Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss is CityLab’s west coast bureau chief. 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.

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.

Atlanta’s Big Transit Vote Is a Referendum on Race

As suburban Gwinnett County weighs a MARTA expansion, changing demographics and politics may decide the Georgia capital's transportation future.

A photo of the silhouette of a cyclist on a bike lane.

Watch Bike Advocates Vent About the Silliest Anti-Bike Lane Arguments

A new video from Streetfilms assembles the most head-scratching attacks employed by bike-lane foes, such as: Don’t let the terrorists win!

a photo of a couple on electric scooters

The Hot New Thing in Dockless Electric Scooters: Docks

Cities are desperate to tame the sidewalk chaos of the e-scooter industry. One startup offers a solar-powered parking solution.

MapLab: Zooming Into Segregation

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a car in October 2018

Should AOC's Public Transportation Choices Matter?

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has come under fire for using cars instead of the subway. Some of those critics are right.

To Build a Better Bus Lane, Just Paint It

“Red carpet” bus lanes can be a cheap, fast, and effective way to smooth commutes for public transit users and drivers alike.

A photo of a self-driving shuttle bus in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Gambles on a 'Smart City' Technology Makeover

The casino mecca is piloting countless new technologies in public spaces in a bid to boost its smart-city brand. Worrying about the risks will come later.  

Critics Vow to Block Sidewalk Labs' Controversial Smart City in Toronto

In an echo of the Amazon HQ2 backlash in Queens, Canadian foes of Alphabet’s city-building arm have organized a campaign against the Quayside development.

Mapping the Growing Gap Between Job Seekers and Employers

Mapping job openings with available employees in major U.S. cities reveals a striking spatial mismatch, according to a new Urban Institute report.

MapLab: Invisible Trespassers

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of a new car dealership

If the Economy Is So Great, Why Are Car Loan Defaults at a Record High?

For low-income buyers, new predatory lending techniques may make it easier to get behind the wheel, and harder to escape a debt trap.

a photo of high-speed rail tracks under construction in Fresno, California.

Think of California High-Speed Rail as an $11 Billion Streetcar

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to complete only a Central Valley segment of the rail link risks turning the transportation project into an economic development tool.