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.

Michelle Labra and her daughter, Daphne, live in an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in their landlord's backyard. Portland has among the most permissive rules for ADUs in the country. Last year, the city issued building permits for about one a day. Amelia Templeton/OPB hide caption

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Amelia Templeton/OPB

'Granny Pods' Help Keep Portland Affordable

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The site where developer Keith Rubenstein and partners plan to build a luxury residential complex on the waterfront in Mott Haven, one of the poorest communities in New York City. Jessica Gould/WNYC hide caption

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Forget 'The Bronx Is Burning.' These Days, The Bronx Is Gentrifying

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Participants stretch during a "yoga on the yard" class, one of Howard University's sesquicentennial celebration events that was open to anyone in Washington, D.C., who wanted to attend. The university is trying to foster better relations with the surrounding community. Tyrone Turner/WAMU hide caption

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When A Historically Black University's Neighborhood Turns White

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

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