On-Air Highlights

Stories for an Urban Century

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Jul 23, 2012 2:03 PM

NPR's Cities Project covers our urban lives, from the striking trends of urban life today to the challenges for cities going forward. Urbanization has become a buzzword of the times, as more than half of the world's population now lives in urban areas. In the United States, it's more than 80-percent. There is an increasing awareness of cities as a defining trait of humanity and their importance to our health, economy, environment, and more. In a series for All Things Considered and features on NPR.org, the Cities Project captures the vibrancy of the urban experience, the street-level view of people who live and work in real space, and the tough and multifaceted ongoing issues of urban life such as development, preservation, transportation, diversity, and the economy.

Implicit in every Cities Project story are these questions: How do we want to live? What do we want our cities to be? Correspondents will define cities broadly -- not just the big municipalities, but suburbs and smaller cities, too.

Get involved with this series: What are the sounds you hear every day that make where you live unique? Find details on sending your audio clips here, and your audio could air on All Things Considered for the NPR Cities Project. Show us the Heart of Your City! Send your pictures, sound and text using the hashtag #NPRCities on Tumblr, Flickr, and Soundcloud. These posts will be featured on NPR's Tumblr and later on an interactive map.

The series began in early July and continues on All Things Considered through early fall on witf, your home for NPR News and All Things Regional. Here is what is coming up in the series:

  • Wuhan, China - August 6 - China is experiencing one of the largest mass migrations in the history of mankind, as tens of millions of people move from the countryside to rapidly growing cities over the country. More than a hundred Chinese cities are home to more than a million people, yet most are practically unknown outside China itself. NPR's Frank Langfitt reports from one of them -- the city of Wuhan.
  • Resilient Cities: Heat - August 13 - Forget sustainability -- in 2012, think "resilience" and adaptation instead. Anticipating a more volatile environment thanks to climate change, cities are getting ready. Many homes built today are almost useless without electricity, so how would you heat or cool your house if the power went out? Peter O'Dowd of member station KJZZ in Phoenix looks at how designers in one of the nation’s hottest cities are tackling this challenge.
  • Resilient Cities: Cold - August 20 - How do cities in colder, coastal areas address threats posed by a changing climate?
  • Park Deficit in Miami - August 27 - Urban theorists say parks create connections to the community and the environment, while developers in densely populated neighborhoods don’t see economic incentives to create them. In Miami, many residents don't have green spaces like parks nearby. Kenny Malone of member station WLRN reports on efforts to provide more parks.

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