Cities ProjectMore 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 recently renovated Mariachi Plaza is pictured in Boyle Heights, Calif., is a Hispanic and low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles that's fighting hard to prevent gentrification, the threat of escalating rents and "washed out" identity.
Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
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.
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.
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