Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder is a staff writer at CityLab covering local policy, housing, labor, and technology.

photo: An empty theater marquee on March 13, 2020 in Hollywood, California.

When ‘Cancel Everything’ Means Disaster for the Arts

With audiences gone and performances canceled due to the coronavirus crisis, musicians, entertainers, artists and cultural workers face a grim economic outlook.

An Emerging Coronavirus Concern: Eviction

For low-wage workers and cities, the real health emergency could be homelessness. So officials are advancing new proposals to temporarily halt evictions.

photo: a woman wearing a facemask on the DC Metro

Want to Avoid Coronavirus in the City? First, Stop Touching Stuff.

From subway straps to scooters, urban living is all about sharing stuff — and swapping germs. Here’s how to lower your risk of contracting Covid-19.

photo: A jobseeker holds an information packet during a U.S. Census Bureau 2020 job opportunities workshop in 2019.

The Census Bureau Wasn’t Counting on the Coronavirus

As census takers for the decennial survey prepare to knock on doors and count residents, anxieties about the spread of COVID-19 could hamper their efforts.

2020 Democratic Endorsement Tracker: Who Mayors Back for President

Mayoral endorsements have always played a role in presidential elections. But this year, the support of city leaders has been particularly prominent.

photo: Renny the Amazing Renaissance Center Robot

The Dream of the ’80s Is Alive in These Unhinged Chamber of Commerce Videos

How did urban boosters promote cities like Buffalo, Detroit and Kansas City during the 1980s? It took jingles, slogans, and a whole lot of montages.

The Great Tulsa Remote Worker Experiment

The first class of hand-picked remote workers moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in exchange for $10,000 and a built-in community. The city might just be luring them to stay.

For Those Living in Public Housing, It’s a Long Way to Work

A new Urban Institute study measures the spatial mismatch between where job seekers live and employment opportunities.

photo: Firefighters survey a home burning along Highway 128 during the Kincade fire in Healdsburg, California, in October 2019.

Playing the Odds on the Next California Wildfire

In fire-prone parts of California, insurance companies are using new AI-powered tools to better estimate the likelihood of a devastating wildfire disaster.

photo: a mounted police officer looks at his phone

Nextdoor Wants to Be a One-Stop Shop for Police

The neighborhood social network’s new app is aimed at public agencies, and it lets local law enforcement more easily tap into the online community.

photo: an unfinished house in Raleigh, NC

Raleigh Wants to Raze and Rebuild the Community Meeting

Facing a housing shortage, the North Carolina city is dismantling its Citizen Advisory Councils, which have shaped development decisions since 1974.

photo: a sign protesting meth use in rural Montana.

The Rise and Fall of America’s Rural Meth Labs

In his new book The Alchemy of Meth, anthropologist Jason Pine chronicles how methamphetamine addiction reshaped rural Missouri, and beyond.

The Presidential Candidates that Mayors Support

Big-city mayors favor Mike Bloomberg after his late entry into the race, while leaders in smaller cities have lined up behind Pete Buttigieg.

photo: Dominque Walker, founder of Moms 4 Housing, n the kitchen of the vacant house in West Oakland that the group occupied to draw attention to fair housing issues.

A Group of Mothers, a Vacant Home, and a Win for Fair Housing

The activist group Moms 4 Housing occupied a vacant home in Oakland to draw attention to the city’s affordability crisis. They ended up launching a movement.

The Cities Americans Want to Flee, and Where They Want to Go

An Apartment List report reveals the cities apartment-hunters are targeting for their next move—and shows that tales of a California exodus may be overstated.

photo: a couple tries out a mattress in a store.

What’s the Future of the ‘Sleep Economy’?

As bed-in-a-box startup Casper files for an IPO, the buzzy mattress seller is betting that the next big thing in sleep is brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

a sign advertising public parking next to a large building

U.S. Mayors Say Infrastructure Is a Priority. But What Kind?

The Menino Survey of Mayors identifies priorities like infrastructure, traffic safety, and climate change. But many mayors aren’t eager to challenge the status quo.

a detail from Andrew's Cuomo's 2020 State of the State goals

The Squid and the Governor

Design experts sound off about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s unusual, cephalopod-filled graphic design sensibility.

photo: San Francisco skyline

Would Capping Office Space Ease San Francisco’s Housing Crunch?

Proposition E would put a moratorium on new commercial real estate if affordable housing goals aren’t met. But critics aren’t convinced it would be effective.   

photo: Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg’s Infrastructure Plan Calls for a National Vision Zero

The Democratic candidate’s $1 trillion pledge to upgrade roads, utilities, and public transportation has an emphasis on road safety and climate adaptation.