Cities on a hill?

Many Americans have come to see cities as engines of growth and laboratories of democracy. But is this the case? Quentin Mayne, guest editing a series of essays in "Boston Review", asks scholars and practitioners to reflect critically on that promise.

The costs for Boston’s proposed North-South may be much lower than previously thought, according to a new study by HKS students and Senior Lecturer Linda Bilmes. The report may bring new momentum to efforts to convince lawmakers to move forward with the project, which would greatly improve the traffic flow for suburban travelers commuting through the city. Find out more about the research.

Somerville has gone from a symbol of urban problems to an icon of modern municipal management. It is still a city of neighborhoods, where the mayor coaches the football team and the accents vary from broad Boston to Latino, Asian and African.

Big data makes better cities

Professor Stephen Goldsmith, Director of the Data-Smart City Solutions Project at the Kennedy School’s Ash Center, describes how city and state governments can improve service to citizens by harnessing new technologies.