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:
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