Linda Poon

Linda Poon

Linda Poon is a staff writer at CityLab covering science and urban technology, including smart cities and climate change. She previously covered global health and development for NPR’s Goats and Soda blog.

CityLab Daily: In a Town Shaped by Water, the River Is Winning

Also: The city that’s giving people money, and what redlining has to do with asthma.

An illustration of the Memorial Day flood in Ellicott City, Maryland.

In a Town Shaped by Water, the River Is Winning

Storms supercharged by climate change pose a dire threat to river towns. After two catastrophic floods, tiny Ellicott City faces a critical decision: Rebuild, or retreat?

The Problem With Outlawing Distracted Walking

A New York lawmaker wants to fine pedestrians who text while crossing streets. Street-safety advocates say that’s ineffective, and may even cause more harm.

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo speaks at a podium as people photograph him.

Why Indonesia Wants to Move Its Capital Out of Jakarta

Jakarta has 10 million people and is sinking faster than any other city in the world. But there are other factors involved in its relocation plan.

A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.

How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

A photo of Ellicott City's Main Street

How Historic Ellicott City Plans to Survive the Next Flood

After catastrophic storms in 2016 and 2018, the Maryland mill town has five flood control plans. But it faces hard choices on how to avoid future disasters.

Jason Hardesty poses with a pup outside a New Orleans bar.

A Perk of Delivering Mail: Meeting All the Good Dogs

Meet the UPS driver who proves once and for all that mail carriers and dogs can live in harmony.

Think You’re Faster Than the D.C. Streetcar? Think Again.

Streetcars without dedicated lanes tend to be on the slow side. But beating this much-maligned public transportation mode on foot wasn’t as easy as it looks.

Kamala Harris's $15 Million Proposal to Fix Local Government Tech

The 2020 presidential candidate introduced a bill to help local governments modernize their digital services. Is this the lifeline cities need?

Who Were Milwaukee’s ‘Sewer Socialist’ Mayors?

The city stands apart for electing three socialist mayors, but their work on infrastructure, parks, and housing looks much like what’s expected of mayors today.

How #Trashtag Inspired People to Clean Up Their Parks

A social media challenge had people across the globe cleaning up beaches, parks, rivers—and urging their friends to get in on the action.

A giant fake mosquito perches on a city bus shelter.

Oh, the Places Mosquitoes Will Go!

Because of climate change, Aedes aegypti and Asian tiger mosquitoes will move north in large numbers, a new study finds.

Your City Is Full of Ways to Get an Incidental Workout

New research shows the health benefits of short bursts of incidental physical activity. Here’s how to sneak in some exercise into the normal course of your day.

China’s Huge Number of Vacant Apartments Is Causing a Problem

One-fifth of China’s urban housing stock has been bought up and left vacant, and it’s adding to the country’s housing woes.

Should Libraries Be the Keepers of Their Cities’ Public Data?

Public libraries are one of the most trusted institutions, and they want to make sure everyone has access to the information cities are collecting and sharing.

Heating Violations Are Leaving Residents in the Cold

As wind chills dip as much as 50 degrees below zero, cities like New York and Chicago scramble to restore heating and hot water in homes.

What Cities Get When They Offer Free Tech Support to Residents

Computer repair isn’t cheap—so D.C.’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer is lending its own technicians to help residents fix their devices for free.

Tokyo’s New Strategy for Easing Subway Overcrowding: Free Soba, Tempura

To ease the morning rush traffic, the city’s Metro will reward riders with buckwheat noodles and tempura for traveling outside peak hours.

An fitness instructor leads a indoor running club.

The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts

The January gym spike is real, but it drops off just a few weeks later, according to data from location and fitness apps.

L.A. Joins the Growing Battle Over Location Data

Los Angeles is taking the Weather Channel to court over its treatment of app users’ location data. Expect that to be one of many such lawsuits in 2019.

A map of Baltimore and its surrounding leafy suburbs.

Every Tree in the City, Mapped

Researchers at Descartes Labs are using artificial intelligence to make a better map of the urban tree canopy.