July 30, 2013 Millions of people worldwide are leaving rural areas for urban ones. NPR Cities Project editor Franklyn Cater highlights five books that examine and celebrate 21st century life in the metropolis.
July 17, 2013 A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites. A global movement is putting mapping technology in the hands of slum dwellers to persuade governments and the residents themselves to see these shadow cities in a whole new light. NPR's Gregory Warner visits one slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
July 11, 2013 Can technology help cities become more efficient and sustainable? Or does the drive toward a new kind of "technopolis" raise concerns about privacy, equity and cost? Please join the NPR Cities Project for a Twitter conversation about technology and urban innovation.
July 11, 2013 Around the world, cities like Rio de Janeiro are using new technologies to solve their problems. And while there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, urban planner Anthony Townsend is wary of putting so much power in the hands of tech companies.
June 28, 2013 Most people know to phone 911 in an emergency, but police departments are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of calls. Some cities use 311 lines to help divert non-emergency requests, while Miami dispatches a group of unarmed public servants to tackle many non-urgent situations.
June 20, 2013 A growing number of cities are using surveillance cameras in the hope of fighting crime, but all that video is almost useless without powerful search tools to sort the material. The municipal camera trend is proving to be big business for companies that design video analytics software.
June 12, 2013 The Estonian capital is dotted with medieval towers and Soviet architecture that belie its status as one of the world's most technologically advanced cities. Residents use a smart card to ride the bus, and mail packages and pay for parking with their phones.
June 4, 2013 On Spain's Atlantic coast, the city of Santander has installed 12,000 sensors that measure everything from when streetlights need to be dimmed to when trash dumpsters are full — saving millions for cash-strapped public coffers. It's becoming a model for cities worldwide.
May 31, 2013 Big Data promises a future where our Big Cities become more flexible and responsive to human needs, argues commentator Adam Frank. While danger may lurk in the data sets, the fact is that we may need to mine Big Data for solutions to our everyday problems.