Free-Range Kids & the Law

The Murky Law on Free-Range Kids

CityLab, April 17, 2015

On April 12, it happened again: Rafi and Dvora Meitiv, the “free-range kids” of Silver Spring, Maryland, were picked up and detained by police. The siblings, aged 10 and six, were playing unsupervised in their neighborhood when a man walking his dog spotted them and called the authorities.

Back in December, Rafi and Dvora made national headlines when police picked them up as they walked home from a local park. The children’s parents, Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, subscribe to the philosophy of “free-range” parenting, which holds that children develop self-reliance by exploring their neighborhoods or riding public transportation on their own, if their parents judge them ready.

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Germany’s Car-Sharing Paradise

How Bremen, Germany, Became a Car-Sharing Paradise

CityLab, Dec. 11, 2014

Bremen, in Northwestern Germany, could not be described as car-dependent in the North American sense of the term. In this city of 550,000, most daily journeys happen on mass transit (14 percent of all trips), on foot (20 percent), or by bike (25 percent).

But that still leaves 40 percent or so of Bremenites’ mobility to driving, and officials believe the city simply has too many cars. Beyond concerns about emissions and air quality, there’s also the nuisance factor, explains Michael Glotz-Richter, the city’s senior project manager for sustainable mobility.

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Photograph by jorivso/

Urbanizing Gas Stations

Why Gas-Station Restaurants Are Great for Suburbs

A new crop of restaurants in gas stations, like Seoul Food D.C., will help suburbs grow into more authentic urban places. 

CityLab, Nov. 14, 2014

It’s 1 p.m. on a Tuesday, and I’m at Seoul Food D.C., eating a kimchi-bacon rice bowl as I watch cars whoosh down a six-lane road. I’m fighting the urge to finish my lunch with one of the pumpkin whoopie pies next to the cash register—instead, I settle for a pack of gum, sold in the Tiger Mart a few steps away.

Tiger Mart, you may recall, is Exxon’s convenience-store brand. Yes, this Korean-fusion café operates out of a gas station. Anna and Jon Goree launched Seoul Food in a food truck in nearby Arlington, Virginia, in 2011. After building a devoted following for their caramelized kimchi and bibimbap, the couple decided to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

They learned of the space in the Exxon when they got a call from its new owner, an acquaintance who was unsure what to do with his extra square footage. The Gorees liked the space and the location, and in early 2013, they signed a three-year lease.

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Photograph by Hank Shiffman/Shutterstock