A man walks through downtown Houston
Carlos Barria/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Immigration battlefront: Houston has bucked its historic trends to become the most racially and ethnically diverse major city in the U.S.—and now, a major political stage for immigration reform as Texas goes hard on sanctuary cities. The L.A. Times reports:

The story of how [the] city turned from a town of oil industry roughnecks and white blue-collar workers into a major political centrifuge for immigration reform, demographic analysts say, is nothing less than the story of the American city of the future.

Affordability crisis: A New York Times Magazine profile of U.S. families suffering from the burden of housing costs points to an entitlement in the tax code (the “MID” in wonk-speak) as perpetuating the worst shortage of affordable housing the nation has seen in generations.

Sidewalk Labs Toronto: Google’s urban innovation unit has applied to develop a 12-acre strip of downtown Toronto, seemingly fitting with the company’s goal to build a little “high-tech city” from the ground up. (Bloomberg)

No more games: The narrow L.A. vs. Paris bid for the 2024 Olympics reveals the stark reality that fewer cities are even bothering to compete for hosting duties. The leader of the grassroots “No Boston Olympics” movement explains why. (Washington Post)

Mayor’s race: If Atlanta elects its first white mayor in 44 years—a distinct possibility in the next election—it would be joining a trend of big cities that have recently done so after decades of black leadership. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

The urban lens:

Share your city scenes on Instagram with #citylabontheground

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Navigator

    The Gentrification of City-Based Sitcoms

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

  4. MapLab

    Introducing MapLab

    A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

  5. A collage of postcards and palms trees of the Florida shore
    Environment

    The Archaeologists Saving Miami's History From the Sea

    As the water level rises, more than 16,000 historic sites across Florida are at risk of being drowned by waves. In Miami-Dade County, researchers are working to keep history on solid ground.