Bill de Blasio is pictured.
Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Second-term slowdown? Bill de Blasio entered the New York City mayor’s office in 2013 as a “dyed-in-the wool liberal who wasn’t afraid to take on the city’s wealthy class,” promising a sweep of progressive changes. Four years later, Governing looks at his second-term agenda and more watered-down reputation:

“De Blasio rode in on a tale of two cities, but unfortunately we got a tale of two mayors,” says Glenn E. Martin, founder of JustLeadershipUSA, which advocates for reducing the incarcerated population.

Critics contend de Blasio has always been a campaigner who lacked the political chops to move policy. His supporters blame Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other lawmakers in Albany for obstructing the mayor's aspirations.

With four years left to govern, de Blasio seemingly has a chance to push his progressive agenda forward. But just how far can he push?

See also: Advocates are ramping up calls for de Blasio to make good on his first-term promise for New York to establish a definitive count of vacant lots and housing units. (Next City)

Financial health check: A new interactive report from the Urban Institute takes the pulse on the financial well-being of 60 cities, looking at credit data, census figures and more to classify peer groups—like Denver, Nashville, and Austin, lumped together as “rapidly growing cities with threats to financial stability.” (Next City)

Rethinking the teardown: The very concept of renovating old buildings—rather than just demolishing them—is just starting to catch on in Japan, where homes built for short-term use typically lose all resale value within 30 years. (Guardian)

The Gerrymander 5k: A Politico writer reports on his experiences running a “slightly sadistic” 5k course in Asheville, North Carolina—where the League of Women Voters used the event to highlight what’s considered an egregious example of recent GOP gerrymandering.

Arts rebound: Near Lake Erie, arts and community nonprofits have helped bolster the growth of the Gordon Square Arts District which, “like all good-news stories in Cleveland these days … [also] owes something to LeBron James,” The New York Times writes.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Are Little Kids in Japan So Independent?

    In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.

  2. Environment

    The Story of the Great Lakes in 8 Maps

    The book Third Coast Atlas seeks to illuminate the Great Lakes—America’s “third coast”—through maps, plans, photos, and more.

  3. Downtown Roanoke is pictured.
    Life

    The Small Appalachian City That’s Thriving

    Roanoke, Virginia, has become what many cities of its size, geography, and history want to be. It started by bringing housing to a deserted downtown.

  4. How To

    Against Little Free Libraries

    Does that birdhouse filled with paperbacks on your block represent an adorable neighborhood amenity or the “corporatization of literary philanthropy”?

  5. A maglev train on a test track outside Tokyo. A scheme to build a line between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., has been in the works for years.
    Transportation

    The Battle of the Supertrains

    Promoters are touting two different multi-billion-dollar high-speed projects between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Is it a fantasy, or a game changer?