Sarah Holder

Sarah Holder

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

A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.

The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

A woman at the doctor's office.

Life Expectancy Is Associated With Segregation in U.S. Cities

“Your neighborhood shouldn’t influence your odds of seeing your grandchildren grow up,” says a researcher for NYU’s new analysis of City Health Dashboard data.

Why Cleveland Wants to Bring Back Postal Banking

An idea from the early 20th century is ripe for revival in urban “banking deserts,” say advocates like the U.S. postal worker union.

A Planned Parenthood building

The Subtle Ways Cities Are Restricting Abortion Access

Using zoning laws and land-use codes, anti-abortion city leaders are shutting down clinics. Can reproductive rights activists beat them at their own game?

Opponents of SB 50.

The Push for Denser Zoning Is Here to Stay

Residential “upzoning” policies being adopted from Minneapolis to Seattle were once politically out of the question. Now they’re just politically fraught.

Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York City (Left) and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend (Right)

Two Mayors-for-President, Head to Head

With Bill de Blasio’s 2020 bid, there are multiple sitting mayors in the crowded Democratic primary. How does NYC’s candidate compare to Pete Buttigieg?

A newly-installed 5G antenna system in San Diego, California.

Communities Are Fighting 5G, Permit by Permit

NIMBY backlash is complicating the next generation of wireless internet technology, with recent help from the California Supreme Court.

A photo of passersby walking under a surveillance camera that is part of a facial recognition technology test at Berlin Suedkreuz station in Berlin, Germany.

The Bay Area’s Spy Camera Ban Is Only the Beginning

San Francisco just became the first city to ban use of facial recognition technology by government entities. Oakland may be next.

Why Uber and Lyft Drivers Are Striking

Uber and Lyft drivers plan to protest and picket this week. From companies, they want better wages and working conditions. From cities, they want regulations.

a photo of scooter riders in Washington, D.C.

What a Landmark Scooter Safety Study Says About Head Injuries

A CDC report on the safety of dockless electric scooters in Austin, Texas, makes a strong case for wearing a helmet—and improving infrastructure.

a photo of Denver's new  G Line train.

It’s a Few Years Late, But Denver’s New Train Is Here

As the city’s long-delayed G Line opens, locals have high hopes that the commuter rail service can ease traffic and boost transit-oriented housing.  

A newly constructed home for sale in Springfield, Illinois.

Since 2008, Only High-Income People Have Seen Their Housing Costs Drop

Apartment List research finds that housing markets are only exacerbating the gap between the rich and poor, and homeowners and renters.

Students and teachers rally in front of Los Angeles Unified School District headquarters.

Their Teachers Went on Strike. Now These L.A. Teens Want a Voice, Too.

Students in Los Angeles want 16- and 17-year olds to have the right to vote in school board elections. High school senior Tyler Okeke is leading the charge.

A women-only subway car in Mexico City, Mexico

What Makes Subways Safe? Harasser Bans? Women-Only Cars? NYC Is Asking

While other countries have turned to women-only cars, New York legislators are proposing to ban repeat sex offenders and increase penalties for subway grinders.

A man checks a route on his phone while in a car.

Conversations With D.C. Uber Drivers Reveal Stress and Debt

A new report from Georgetown University reveals wage and other challenges faced by Uber drivers in Washington, D.C., yet many say they plan to keep driving.

A photo of a woman outside a makeshift homeless shelter in San Francisco.

How to Build NIMBY-Proof Homeless Shelters? Make Them Mandatory.

To foil community pushback over new facilities for people in homelessness, a San Francisco lawmaker wants all neighborhoods to share the responsibility.

South Lake Union streetcar with an advertisement for Amazon passes by an Amazon office building.

Amazon’s Slow Retreat From Seattle

Amazon has long fancied itself an urban enterprise. Is its pivot to smaller communities a way to avoid messy politics?

A photo of reporters Gary Massaro and Judi Villa in the newsroom of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver.

When Local Newsrooms Shrink, Fewer Candidates Run for Mayor

A study of 11 California newspapers shows that when cities have fewer reporters, political competition and voter turnout suffer.

U.S. 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg speaks at the 2019 National Action Network National Convention in New York.

Pete Buttigieg and the Police Department: Race Record Under Scrutiny

After a speech surfaced with Pete Buttigieg saying "All Lives Matter" in 2015, racial issues in the South Bend police department, and Buttigieg's role in them, are being scrutinized.

A photo of a man sleeping on San Francisco's Embarcadero

Dueling GoFundMe Campaigns Highlight a San Francisco NIMBY Battle

A group called Safe Embarcadero turned to crowdfunding to help bankroll a legal fight against Mayor London Breed's planned navigation center for homeless residents. Then came the counterattack.