Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss is CityLab’s west coast bureau chief, covering transportation and technology. She also authors MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.

MapLab: How Game of Thrones Got Mappy

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

a photo of a police line barricade in front of a sidewalk

What We Fight About When We Fight About Parking

The urban economist Donald Shoup collects reports of violence that erupts over parking spaces. To him, disputes between drivers are signs of a bigger problem.

a photo of a Dodge Challenger

The ‘Airbnb of Cars’ Gets Heat From the Rental Car Industry

Peer-to-peer sharing services that let owners rent out their vehicles are a focus of concern from traditional car rental companies, who see disruption ahead.

a photo of Bill de Blasio

Bill de Blasio's SUV Habit Is Something American Voters Can Relate To

Inside New York City, the mayor's insistence on driving to the gym is maddening. But national voters would probably give him a pass.

a screenshot of an Uber map

The Uber-Transit Convergence Arrives in Denver

The ride-hailing giant once called public transportation a threat to its growth. But in one city, it’s joining forces.

MapLab: Where U.S. Housing Costs Hurt the Most  

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of an Uber Bus in Cairo, the company's new microtransit program.

‘Uber Was Supposed To Be Our Public Transit’

Innisfil, Ontario, decided to partially subsidize ride-hailing trips rather than pay for a public bus system. It worked so well that now they have to raise fares and cap rides.

A train traveling on an elevated platform.

Texas High Speed Rail Faces a New Threat: Semantics

A private company plans to break ground on a bullet train between Houston and Dallas in 2019. But opponents of the project have a new argument.

A photo of shoppers on University Avenue in East Palo Alto, California, which is flanked by two technology campuses.

An Island of Silicon Valley Affordability Says Yes to More Housing

East Palo Alto is surrounded by tech riches, but that hasn’t necessarily helped longtime residents. Some welcome a state law mandating zoning reform.

a photo of a beach in Hawaii

Could Hawaii Be Paradise For Hydrogen-Powered Public Transit?

As prices drop for renewable power, some researchers hope the island state could be the ideal testbed for hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation.

Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.

MapLab: Detroit, Best Mapped City?

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A woman and two children holding umbrellas cross a flooded street at night.

‘100 Resilient Cities’ Is No More. Now What?

The Rockefeller Foundation’s global climate-resilience initiative will shutter by summer. But cities say the work must go on.

A photo of a cyclist riding along the Charles River in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Cambridge’s New Bike Lane Law is ‘Bikelash’-Proof

The Boston suburb now mandates the addition of protected bike lanes on all streets due for planned upgrades. It’s a strategy other cities should follow.

A photo of single-family homes along a hillside in San Marcos, California.

The Political Battle Over California's Suburban Dream

State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50 would rewrite the state’s single-family zoning codes. What's wrong with that? A lot, say opponents.

MapLab: Geo-Party Like It’s 1999

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

a photo of a Bird scooter in L.A.

The Race to Code the Curb

Everyone—from ride-hailing cars to delivery trucks to bikes and scooters—wants a piece of the curb. How can smart cities map and manage this precious resource?

Congested New York City streets.

How New York Finally Passed Congestion Pricing

With a subway crisis looming, the political stars aligned to impose fees for driving on Manhattan’s most traffic-filled streets.

a photo of a young woman in a Fiat 500 car.

Despite ‘Car-Free’ Hype, Millennials Drive a Lot

Despite the buzz around ride-hailing and bike lanes, car ownership among younger Americans looks a lot like that of older Americans.

A photo of the interior of a WeWork co-working office.

WeWork Wants to Build the ‘Future of Cities.’ What Does That Mean?

The co-working startup is hatching plans to deploy data to reimagine urban problems. In the past, it has profiled neighborhoods based on class indicators.

MapLab: San Francisco at Scale

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.