Cities Project

Cities ProjectCities Project

NPR's Series On Urban Life In The 21st Century

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

The deep-rooted history and current disrepair of the aging Alabama bus fleet continue to affect its predominantly black riders.

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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