Bill de Blasio is pictured.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Algorithm accountability: A new bill in New York City—the first of its kind the U.S.—will prompt investigation into the algorithms city agencies use to make their decisions, and whether this artificial intelligence perpetuates unfair biases. Business Insider reports:

New York Civil Liberties councilmember Rashida Richardson describes the bill as a watershed moment.

“This bill is the first in the nation to take such a broad view of the problem and recognize that for algorithms to benefit society, they must be subject to public scrutiny… to remedy flaws and biases," Richardson said. "A flawed algorithm can lead to someone being trapped in jail for no good reason or not receiving a public benefit."

  • See also: A New York Times piece argues that even imperfect algorithms can help increase fairness in the court system, yielding big-picture benefits like reducing jail populations.

Soccer cities: Major League Soccer is starting a new team in Nashville, with plans for a $275 million stadium south of downtown. Meanwhile, a second invite could go out to either Cincinnati, Sacramento, or Detroit, as a long-delayed Miami bid moves closer to fruition. (Washington Post)

The Cincinnati model: A number of cities are studying the forces at work behind Cincinnati’s $1 billion downtown revival, including the turnaround of the once-crumbling Over the Rhine neighborhood. (Urban Land)

2017 = less murder: Major U.S. cities have collectively seen a 4.4 percent decline in homicides over the past year, with big drops in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston helping compensate for increases in Baltimore, Columbus, and Charlotte. (Washington Times)

Legacy city tax threat: Many aging Rust Belt cities already have higher local tax rates to support the carrying costs their declining or stagnant populations can’t meet. If the GOP tax bill goes into action, they’ll have even more trouble drawing residents. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The urban lens:

Share your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. People eat and drink coffee inside a small coffeehouse.
    Life

    Gentrification Is Hurting Kuala Lumpur's Iconic Coffee Shops

    Traditional kopitiams, which serve sweetened coffee in no-frills surroundings, are a part of Malaysian national identity, but their survival is precarious.

  2. A new map of neighborhood change in U.S. metros shows where displacement is the main problem, and where economic decline persists.
    Equity

    From Gentrification to Decline: How Neighborhoods Really Change

    A new report and accompanying map finds extreme gentrification in a few cities, but the dominant trend—particularly in the suburbs—is the concentration of low-income population.

  3. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  4. The facade of a casino in Atlantic City.
    Photos

    Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

    Brian Rose’s new book uses the deeply troubled New Jersey city as a window into how a developer-turned-president operates.

  5. A toddler breathes from a nebulizer while sitting in a crib.
    Environment

    How Scientists Discovered What Dirty Air Does to Kids’ Health

    The landmark Children’s Health Study tracked thousands of children in California over many years—and transformed our understanding of air pollution’s harms.