Among U.S. cities with populations of over 30,000, only 20 percent of mayors are women. A 2015 report by the American Planning Association not only notes the lack of gender diversity in urban planning careers—the field is 42 percent female—but also the fact that women are more likely to be affected by urban affordability issues: Up to three-quarters of households living in public housing are solely headed by females.

People 55 and older own 53 percent of U.S. owner-occupied houses, the biggest share since the government started collecting data in 1900...That’s up from 43 percent a decade ago. Those ages 18 to 34 possess just 11 percent. When they were that age, baby boomers had homes at almost twice that level... Property-tax exemptions for longtime residents keep older Americans from moving. Zoning rules make it harder to build affordable apartments attractive to senior citizens.

Without really good public transportation, it's very difficult to deal with inequality ... Transportation is about more than just moving people from point A to point B. It’s also a system that can either limit or expand the opportunities available to people based on where they live. In many cities, the areas with the shoddiest access to public transit are the most impoverished—and the lack of investment leaves many Americans without easy access to jobs, goods, and services.

Not only did its passage [Prop13] gut basic services the state used to excel at, like education, but it also turned real estate into the primary way Californians accrued and preserved personal wealth. If you bought a cheap house in the 1970s in the Bay Area, today it’s a gold mine—and you are disincentivized from doing anything that would reduce its value, like, say, allowing an apartment building to be built anywhere within view.

Water companies are not obliged to supply all the water that people would use if it were free, nor are power companies expected to provide all the free electricity that customers might want. But many cities try to provide enough spaces to meet the demand for free parking, even at peak times.

California's housing-supply slump has driven home prices to levels unseen since 2007, before the dawn of the financial crisis. The current median home value in California is just under $490,000, up nearly 7% from this time last year and more than twice the national median. Homeownership in the state is at a 70-year low ... And cities that were once considered the West's more affordable big markets, like Denver, Portland, and Seattle, are now experiencing some of the fastest-rising rents

Smart stoplight systems, formally known as adaptive traffic signals, allow stoplights to memorize traffic patterns, communicate with each other and adjust the timing of green and red lights to improve traffic flow ... Using technology to boost traffic flow is much less expensive than widening roads or building transit lines, and those solutions typically face environmental hurdles and community backlash.

The report calculates that bus operators in the U.S. spend a cumulative six million hours waiting at bus stops each year, which in turn costs agencies an estimated $700 million. The delays make sense. If 20 people are waiting to board a bus at a popular stop and it takes each person five to nine seconds, that adds up to over three minutes of waiting. Multiplied over a whole route, it totals to significant delay.

Public funds, including millions of dollars from California’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gas emissions, are going to developers to build new homes in freeway pollution hot spots. The population near Los Angeles freeways is growing faster than elsewhere in the city as planners push developers to concentrate new housing near transportation hubs, convinced that increasing urban density will help meet state targets for greenhouse gas reductions.

In early 2001, the mayor of Paris...integrated a bikeshare program: a system where people could rent bikes and ride them between a network of stations throughout the city. Though it wasn’t the first such effort in history, it was the catalyst for an international bikesharing revolution. In the past decade, more than 600 cities around the world have implemented similar plans, collectively deploying more than 700,000 bicycles.