Cities Project More than half of the world now lives in urban areas. In the U.S., urban dwellers are the vast majority of the population. What does it mean to live in a city today? What are the challenges for cities going forward? NPR explores urban life in the 21st century.

A new multi-story residential building (left) and an older style one-story space sit side by side on 12th Street in the East Austin neighborhood of Austin, Texas. The neighborhood has experienced a strong wave of gentrification, which often pushes people out of the now trendy area. Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT hide caption

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Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

Residents Of East Austin, Once A Bustling Black Enclave, Make A Suburban Exodus

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Anti-gentrification activists staged a protest outside Weird Wave Coffee Brewers recently, chanting "Weird Cafe has got to go." Saul Gonzalez/KCRW hide caption

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Saul Gonzalez/KCRW

In This LA Neighborhood, Protest Art Is A Verb

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Riders stand in a crowded bus in Montgomery, Ala. Sixty years after the historic Montgomery bus boycott, many of the city's residents say the system doesn't work for them. Debbie Elliott/NPR hide caption

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Debbie Elliott/NPR

60 Years After The Boycott, Progress Stalls For Montgomery Buses

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There was a lot of excitement in 2012, when the Hiriko car was unveiled at this event at European Union headquarters in Brussels. At the time, the then-president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, hailed the car as a trans-Atlantic "exchange between the world of science and the world of business." Zhou Lei/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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Zhou Lei/Xinhua/Landov

How A Folding Electric Vehicle Went From Car Of The Future To 'Obsolete'

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Mary Lee Kingsley waits for a bus in Montgomery County, Md. The bus stop has a big LED screen with a map displaying the current location of buses and when they will arrive. Franklyn Cater/NPR hide caption

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Franklyn Cater/NPR

Apps, Maps And Head Counts Transforming Public Transit

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A circus-themed streetcar approaches a pedestrian crosswalk in Guangzhou, China. Anthony Kuhn/NPR hide caption

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Anthony Kuhn/NPR

In D.C. And China, Two Approaches To A Streetcar Unconstrained By Wires

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NPR blogger and astrophysicist Adam Frank visited an intersection of many transportation modes to illustrate his point about why infrastructure needs to change. Adam Frank hide caption

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Adam Frank

Why The Future Of Transportation Depends On Changing Infrastructure

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A resilient tunnel plug inflates during a test. The new technology was created to try to keep New York City subways from flooding. Joel Rose/NPR hide caption

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Joel Rose/NPR

To Flood-Proof Subways, N.Y. Looks At Everything From Plugs To Sheets

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Songdo, outside Seoul, was envisioned as a futuristic international business hub, drawing residents from all over the world. Instead, this young city has become populated mostly by Koreans. Ari Shapiro/NPR hide caption

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Ari Shapiro/NPR

A South Korean City Designed For The Future Takes On A Life Of Its Own

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Mike Lester, CEO of Taxi 2000, sits in the SkyWeb Express in the company's warehouse in Fridley, Minn. The company has been working on SkyWeb Express system, a point-to-point personal rapid transit system. Ackerman + Gruber for NPR hide caption

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Ackerman + Gruber for NPR

Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off

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Jay Austin's tiny house in Washington, D.C., has 10-foot ceilings, a loft bed over the bathroom and a galley-style kitchen. Franklyn Cater/NPR hide caption

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Franklyn Cater/NPR

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

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Alfafar, a suburb of Valencia, Spain, is suffering from a poor economy and high unemployment. A quarter of homes are abandoned. Here, a cafe is still open on the ground floor of an abandoned municipal building in Alfafar's Orba neighborhood, but upper floors used to house shops. A pair of Spanish architects hopes to revitalize the high-density housing in this working-class area. Lauren Frayer/NPR hide caption

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Lauren Frayer/NPR

Not A Group House, Not A Commune: Europe Experiments With Co-Housing

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Kathy Van Sluyters (left), Barbara Carr and Colleen Dickinson chat on a recently finished sidewalk across from Wildflower Terrace, a mixed-income apartment building in the Mueller development for people ages 55 and over. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

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Julia Robinson for NPR

A Texas Community Takes On Racial Tensions Once Hidden Under The Surface

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Solar Sunflowers, an art installation, greets visitors to Mueller's commercial and retail hub off of Interstate 35. The panels power a nightly light display and return power to the grid. When the development is complete, five miles of granite trails will connect the residents to its commercial and retail hubs. Julia Robinson for NPR hide caption

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Julia Robinson for NPR

With Porches And Parks, A Texas Community Aims For Urban Utopia

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Public Housing Photos Show Scenes From An Earlier Chicago

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A resident of Lathrop Homes leaves one of the few occupied buildings in the development. The city wants to redevelop the public housing as mixed use, and offered vouchers to encourage residents to relocate. Cheryl Corley/NPR hide caption

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Cheryl Corley/NPR

A Chicago Community Puts Mixed-Income Housing To The Test

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Walters Clothing carries styles that go back decades and shoes up to size 18. Its outsize selection has earned the attention of NBA stars and hip-hop artists. Eboni Lemon /New Voices Initiative, AIR hide caption

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Eboni Lemon /New Voices Initiative, AIR

A Pillar Of Atlanta's Community Also Has An Outsize Shoe Collection

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New apartment buildings are replacing empty lots in Mantua, one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. Will Figg for NPR hide caption

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Will Figg for NPR

University Re-Imagines Town And Gown Relationship In Philadelphia

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The Los Angeles River in 2013. Engineers turned it into a narrow concrete channel in the 1940s, after a flood destroyed homes and left 100 people dead in 1938. Steve Lyon/Flickr hide caption

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Steve Lyon/Flickr

Building Sponge City: Redesigning LA For Long-Term Drought

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Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh is spearheading an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas and make it a tech hub, home for small businesses and a creative community. Isaac Brekken for NPR hide caption

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Isaac Brekken for NPR

Remaking Vegas In A Tech Billionaire's Image: Will It Last?

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