This piece from the Financial Times really resonated with me.
It hits on something I've experienced: the difficulty of finding a community in an American city that is affordable enough to live in, safe enough to let children play in, and has access to good education. It's so hard to find. In most parts of the US, if you want to have these things, you're pushed to the suburbs.
It seems to me that urban areas have an amazing lack of urgency around this problem.
While reading, I couldn't help thinking of this picture I took during my first week living in Zürich:
In what US city could you imagine this scene?
A group of grade school girls on their way to school all by themselves, without a parent in sight. One of my favorite things about living in Switzerland was that it was not just possible to live in an urban area, but easy.