The city is where the future happens first. Its constant capacity for reinvention is what makes it so intoxicating. Photograph: Still from Ben Wheatley’s film of JG Ballard’s High Rise novel.

Cities rise and fall, but the city has a way of confounding its would-be obituarists. Futurists thought digital communications would kill off urban li(...)

‘Racial hatred is still a potent force in US society, as we’ve just been reminded to our horror.’ People attend an interfaith candlelit vigil in solidarity with the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston,  South Carolina, in Brooklyn, New York. Photograph: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

America is a much less racist nation than it used to be, and I’m not just talking about the still remarkable fact that an African-American occupies(...)

Texas governor Rick Perry will likely run for the US presidency on the basis that he knows how to create prosperity. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Governor Rick Perry of Texas is running for president again. What are his chances? Will he once again become a punchline? I have absolutely no idea. T(...)

In the 1970s regulatory barriers went up in San Francisco and land values began to accelerate. Photograph: Getty Images

About 40 per cent of the stated wealth of the UK – more than £3 trillion – does not exist. It is a terrible illusion. For the US the figure is about 1(...)