A police van drives by pots placed to prevent possible attacks on a pedestrian street in the center of Madrid. Juan Medina/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

The new terror weapon: As Spaniards wake up to the sobering aftermath of a pair of fatal terrorist attacks in Barcelona and a seaside resort town, leaders in Europe plan to discuss ways to protect their cities from the rising use of vehicles as mass weapons. The Guardian reports:

With hindsight, officials will be regretting not moving faster to boost security measures on Las Ramblas boulevard, packed with tourists on a sunny August afternoon, after vehicle attacks elsewhere in Europe since last year.

The mayor of Nice has said he will convene European counterparts next month to see how they can improve security in their cities in the aftermath of Thursday’s van attack in Barcelona.

Protest strategy: As Boston braces for controversial free speech rally tomorrow in the Common —organized by a right-wing coalition and now expecting thousands of counter-protesters fired up by Charlottesville— one local nonprofit is supporting opposition groups with a fundraising strategy used in Germany to counter neo-Nazi groups in Germany. (NBC, The Boston Globe)

Julián Castro’s stamp: In San Antonio, early results are promising for a program providing full-day pre-K for disadvantaged 4-year-olds—which former city mayor Julián Castro arranged funding for via sales tax before he went on to serve as Obama’s HUD secretary. (Politico Magazine)

Houston on board: Houston officials have inked a deal with backers of the planned Texas bullet train, agreeing to studies for the $12 billion-plus privately financed project to connect Houston and Dallas. (Houston Chronicle)

Vertical living: Los Angeles is fielding a proposal for 70-story downtown skyscraper, designed with cutouts for “outdoor living”—that would be the tallest residential building in California and the third tallest building in the city. (Los Angeles Times)

How far does $100 go? A new map from The Tax Foundation breaks down the relative purchasing power of $100 city by city in the U.S. — in Beckley, West Virginia, for example, $100 is worth $125.47, while in Honolulu it’s only worth $80.32.

The urban lens:

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