People clear rubble after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico. Carlos Jasso/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Recovery effort: Tuesday’s powerful earthquake in Mexico City toppled buildings, killed more than 200 people, and kicked off an intense recovery effort in the capital. For other earthquake-prone cities, especially L.A., the shocking scenes were a “graphic reminder” of what’s almost certain to happen someday, via the Los Angeles Times:

We know that someday, any day, it will be Los Angeles’ turn for a Big One. That’s what the experts tell us, though it’s easy to forget when the ground is still. This was a sobering and graphic reminder.

The wonder, or perhaps the horror, of social media is that it allows people to remotely participate in a catastrophe in a personal but safe way. Photos are one thing, but hearing the real terror and fear from those who are there fully experiencing it in real time is another thing entirely. In another earthquake video shared on Twitter, a man holds a phone to record his reaction along with that of a woman in the room. He says no way, no way, no way and the woman babbles, I think she’s praying, as the furniture topples and the room rocks. It’s a terribly intimate moment I’m almost embarrassed to watch. But it strikes a chord. I’ve been there. And I will be there again, most likely.

Next-gen bike share: Already popular in China, dockless bike-share systems are finding more homes in the U.S.—including in D.C. today, with 200 GPS-tracked smart bikes that can be parked anywhere. San Francisco, Seattle, and Dallas are also experimenting with the concept. (Washington Post)

Stranded: In Houston, a city designed explicitly for cars, what’s to become of the estimated 250,000-plus drivers who lost their vehicles to Hurricane Harvey—especially the low-income residents who now can’t get to work? (Grist, Texas Tribune)

City from scratch: With its ambition to “build a city from the ground up,” Google sister company Sidewalk Labs envisions a testing ground for tech, transportation, and the like—and maybe also new ways to govern. (Financial Times)

Active cities: Boulder is the U.S. city where people get the most exercise, according to a Gallup well-being index that found two other Colorado cities in top spots but ranked Morganton, North Carolina, and Akron, Ohio, as the bottom for physical activity. (USA Today)

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a sign advertising public parking next to a large building
    Equity

    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.

  2. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  3. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  4. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  5. photo: NYC subway
    Transportation

    Behind the Gains in U.S. Public Transit Ridership

    Public transportation systems in the United States gained passengers over the second and third quarters of 2019. But the boost came from two large cities.

×