Mayor of San Juan Carmen Yulin Cruz points to a Puerto Rican flag outside the government center at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum days after Hurricane Maria. Carlos Barria/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Puerto Rico’s voice: Brushing off criticisms from President Donald Trump, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has become the most visible communicator of Puerto Rico’s challenges in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, establishing herself as a “no-nonsense leader with a talent for empathy to match.” The Guardian reports:

“She is a force of nature,” Jon Nehlsen, an associate dean at the school told the Pittsburgh Gazette. “She’s probably not 5ft 2in, but she’s this ball of energy, very charismatic. You can just tell she exudes leadership qualities.”

… But there’s little reason to believe that Cruz will adjust her tack in light of Trump’s tweets. “I am done being polite,” she said on Friday. “I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell so I am asking the members of the press to send a mayday call all over the world.”

  • See also: The New York Times spends 24 hours on the ground in Puerto Rico, visiting towns and residents in survival mode.

The chilling stat: “America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly,” via The Washington Post.

Car-free day: Though Paris has held car-free events in the past, this Sunday marked the first time the City of Lights was entirely blocked to vehicles—40 square miles of the downtown core, maybe the largest such event in any worldwide city. (AP, Engadget)

Pittsburgh’s self-driving revolution: With Uber’s 2014 arrival in Pittsburgh to build one of the most ambitious self-driving car divisions in the world, the city embraced the industry full swing. But some are worried about the divisions growing between the new high-tech class and the blue-collar workers whose jobs are under threat. (Huffington Post)

Death of the palm tree: The iconic trees that have become synonymous with Los Angeles are now dying out in rapid numbers—and many will be replaced by different species that provide more shade and consume less water. (Guardian)

People watching: Detailed, on-the-ground research will help cities understand the type of visitors and activities coming to their main public squares, in a data project spearheaded by Danish architect Jan Gehl. (Next City)

The urban lens:

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