Amazon boxes are pictured.
Paul Sakuma/AP

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Prime time: The internet was abuzz with speculation about which city would win Amazon’s build-a-headquarters sweepstakes yesterday. In CityLab, Aaron Renn argued that Chicago was the best candidate, and it seems like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel would agree. Seattle denizens, who know better than anyone what Amazon can mean to a city, shared their wide range of thoughts about the news with the Seattle Times:

To the city in which Amazon builds its second headquarters, one lifetime Seattle resident has this word of advice: Move.

“No one can afford to live here,” said Clayton, 30, a cook in Seattle, where about 40,000 Amazonians work across more than 8 million square feet of office space in the city’s urban core. “The transplants—too many. They don’t treat it like home, and it doesn’t have the same feeling.”

The West is burning: Like hurricanes, the severity of wildfires has increased due to global warming. As fires continue to rage from Los Angeles to British Columbia, The Atlantic highlights a report from last year that found the amount of land burned in the western U.S. over the past 30 years is two times greater than it would have been without the effects of climate change.

NIMBYism through the ages: A longread from Urbanize L.A. describes the lovely historic buildings that would be illegal to construct today due to bulk requirements and parking minimums, providing a history of L.A.’s urban development along the way.

Growing pains: Long Island City in Queens, just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan, is the fastest growing neighborhood in the country, with 12,000 units completed since 2010, and 9,000 more in the pipeline. How these massive, hyper-amenitized developments fare design-wise is another story. (New York Magazine)

Squatter’s delight: A new startup in London installs temporary, prefabricated living spaces into buildings awaiting renovation or demolition. These micro-units provide an affordable housing option in the central city—that is, until the property owner decides to go ahead with the luxury condo conversion. (Fast Company)

Streets for people: Writers at Curbed envision how five dreary urban thoroughfares could be turned into lively, multimodal streets, based on the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Global Street Design Guide.

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A rendering of Elon Musk's Chicago Express Loop, which would transport passengers from downtown to O'Hare in 12 minutes.
    Transportation

    The Craziest Thing About Elon Musk's 'Express Loop' Is the Price

    The $1 billion construction estimate is a fraction of what subterranean transit projects cost.

  2. Life

    Barcelona Finds a Way to Control Its Airbnb Market

    The city’s latest move to limit vacation rentals could come in handy for other cities trying out their own regulations.

  3. A man in an Icelandic-flag shirt cheers and raises his arms at a soccer match.
    Life

    The Planning Lesson in Iceland’s World Cup Miracle

    “It’s about making long-term commitments,” said an architect in Reykjavik’s planning department.

  4. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

  5. Equity

    Minimum Wages Can't Pay for a 2-Bedroom Apartment Anywhere

    There isn’t a single state, city, or county in the U.S. where someone earning federal or state minimum wage for a 40-hour work week can afford a two-bedroom home at fair market rent.