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The Future of Everything covers the innovation and technology that is transforming the way we live, work and play, with monthly issues on health, money, artificial intelligence and more. This month, Cities & Real Estate, online from June 4 and in the newspaper on June 11. We examine the impact of suburbs built for rental on the nature of homeownership. What’s more, scientists are turning to tree planting and the whitest white paint to tackle urban climate change. In addition, the parking lot is getting a makeover. See below for more.


Photo:


Doug john miller

10 great ideas to improve life in small and medium cities

American municipalities have always been testing laboratories for innovation. As the pandemic begins to ebb in the United States, we are looking at a handful of programs that supporters say will spread across the country.


Drawing:


Jon krause

Suburbs Built To Rent Are About To Spread Across The United States

Economic forces and generational preferences are driving a new type of housing: housing estates designed for tenants and managed like apartment buildings. What does this mean for the suburbs?


Photo:


Lucy Hewett for The Wall Street Journal

To offset climate change, scientists tout city trees and ultra-white paint

More trees and more reflective surfaces won’t stop global warming, but they could help alleviate dangerous “heat islands” in urban areas.


Drawing:


BRIAN STAUFFER

No parking: cities rethink garages for a world with fewer personal cars

Public parking may never go away, but autonomous vehicles, remote working, and generational trends are making city planners reconsider its function in the city center.


Photo:


Insurance Institute for Business and Home Security

As the threat of forest fires increases, communities at risk consider new defenses

Building materials, architectural details, landscaping choices, and even road design will improve fire safety in the West and other parts of the country.


Photo:


Adam Amengual for the Wall Street Journal

Mental health moves downtown

Several new or planned mental health hospitals in downtown areas aim to do more than treat patients – boost local businesses, provide work for people in treatment, and use design to erode stigma.


Drawing:


John S. Dykes

Jobs for the city of tomorrow

As urban areas expand and evolve, new professions will be needed, from vertical gardeners to charging station valets.

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