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.

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.

Phoenix’s Light Rail Future Is Under Attack

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 pedestrian 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.

a photo of a California subdivision

The NIMBY Principle

The advocacy group Livable California has led the resistance to the state’s biggest housing proposals. What's their appeal for “local control” really about?

a photo of a small fleet of electric Chevrolet Bolts cars.

Should Electric Vehicle Drivers Pay Per Mile?

Since EV drivers zip past gas taxes, they don’t contribute to the federal fund for road maintenance. A new working paper tries to determine whether plug-ins should pay up.

an aerial photo of urban traffic at night

Why Real-Time Traffic Control Has Mobility Experts Spooked

A plan to develop a data standard for technology that could monitor and manage various mobility services has raised privacy fears.  

MapLab: Rise of the Digital Twin

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A Small Town Decides Parking Can't Be a Bargain Anymore

Nevada City, California, used to advertise its “bargain” parking meters. Now they’re getting more expensive to protect the town against an existential threat.

How Utrecht Became a Paradise for Cyclists

A new short film reveals how the Dutch city reengineered itself around the bicycle, with life- and money-saving results.

MapLab: Where the Fight Against Gerrymandering Heads Now

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Oregon’s Single-Family Zoning Ban Was a ‘Long Time Coming’

The state’s new upzoning bill would be historic. But Oregon has long been a pioneer in tight land-use controls that promote dense urban development.

a photo of Democratic presidential candidates before the second night of debate in Miami.

We Mapped Every Place Mentioned by the Democratic Candidates

From candidate hometowns to international crisis spots, here are all the cities mentioned by Democratic presidential contenders at this week’s debates.

San Francisco’s Former ‘Night Minister’ Is an Ardent Housing Advocate

A short documentary reveals how a spiritual leader walks his faith by night in a city gripped with homelessness.

A rendering of Quayside, the waterfront development now being planned for Toronto.

A Big Master Plan for Google's Growing Smart City

Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.