Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss is CityLab’s West Coast bureau chief. She also writes MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.

a photo of a woman on a SkyTrain car its way to the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In the City That Ride-Hailing Forgot, Change Is Coming

Fears of congestion and a powerful taxi lobby have long kept ride-hailing apps out of transit-friendly Vancouver, British Columbia. That’s about to change.  

MapLab: Trump’s ‘Mutilated’ Storm Map

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

People walk along a new elevated park that winds through a historic urban area.

How to Build a New Park So Its Neighbors Benefit

A new report from UCLA and the University of Utah surveys strategies for “greening without gentrification.”

A photo of President Donald Trump displaying an altered map of Hurricane Dorian's anticipated track on September 4.

Yes, Maps Can Lie. But Not Like This.

Mark Monmonier, the author of How to Lie With Maps, has seen a lot of misleading and deceptive maps. But Trump’s doctored Dorian forecast is a new one.

A photo of a man along a walkway near a beach in Barcelona.

The Life-Saving Benefits of Barcelona’s Car-Free ‘Superblocks’

A new study estimates that a citywide plan to limit cars and capture nearly 70 percent of street space for bikes and pedestrians could save 667 lives per year.

a photo of a steam locomotive

This Is What a Transportation Revolution Looks Like

To understand a true transportation revolution, I wanted to drive a coal-fired locomotive. On the Nevada Northern Railway, I found one.

a photo of a New Orleans pothole

Here’s a Pothole Stunt for the Ages in New Orleans

Tired of waiting for the city to fix their street, residents of the Irish Channel neighborhood furnished their pothole and listed it as an Airbnb rental. It worked.

MapLab: Why Google Hopes You’ll Walk

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of a scooter rider in Los Angeles.

A Controversial Scooter Data Tracking Program Gains Traction

As more cities adopt a controversial scooter tracking system pioneered by Los Angeles, concerns about rider data privacy are spreading.

a photo of a woman on an electric scooter

A Bad New Argument Against Scooters: Historic Inappropriateness

The argument over whether electric scooters belong in Old Town Alexandria reflects an age-old rationalization against change.

an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.

The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

Rockaway Beach is Disappearing and Resurgent All at Once

After Superstorm Sandy, New York City’s oceanfront neighborhood got a boost of investment. But that hasn’t stopped the waves from stealing the beach.

MapLab: The Maps That Make Us

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

a photo of Hudson Yards developer Stephen Ross talking with designer Thomas Heatherwick

When a Trump Donor Owns Stuff You Love In Cities

SoulCycle investor Stephen Ross faces criticism for hosting a Trump fundraiser. But he also funds sustainability research and urban mobility. It's complicated.

The Map That Made Los Angeles Make Sense

For generations in Southern California, the Thomas Guide led drivers through the streets of Los Angeles. Now apps do that. Did something get lost along the way?

A photo-illustration of a map of San Francisco

What Are the Maps That Make Us?

Introducing a new CityLab series of personal essays on the power of maps in shaping our private and public lives.

a photo of a local business displaying a protest sign of the proposed extension of the light rail system along Central Avenue, in Phoenix.

What’s Next for Phoenix’s Light Rail?

Proposition 105, a ballot measure funded in part by groups tied to the Koch brothers, threatens to halt long-planned extensions to the booming Arizona city’s transit system.

A photo of a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle.

How Much Traffic Do Uber and Lyft Cause?

A new analysis by the ride-hailing giants sheds some light on a long-asked question about their congestion impacts on U.S. cities.

See New York City, Through Other People's Dashboard Cams

The traffic safety app Nexar’s new “Live Map” feature lets anyone peek in on near-real-time video footage of city streets.

MapLab: The Hidden Risks in U.S. Flood Maps

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

a photo of a crowd of motorbikes in Jakarta

The World's Most Traffic-Snarled City Tries a New Fix: Sidewalks

Traffic, smog, and lack of sidewalks make the Indonesian megacity hard on pedestrians. But foot-friendly infrastructure is finally coming.