The Shanghai Rowing Club (middle) was rescued after preservationists fought a proposed demolition. In the background to the left is the futuristic skyline of Shanghai's financial district, Lujiazui. Frank Langfitt/NPR hide caption

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After Decades, A Shanghai Preservationist Heads Home To America
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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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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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A worker washes the exterior of a Portland Loo in Portland, Ore. San Diego installed two of the loos earlier this year. Rick Bowmer/AP hide caption

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San Diego Installed Public Loos, But Now They're Flush With Problems
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The H Street Wal-Mart in Washington, D.C. Ten years ago, none of the city's 600,000 residents lived within 1 mile of a Wal-Mart. Today, almost 13 percent do. Emily Jan/NPR hide caption

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The Urban Neighborhood Wal-Mart: A Blessing Or A Curse?
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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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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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Remaking Vegas In A Tech Billionaire's Image: Will It Last?
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A view of Seattle from the Bullitt Center. Brad Kahn/Flickr hide caption

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Is Civilization Natural?
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Kevin Faulconer reaches for his wife, Katherine, at a Feb. 11 rally as their daughter looks up from below. Faulconer, a Republican, won the San Diego mayoral race last week. Lenny Ignelzi/AP hide caption

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Sadia Bies and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino stand next to her portrait of him at a July press conference. Menino, the city's longest-serving mayor, is stepping down at the end of his term. Aynsley Floyd/Invision for Gillette hide caption

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