Barack Obama is pictured.
Barack Obama speaks at the North American Climate Summit in Chicago on December 5. Reuters/Kamil Krzaczynski

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Carrying on: In Chicago yesterday, former President Barack Obama called cities “the new face of American leadership on climate change,” commending the charter that 45 mayors signed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. As President Trump plans to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris Agreement, the mayors’ pact continues local commitments to the international climate accord. USA Today reports:

"In this environment right now, it’s easy sometimes to feel discouraged, and feel as if people are talking past each other,” said Obama, who did not mention President Trump by name in his 14-minute address to the summit. “This is where the particular talents of mayors come in. Because first of all, you are used to dealing with folks who can sometimes be unreasonable. You are accustomed to having to deal with the realities in front of you and take action, not just talk about it.”

The end of the American “boomtown”: Economists are noting a drastic change from the migration patterns that once fueled the boom of major cities like Chicago, as people now flock to lower-wage metro areas instead of the more prosperous, productive cities. The big problem? Housing shortages. (New York Times)

Slim margins in Atlanta: As Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms celebrated her victory in the Atlanta mayoral race—seemingly continuing the city’s unbroken chain of black leadership over the past 40 years—her opponent, independent Mary Norwood, is calling for a recount of the close numbers. (CNN)

Don’t walk in traffic: Air pollution from traffic fumes on city streets could negate the health benefits of walking for people over 60, according to a groundbreaking new study from Duke University and Imperial College London that suggests sticking to exercise in green spaces. (Guardian)

D.C. housing fix: Responding to threats to affordable housing in the proposed federal tax bill, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has introduced her own strategy for preserving 4,000 units through private activity bonds. The announcement comes a week after the notoriously expensive city approved a new $10 million preservation fund for affordable housing. (Next City)

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  2. A photo of a visitor posing for a photo with Elvis in downtown Nashville
    Perspective

    Cities: Don’t Fall in the Branding Trap

    From Instagram stunts to Edison bulbs, why do so many cities’ marketing plans try to convince people that they’re exactly like somewhere else?

  3. Transportation

    With Trains Like Schwebebahn, No Wonder Germans Love Public Transit

    Infrastructure like this makes it clear why Germany continues to produce enthusiasm for public transit, generation after generation.

  4. A photo of a new car dealership
    Transportation

    Subprime Auto Loans Are Turning Car Ownership Into a Trap

    A record 7 million Americans are three months late on their car payments, revealing what could be cracks in the U.S. economy.

  5. Life

    The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire

    In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work. But not always because they need the money.