Amazon's Seattle headquarters are pictured with the Space Needle.
Elaine Thompson/AP

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Firsthand Amazon experience: As the deadline closes today for cities to bid on “HQ2,” a Seattle journalist narrates that city’s experience since Amazon set up camp in the 1990s, via Politico Magazine:

Most would acknowledge the extraordinary prosperity that Amazon has brought to Seattle since Jeff Bezos and his startup arrived in 1994. But they are also keenly aware of the costs, not least the nation’s fastest-rising housing prices, appalling traffic and a painful erosion of urban identity. What was once a quirkily mellow, solidly middle-class city now feels like a stressed-out, two-tier town with a thin layer of wealthy young techies atop a base of anxious wage workers. As one City Council member put it, HQ2 may give Seattle “a little breathing room” to cope with a decade of raging, Amazon-fueled growth. A commenter on a local news site was less diplomatic: “Amazon = cancer.”

Income experiment: On the outskirts of Silicon Valley, Stockton, California will become the first U.S. city to test the concept of universal basic income, with a select group of residents to receive $500 per month with no strings attached. Stockton’s young mayor is pushing the project with support from tech circles, Vox reports.

Burned supply: The wildfires in Northern California have depleted an estimated 5 percent of the housing stock in the city of Santa Rosa, which already faced a crunch before the disaster. Meanwhile, there’s concerns about the displacement of undocumented immigrants who are vital to the wine country’s economy. (Curbed, New York Times)

Slow recovery: Thousands of Mexico City residents have not been able to return to their collapsed or damaged homes since the Sept. 19 earthquake, and many say they haven’t yet received promised financial assistance. (AP)

Highway be gone: As advocates continue to call for the removal of the I-345 highway cutting through downtown Dallas, the city explores the alternative solution of burying the 1.3-mile road underground, to cap with new uses like a park. (Streetsblog)

The urban lens:

This moment brought to us by Panang Curry in one hand, #shotoniphone in the other 📲

A post shared by South Bend // Jacob Titus (@jacob.wsb) on

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.
    Life

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  2. Design

    How We Map Epidemics

    Cartographers are mapping the coronavirus in more sophisticated ways than past epidemics. But visualizing outbreaks dates back to cholera and yellow fever.

  3. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi
    Environment

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

  4. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.
    Life

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  5. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

×