One of my favorite websites is CityLab, a space “dedicated to the people who are creating the cities of the future—and those who want to live there. Through sharp analysis, original reporting, and visual storytelling, our coverage focuses on the biggest ideas and most pressing issues facing the world’s metro areas and neighborhoods.” The editors recently redesigned the site, and sent a note to subscribers about the changes. I’ll report the note below. I encourage everyone to visit the site!
Dear CityLab Reader,
Today, you will notice we have launched a major redesign to CityLab. The redesign is bringing you the same smart insights and strong journalism as before, but now enhanced by a design that is easier to read, and as sophisticated as you, our readers. If you want to learn more about how we redesigned the site David Dudley, our Executive Editor, wrote a great post here.
Over the coming weeks and months you will see additional changes coming to CityLab.
The first, and perhaps most visible, change to CityLab is refocusing our verticals down to an essential five.
- Design: covering how space elevates us, engages us and makes our cities and communities special and livable.
- Transportation: examining all aspects of mobility; from bicycles to autonomous vehicles to our own two feet.
- Environment: exploring how cities are on the frontlines of sustainability, resiliency and making our lives more green.
- Equity: connecting how we live in cities to how we provide opportunities for all to thrive and improve the wellbeing of all members of our community.
- Life: a refocus of our “modern urbanist’s guide to life” to engage a new generation to think and act in their pursuit of making their urban communities better, cooler and livable.
A second change is a deeper commitment to telling stories visually, especially with maps. Cities are visual experiences and we are supporting our writers who have long desired to expand the way we tell stories. There is new innovation in cartography, infographics, and custom visual information; which will allow for strong interactive features. This type of storytelling will become a hallmark of CityLab.
The third change at relaunch is that we are introducing several new features:
- Solutions: we will be building on our CityFixer articles by rebranding them “Solutions.” For select articles will be attaching a new “Toolbox,” so people who are inspired by the article can learn how to explore a solution for their city.
- Viewpoints: we will be expanding our POV content to support important new voices that will change the debate about our future cities. We will have special emphasis on men and women of color and other voices who have been underrepresented in the conversation about the future of cities.
- Newsletters: we have found that newsletters are an excellent way for audiences to connect with us, and that our newsletter subscribers become regular, deep, and engaged readers. We have already launched a new weekly newsletter tied to urban living. We will be experimenting with additional newsletters focused on Maps, and a morning urban news round-up The Lab Report.
The last big change is that we have stopped accepting advertising that interrupts your reading experience. For CityLab’s highly engaged, educated audience we want our advertising to have impact, and even at times surprise and delight you. We are now working directly with our advertising partners to create stronger, useful ads that stand to the right of the content, which, befitting our site, we call “Empire Ads,” as well as sponsor content that we create with our advertising partners.
CityLab has never been a passive voice publication. Our writers and editors don’t write about the future of cities, but with our unabashed love of urban life we are a part of the process of how urban leaders, advocates and entrepreneurs discover the future.
Our commitment is to dive even deeper into reporting the stories that change the way we think about our urban future. And now we have a site that can showcase the best urban journalism in the world!