People gather for a candlelight vigil against gun violence in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. Jim Young/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Crime trends: Chicago homicide rates remain stubbornly high after a historic spike in 2016, a 60 percent increase from the previous year. Though Chicago stands out as the only major U.S. city to have seen such a spike past the year 2000, the lingering trend this year fits in line with findings from other cities, according to The Chicago Tribune:

Among 18 of the largest homicide-rate spikes analyzed by the Tribune, 11 were followed by further increases the next year. And among the seven spikes that were followed by declines none did so by more than half of the original increase.

If Chicago homicides continue at the current rate, about 8 percent fewer than 2016, the city is on pace for nearly 700 and a decrease in the homicide rate by 2.2 per 100,000 residents.

First day of school: About 80 percent of Houston’s 287 schools opened Monday after a two-week delay caused by Hurricane Irma—a “remarkably speedy recovery” that suggests the city may avoid the type of school upheaval New Orleans experienced after Katrina. (New York Times)

Border wall prep: Miles of chain-link fence and new parking signs in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego are tangible signs of preparations by federal and local officials for construction of President Trump’s long-sought border wall blocking Mexico. (Los Angeles Times)

Monument strategy: In a Next City op-ed, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney details the forward-looking approach of the “Monument Labs” project to create appropriate public art projects for the city of today, versus the controversial relics of the slavery era.

Vanishing Vancouver: The death of a downtown Brutalist icon hotel highlights Vancouver’s larger trend of wiping out the 1970s landmarks that defined the city’s transformation from working-class port town to modern commercial center. (Guardian)

7-Eleven dining: The convenience store chain is upping its food game with chef-inspired locally made meals, available in select markets this month. (Modern Cities)

The urban lens:

Came across one of the SPARK Schools while wondering around and I like what they are about. They are an innovative, inclusive, individually-customised, high quality yet affordable primary school network in Africa that uses blended learning - an academic instruction approach that combines teacher-led instruction with computer-based adaptive education technology. It is data-led but acknowledges the important role of quality and passionate teachers as well as societal factors on the development of children. The Omidyar Network decided to impact invest into the growth of these schools and they find that the most powerful force for change is in connection. They believe business can play a key role in social change and that through connection there is scale, significance and impact 🎓⭐️👏🏼👍🏼👍🏼 #moreofthis #learningaswego #thingsthatmakemesmile #lifechangingthings #impact #innovation #change #changethegame #socrates - what a guy #omidyarnetwork #education #art #streetart #artcity #johannesburg #mycity #proudlysa #africa #southafrica #travel @travelmassivafr #adifferentworld #music #musicmakestheworldabetterplace #micasa more #maboneng #gentrificationforgood creating a #citynarrative #impactinvesting #citylab #citylabontheground

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