The Flint River is seen flowing thru downtown in Flint, Michigan. Rebecca Cook/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Troubled waters: A new study associates the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Michigan, with a “horrifyingly large” increase in fetal deaths and miscarriages, after the city changed its public water supply in 2014. The Washington Post reports:

During this time period, residents in Flint were generally unaware of the amount of lead in their water. “Because the higher lead content of the new water supply was unknown at the time, this decrease in [the general fertility rate] is likely a reflection of an increase in fetal deaths and miscarriages and not a behavior change in sexual behavior related to conception like contraceptive use,” Grossman and Slusky conclude.

They next turned to deaths of fetuses of 20 weeks gestation and older, excluding abortions, which are reported by hospitals. ... The change in Flint amounted to a 58 percent increase in fetal deaths, relative to areas not afflicted by lead-poisoned water, a change the authors characterized as “horrifyingly large.”

Two earthquakes, one city: The more resilient, globally connected Mexico City of today is far better equipped than it was for its last major quake, says a former Mexico City congressman who recalls the “glaring” government failures and rejections of international aid in the 1985 disaster. (Los Angeles Times)

  • See also: Nowhere else but Mexico City is there “landfill on this scale in dangerous proximity to a fault zone,” but Scientific American notes that this week’s earthquake didn’t hit where seismologists expected.

Self-driving cities: Some concerns are cropping up in local governments over the self-driving car legislation now weaving through Congress, including potential clashes with local traffic laws and the issue of data access. (Route Fifty)

Cali vs. big oil: The cities of San Francisco and Oakland are suing five of the world’s largest oil companies for knowingly contributing to climate change and rising seas through the fossil fuels they produce. The suits follow similar litigation in California by Marin and San Mateo counties and Imperial Beach. (SF Gate)

HQ2 underdog: Acknowledging the idea is “far-fetched,” the mayor of Gary, Indiana is gunning for Amazon’s second headquarters, using a New York Times ad to appeal for the former steel town where a third of the residents now live in poverty. (Washington Post)

Atlanta’s most dangerous street: The pedestrian-hostile design of the 1950s is no longer a good fit for Atlanta’s “Buford Highway,” an area now populated by immigrant communities that include many non-drivers. New planning efforts focus not only on safer roads but also preserving local identity. (Streetsblog)

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    The First Pedestrian Has Been Killed by a Self-Driving Car. Now What?

    In Tempe, Arizona, an autonomous Uber struck and killed a woman crossing a street at night. The incident is likely to test the public’s tolerance of AVs on real-world roads.

  2. A young refugee from Kosovo stands in front of a map of Hungary with her teacher.

    Who Maps the World?

    Too often, men. And money. But a team of OpenStreetMap users is working to draw new cartographic lines, making maps that more accurately—and equitably—reflect our space.

  3. Design

    The Seductive Power of a Suburban Utopia

    Serenbe, an intentional community outside Atlanta, promises urban pleasures without the messiness of city life.

  4. A LimeBike and LimeBike-S are pictured.

    I Have Seen the Future of Urbanism and It's a Scooter

    While you’re still trying to figure out dockless bikes, there’s a new two-wheeler to share around town. It could be a bigger deal than you think.

  5. Maps

    America's Loneliest Roads, Mapped

    An interactive map highlights the least traveled routes in the country—and some of the most scenic.