A crowd is pictured at the Glastonbury Festival.
Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Services on demand: We know how “surge pricing” through Uber, planes, hotels, and concert tickets—at high-demand times, you pay more to ensure your spot. But as this trend leaks into more public uses, like electricity and traffic, what are the potential consequences? The New York Times looks to a Nobel Prize winner, and to Bruce Springsteen:

“A good rule of thumb is we shouldn’t impose a set of rules that will create moral outrage, even if that moral outrage seems stupid to economists,” [University of Chicago economist Richard] Thaler said.

… Utilities and regulators, in other words, have to think a little like Mr. Springsteen: It’s not just about maximizing the efficiency of the energy market on any one day, just as the Boss isn’t trying to maximize his revenue from any one concert. Rather, it’s about maintaining a relationship in which people do not feel like they have been exploited.

On the opioid front: As the president’s pick for drug czar withdraws after damaging reports that he hindered drug enforcement of opioids, Trump is apparently moving closer to declaring the opioid crisis a national emergency—a statement he’s made verbally but not yet through formal declaration. (NPR, CNN)

  • In other opioid news: A new study finds that pot legalization in Colorado led to a decrease of opioid overdose deaths over two years—in the first such analysis that looks at the impact of recreational marijuana laws. (Washington Post)

Taxing troubles: A bipartisan group of mayors is objecting to the feds’ proposal to nix a state and local tax deduction, releasing a study that shows 30 percent of citizens would pay higher taxes under the plan. Some local leaders also say the change would make it harder for states and cities to raise their own taxes. (Los Angeles Times, Route Fifty)

Boring luxury: An architecture critic dissects the drabness of that flat, boxy look dominating the design of upscale condos and apartments across our big cities. (WBUR)

Drones down under: Did you realize that in Australia, drones are delivering food and drugs through the skies? It’s part of Project Wing, a trial from Google parent company Alphabet. (Fast Company)

Seasonal stuff: Curbed explains why Victorian architecture is basically haunted, AP says wild turkeys are roaming through urban areas of New England.

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

  2. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  3. 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.

  4. Design

    How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to ‘Design With Nature’

    Fifty years ago, a Scottish landscape architect revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology. His legacy matters now more than ever.

  5. a screenshot of a video about Baltimore's Metro
    Transportation

    It’s Time to Celebrate Baltimore’s Much-Maligned Metro

    In 1987, the Maryland Transit Administration busted out a brass band to open a subway that never had a chance.

×