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Why Can’t We Party in the Street?

It’s getting more and more difficult for Americans to gather on public streets, out of joy or anger, and that’s a problem.

The Distortion street party in Denmark. Photo by ekvidi via Flickr

Over the last few months, we’ve been inundated with images of peaceful crowds of people clashing with police forces decked out in riot gear. The majority of images came from the Ferguson protests and some of the demonstrations that followed.

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3 Anti-Youth Policies that are Hurting Your City

Attracting young people is key to urban competitiveness, but some cities still make being a kid a criminal offense.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

You can tell a lot about the attitude a city has towards its youth by the policies it maintains. Despite growing recognition that attracting young people is key to urban competitiveness, a surprising amount of municipalities still maintain laws that communicate that kids—teenagers mostly—are scary at worst, or a nuisance at best.

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The 10 Most Shocking Facts About Cleveland’s Violent Police Force

Imagine what federal investigations could uncover about your local police force.

It’s been less than two weeks since a Cleveland police officer gunned down 12-year-old Tamir Rice as he was playing with a toy gun in a park. In that time, protests have exploded across the nation over the grand jury decisions in the police brutality cases of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Attorney General Eric Holder was in Cleveland yesterday with another wake-up call about the severity of the police misconduct problem.

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The Vision for a 21st Century Drive-in

Way out in West Texas, a grand plan for a drive-in movie theater promised to invigorate an entire community.

Photo by Corey Leopold / Flickr

There’s something consistently inspiring about the sky over Marfa, Texas. Between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park and hours away from the nearest big city, the small town of 2,112 serves as the foreground for heavenly views of the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert and the stars above.

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3 Epic Racial Profiling Blunders from History

Racial profiling not only harms innocent people of color, it can cause law enforcement to lose crucial time in pursuing the true criminals.

Every once in a while, the issue of racial profiling rises above the countless smaller humiliations and injustices people of color in America suffer daily, sparking a national conversation. Generally, it’s when we’re shocked to attention by a particularly dramatic case: Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford, Oscar Grant, to name a few. There’s no more striking example of the problem than when an innocent person dies—horribly, violently, and unnecessarily—as a result of implicit racial biases.

But there’s an additional critical downside to using prejudices as a substitute for police work: It doesn’t work. That’s one of the takeaways from a new report released Thursday by the NAACP. For example, nearly 90 percent of those stopped in New York City’s widely criticized “Stop-and-Frisk” were black people or Latinos. But the program has led to relatively few arrests, the ACLU reports. Guns were confiscated in less than 0.2 percent of stops, for example.

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The Next Frontier in Urban Living: Waterways?

Global warming and urban overcrowding fuel the next generation of houseboat living

Photo courtesy of Jens Kroell & Amelie Rost

Global warming and accommodating urban growth are going to be two of the most vexing problems facing cities in the coming decades. One German city is attempting to kill both birds with one stone by expanding its livable space onto the surface of its local waterways.

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