You want urban reads? We got your urban reads right here. On this November day: Icelandic elves, Lou Reed, the lost & found art of walking, what "smart city" really means, and an adorable dancing traffic cop.

  • Icelanders still believe in invisible elves—which is very good for the environment [The Atlantic]
  • Part of the English coast is being "sea surrendered" to prevent future flooding [BBC News]
  • How Lou Reed epitomized gritty urbanism and the idea of the "big bad city" [KCRW]
  • Why is the act of urban walking so revolutionary? [New Statesman]
  • In praise of the flâneur, and a call to revive the movement [Paris Review]
  • More on that guy who's trying to walk every block in New York City [Atlantic Cities]
  • 7 brilliantly simple tech ideas to improve cities [Co.Exist]
  • Unpacking the idea of the "smart city" and what it actually means to its citizens [Urban Omnibus]
  • A handful of ways to bring affordable housing to expensive cities [Markasaurus]
  • Watch Mentoria Hutchinson dance as she directs traffic in Manhattan [New York Times]

Opening image courtesy of Iwan Baan for New YorkerBaan took over the New Yorker's Instagram feed last week on a trip to Africa. Got an Instagram of your own you'd like us to use in our next link round-up? Tag it #gizmodocities and we'll be in touch if we want to post.