An elderly woman and her poodle use an air mattress to float above flood waters from Tropical Storm Harvey while waiting to be rescued in Houston. Adrees Latif/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Harvey questions: As Houston grapples with epic devastation of the storm—chest-high floods, overwhelmed rescue squads, and more than 80,000 homes without power—many are questioning why mandatory evacuations weren’t enforced. But officials including Mayor Sylvester Turner are defending the decision, CNN reports:

"You literally cannot put 6.5 million people on the road," Turner said in a press conference. "If you think the situation right now is bad, you give an order to evacuate, you are creating a nightmare."

  • See also: With Houston’s main convention center now serving as a mega shelter for stranded residents, everyone’s hoping to avoid the failures of New Orleans’s Superdome fiasco in Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, Dallas is stepping up with aid for evacuees, including opening its convention center to 5,000 people by Tuesday morning. (AP, Route Fifty)

Uber’s new boss: The new leader of the controversy-plagued ride-sharing company will be Expedia chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, a 48-year-old Iranian American whose reputation as “even-keeled and low-key” could be a marked contrast to the ousted Travis Kalanick. (Washington Post)

Suburban comeback: Bloomberg View columnists dissect the counter-narrative to the urban renaissance of the early 2010s: the now growing evidence that Millennials are turning to the suburbs, “moving there in large numbers and buying SUVs.”

Burning Man lessons: Cities probably have a thing or two to learn from the impressive infrastructure of the experimental art festival, where organizers in Nevada’s Black Rock City every year “put together—and then take apart—a 70,000 person city in the space of two months.” (Wired)

Subsidizing electric cars: A new bill in California would dramatically increase the rebate program for zero-emission vehicles, boosting a program that’s already spent $449 million over the past seven years without seeing big impacts. (Los Angeles Times)

The urban lens:

It's really the best water #STL #citylabontheground

A post shared by Katie M. (@supernova.kt) on

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    Is This Red, White, and Blue Elephant Worth Saving?

    Illinois politicians agree that Chicago’s Thompson Center should be replaced. Architects and preservationists beg to differ, and a new documentary presents their case.

  2. A toxic site in Niagara Falls, New York, seen from above.
    Environment

    The Toxic 'Blank Spots' of Niagara Falls

    The region’s “chemical genies” of the early 20th century were heralded as reaching into the future to create a more abundant life for all. Instead, they deprived future generations of their health and well-being.

  3. Equity

    The Story Behind the Housing Meme That Swept the Internet

    How a popular meme about neoliberal capitalism and fast-casual architecture owned itself.

  4. Navigator

    The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms

    How the future ‘Living Single’ reboot can reclaim the urban narrative ‘Friends’ ran off with.

  5. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.