 years. Here's how they are translating high-level global policy into action on the ground.
Carey L. Biron July 7, 2016
Lesson number one: Unleash public-sector entrepreneurship
Justin Gerdes June 30, 2016
After many failed river rehabilitation efforts, a new strategy is showing positive results.
Anna Valmero June 23, 2016
In a time of fiscal austerity, the innovative funding technique is a way to keep momentum behind neighborhood projects.
Athlyn Cathcart-Keays June 17, 2016
The Ugandan capital is finding homegrown climate solutions.
Amy Fallon June 10, 2016
The Incet factory in Turin's Barriera di Milano neighborhood sat in ruins for years. Now it is becoming a center for people to gather and share ideas.
Simone d'Antonio June 3, 2016
Urban integration requires new strategies, not refugee camps.
Flavie Halais May 30, 2016
The city that invented a music genre looks for lessons from the city that popularized it.
Gregory Scruggs May 27, 2016
A guide to understanding one of the hottest trends in municipal finance.
Christopher Swope May 20, 2016
The Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone is China's model for airport-centered development.
Wade Shepard May 6, 2016
A Delhi-based campaign aims to engage society's most neglected people through art.
Patralekha Chatterjee April 29, 2016
'Secondary' cities are booming across Africa. Jinja is one aiming to get ahead of the growth.
Amy Fallon April 22, 2016
In typical fashion, Medellín's latest innovation aims to achieve many goals at once.
The very phrase “High Line” is morphing into a catch-all synonym for “linear park.”
Grace Chua April 8, 2016
The city's Public Space Authority is unique in Latin America and a model for cities around the world.
Gregory Scruggs March 31, 2016
India's street food vendors are mobilizing festivals and hygiene training programs in an attempt to win over policymakers and consumers.
Carlin Carr March 25, 2016
Once deserted, Buiksloterham is emerging as a creative hub of the 'circular economy.'
Letty Reimerink March 18, 2016
The city's Innova.TO contest shows bureaucrats have ideas too — if you ask them.
Simone d'Antonio March 10, 2016
Kutsuplus inspired a growing sector of ride-sharing services in cities. It was too good to last.
Olli Sulopuisto March 4, 2016
The world’s most dangerous active volcano sits close to Ecuador’s capital.
Gregory Scruggs February 19, 2016
Unlike many other developing cities, Durban's leaders view providing fresh water, showers and clean toilets to informal settlements as a moral responsibility.
Keith Schneider February 12, 2016
Urban practitioners, researchers and journalists around the world can use the 'Policy Transfer Platform' to find award-winning city programs and reach out to those responsible for them.
Christopher Swope February 5, 2016
With a car-free center and ambitious 'zero waste' plans, Slovenia's capital shows that small cities can lead on urban sustainability.
Simone d'Antonio January 29, 2016
When disaster struck, social media and a Google spreadsheet became essential tools for organizing community help.
Patralekha Chatterjee January 21, 2016
A message from our Editor-in-Chief.
Neal Peirce January 13, 2016
Highlights from a year of covering cities around the world.
Christopher Swope December 31, 2015
What began as a website where women could report incidents of sexual violence is now reaching for a deeper social impact.
Carlin Carr December 17, 2015
Other cities allow 'granny flats' or 'accessory dwellings' but Vancouver's 'laneway-house' policy has been North America's most successful.
Frances Bula December 11, 2015
Seeking investors for ‘transformative’ local climate projects at COP 21.
Alecia D. McKenzie and Christopher Swope December 4, 2015
A city in recovery helps young people who 'want to get on and do stuff' navigate the red tape.
Christopher Swope November 25, 2015
Finding a path to land tenure in a country with few protections for the urban poor.
AZM Anas November 13, 2015
Assessing the legacy of a Korean neighborhood's month-long experiment in car-free living.
Anna Valmero October 23, 2015
Entrepreneurs without offices already love libraries for the free Wi-Fi. At 'The Library', they get much more than that.
Gregory Scruggs October 16, 2015
'Simplify the messaging around energy efficiency', and other lessons from the Australian city.
Brendon Bosworth October 9, 2015
Local leaders increasingly talk of ‘Greater Montréal’ — and mean it.
Flavie Halais October 2, 2015
A participatory budgeting program lets young people between the age of 12 and 25 decide how to spend $1 million a year.
Neal Peirce and Farley Peters September 24, 2015
At the 'In Limbo Embassy', migrants get to lead the conversation on their future in Europe.
Letty Reimerink September 17, 2015
An experiment in fostering culture change tries to make riding transit safer for women.
Ana Arana September 10, 2015
Since a tragic dam release flooded the Indian city in 2006, early warning systems have been implemented to make sure it won't happen again.
Patralekha Chatterjee September 3, 2015
As Rio invests for the Olympics, only some of the city’s upgrades are built to last.
Julie Ruvolo August 21, 2015
Once a middle-class status symbol, Toronto's 3,200 residential towers are aging into overcrowded homes for the poor. Several efforts are underway to refurbish the towers and stitch them into the modern city.
Flavie Halais August 13, 2015
An upgrading program in a notorious Nairobi slum has taken more than a decade, but is helping to change Africa's conversation about how to handle informal urban neighborhoods.
Gregory Scruggs August 7, 2015
In an interview with Citiscope, the mayor of Liberia's capital city reflects on what other cities could learn from her experience handling a devastating outbreak.
Christopher Swope July 30, 2015
Mayors from around the world are gathering this week at the Vatican, which has quietly put together a record of urban innovation both inside its walls and across Rome.
Simone d'Antonio July 21, 2015
Workplace safety in garment mills gets most of the attention, but the industry's environmental impacts are also a huge concern.
AZM Anas July 16, 2015
With help from its surrounding community, a school once synonymous with violence is now a model for educating immigrants.
Nadja Sayej July 9, 2015
After a devastating earthquake, some innovative urban development work is going on in Haiti’s capital.
Flavie Halais July 2, 2015
Washington, D.C., Kansas City, Nairobi and Mexico City are preparing to launch the "GovCombinator."
Christopher Swope June 26, 2015
Inside a dramatic consolidation of local government.
Simone d'Antonio June 18, 2015
Trinidad's capital leverages the power of its panyards.
Nigel Campbell and Gregory Scruggs June 10, 2015
A wave of construction below the earth's surface aims to make room for the city above.
Timothy Misir May 28, 2015
Mayors are pushing for a bigger role for local governments at global climate talks.
Neal Peirce May 21, 2015
Nijmegen is turning a flood-control project on the River Waal into an opportunity to redevelop its inner core.
Letty Reimerink May 14, 2015
The mayor of Mexico's capital city is taking a number of steps against public officials taking bribes.
Ana Arana May 7, 2015
Any dead street in the South Australia city is fair game for an experiment in bringing it to life.
Stephanie Johnston April 29, 2015
Israel’s tech capital is working on improving the way citizens interact with city departments.
Jesse Fox April 22, 2015
Kenya’s capital is home to a startup scene that makes a mission of improving lives of the urban poor.
Gregory Scruggs April 12, 2015
The Canadian city is looking to export its recycling model, starting in China.
Christopher Swope April 10, 2015
Salina Hayat Ivy is known for honest leadership and tireless advocacy for the urban poor.
AZM Anas April 3, 2015
With a visitor surge crowding space in central Amsterdam, the city is marketing its neighborhoods as an alternative for tourists.
Letty Reimerink March 26, 2015
Much of Moscow's riverfront is a concrete barrier of roads, parking and industrial sites. Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has big plans to make it green.
Timothy Misir March 13, 2015
Milan is about to get 20 million visitors over six months. It will be the biggest test yet of "collaborative consumption."
Simone d'Antonio March 5, 2015
Lesson one: Listen to the residents.
Shruti Shiva February 27, 2015
Senegal's capital is hoping to become the first city to sell a bond in Sub-Sahara Africa, outside of South Africa.
Christopher Swope and Tidiane Kassé February 19, 2015
Child clubs are forming in cities across India to identify young leaders who can speak up for the needs of children.
Patralekha Chatterjee February 5, 2015
The Australian city is using trees and water to fight the urban heat island effect.
Neil McMahon January 30, 2015
Inside a city that works hard at keeping the jungle in "urban jungle."
Grace Chua January 23, 2015
A look back and ahead, from our editor-in-chief.
Neal Peirce January 15, 2015
Hundreds of groups have sprung up to help their fellow citizens with everything from a cup of coffee to prescription drugs.
Letty Reimerink January 8, 2015
A new effort in Beirut uses crowd-sourced information to build the case against corruption.
Nabila Rahhal December 24, 2014
Uganda's newest smartphone app is just one attempt to make "boda bodas" safer.
Amy Fallon December 18, 2014
Starting January 1, Italian cities and their suburbs will form a new kind of local government.
Simone d'Antonio December 11, 2014
San Francisco is considering a plan similar to a successful Israeli law that gives property owners density bonuses in exchange for strengthening their buildings.
Justin Gerdes December 4, 2014
Here's how Denmark's capital city joined with 21 of its suburbs to create a common vision.
Annemarie Zinck November 19, 2014
Sari-sari stores are ubiquitous in Philippine cities, and nearly all of them are owned by women. This social enterprise is helping them grow.
Anna Valmero November 14, 2014
One effort aims to harmonize the many methods cities use for tracking their emissions, while another pushes the whole field to a new level.
Christopher Swope November 7, 2014
A Chinese city is breaking through in an increasingly crowded field for recognizing the best ideas for improving city governance.
Neal Peirce and Farley Peters October 23, 2014
Trash pickers have long been the main recyclers in Argentina’s capital. Once marginalized, their work is now being formalized as part of a new waste management system.
Kristie Robinson October 16, 2014
Vancouver is slashing greenhouse-gas emissions by aggressively creating new district-energy systems that heat large numbers of buildings.
Frances Bula October 10, 2014
The multi-purpose dam also creates recreational opportunities for a crowded city.
Grace Chua September 25, 2014
In a settlement on the edge of Lilongwe, composting takes care of most of the trash — and provides a livelihood.
Charles Mkula September 18, 2014
A new outdoor lab near Copenhagen gives lighting vendors a place to showcase their latest designs and cities a place to view them in a real urban setting.
Annemarie Zinck September 11, 2014
An app heavily used in Amsterdam makes it easy for neighbors to borrow power drills, ladders and other stuff from each other — and also aspires to build community.
Letty Reimerink September 4, 2014
A city with too few parks for too many people is leaning on civic activism to improve its green space.
Nabila Rahhal August 27, 2014
New e-commerce models for fresh food show that farming the world’s cities will require marketing savvy as much as skill at growing food in urban settings.
Flavie Halais August 21, 2014
Next year, the United Nations will approve a new set of goals to guide global development through the year 2030. A goal related to cities is on the list — for now.
Neal Peirce August 14, 2014
A pathbreaking public-private collaboration in an earthquake-ravaged New Zealand city is delivering hundreds of infrastructure projects quickly and efficiently.
David Killick August 7, 2014
Laboratorio para la Ciudad is the latest city innovation lab to hit the global urban scene. It’s created a place to invent and test new ideas but some say it’s not focused enough on the needs of the urban poor.
Ana Arana August 1, 2014
Yes and no, writes journalist Letty Reimerink, who spent three months studying the escalators' economic and social effects in the city's Comuna 13.
Letty Reimerink July 24, 2014
The cities hope being less proscriptive about what they want to buy will let entrepreneurs bring more innovative ideas to everyday urban problems.
Christopher Swope July 17, 2014
L.A. may be a young city still but it's creating a model for how to chronicle its historic resources.
Nate Berg July 2, 2014
Some 21 European cities are competing for huge prize money in a contest of innovative ideas. For two days in Berlin, the rivals became collaborators.
Neal Peirce June 25, 2014
Seoul's "smart work centers" give overworked public-sector workers an alternative to long commutes and the possibility of work-life balance.
Frances Heewon Cha June 18, 2014
A new international standard known as “ISO 37120” lays out 46 measures that cities on any continent can measure their performance by.
Neal Peirce June 4, 2014
The coming wave of global urban growth will also produce a massive wave of urban death. This city in the Philippines has ideas for how to handle it.
Anna Valmero May 28, 2014
Seen as a model across Latin America, the financing program is on the verge of a few big changes.
Leão Serva May 22, 2014
The planning and partnerships building now may be what will save this low-income neighborhood when disaster strikes.
Justin Gerdes May 7, 2014
Helsinki Region Infoshare collects urban data across the metro area and turns it loose for software developers, researchers, journalists and citizens to use.
Olli Sulopuisto April 28, 2014
Bangalore, India is finding a path out of an urban trash crisis by bringing dignity to workers who once were ostracized.
Sumit Chakraberty April 14, 2014
Medellín's population exploded after 1950. The city has been playing catch-up with all that growth ever since.
Christopher Swope April 7, 2014
Senegal's capital is using a "high intensity manpower" approach to upgrade its streets and put people to work.
Tidiane Kassé and Aminatou Diop March 31, 2014
Only 300,000 customers in this city of 20 million pay their water bills. The city's water board hopes opening a new line of communication with customers could help with collections.
Mahim Maher March 25, 2014
Japan’s capital has slashed greenhouse gas emissions from office buildings using the world's first city-level carbon-trading system. It's worked — but not for reasons that have much to do with emissions trading.
Maya Kaneko March 10, 2014
Avenida 9 de Julio used to have 20 lanes of traffic. A new bus rapid transit system now occupies four of those lanes — and signals a new way of thinking about urban mobility in the Argentine capital.
Marcela Valente March 3, 2014
Air pollution from the brick kilns near Bangladesh’s capital kills almost as many people each year as the infamous 2013 textile mill collapse. The brick makers are starting to clean up their act.
AZM Anas February 26, 2014
Vancouver used an innovative public-private partnership to build the Canada Line light rail for the 2010 Olympics. Now, rail projects in Edmonton, Denver and Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. view Vancouver as a model.
Frances Bula February 17, 2014
Ghana is on a national quest to name all of its city streets. It's an exercise that rapidly urbanizing cities across the developing world can learn from.
Anny Osabutey February 10, 2014
Albay Province is vulnerable to volcanic eruptions, typhoons, mudslides, earthquakes and tsunamis. Preparing for all of them has become a way of life.
Imelda Visaya Abano February 3, 2014
A year ago this month, Estonia's capital became the world's largest city to offer free transit for all its residents. The policy has improved access to the city, but shown little impact on traffic.
Sulev Vedler January 27, 2014
Here's how Aguascalientes turned a scrubby strip of pipeline land into a 12-km linear park that cuts through 90 neighborhoods.
Ana Arana January 20, 2014
Nine English cities said no to having an elected mayor. Bristol voters said yes. The man they picked for the job wants Bristol to be a model medium-sized city for Britain and all the world.
Eugene Byrne January 13, 2014
Berlin’s “Neighborhood Mothers” program opens doors and reaches out to immigrants and suggests a global model.
Birgit Heitfeld October 15, 2013