Also: World’s Fairs and the death of optimism, and what to do with London’s empty space.

What We’re Following

Training wheels: What if the race to get people to use pollution-free transportation isn’t a sprint or a marathon? Maybe it’s a waddle. Every Sunday, the city of Bogotá has shut down half of a major road to make way for a car-free bike zone. The weekly tradition, Ciclovía, started 40 years ago as a revolutionary protest against pollution. Now it’s also become a space for young kids to learn to bike together as families walk, jog, scoot, and cycle in the street.

(Laura Dixon)

Turning busy thoroughfares into quiet cycling superhighways has had a symbolic power, giving children and adults a vision of what the city might look like with fewer cars. As other cities around the world imitate the event, the hope for cleaner and safer streets has become a given in the Colombian capital. The city’s mayor declared in his first term that “a quality city is not one that has great roads, but one where a child can safely go anywhere on a bicycle.” Read the latest entry in our “Room To Grow” series on CityLab: How Bogotá’s Cycling Superhighway Shaped a Generation.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Who’s Losing Out on Hurricane Harvey Aid in Texas?

Some small, nearly all-white towns in Southeast Texas are receiving far more recovery funds than larger cities nearby with large minority populations.

Kriston Capps

World’s Fairs and the Death of Optimism

The innocence one might think World’s Fairs have lost in recent years depends on how much one believes they had to begin with.

Darran Anderson

First Came the Hurricane. Now Come the Mosquitoes.

Heavy rains and flooding create ideal conditions for swarms. For public health officials, the focus is on curbing the potential for viruses to spread.

Linda Poon

Why Does London Have So Much Empty Space?

Vacant properties add up to more than eight times the size of Central Park. The city could do more to encourage short-term uses of these spaces.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Cities Need to Welcome—Not Resist—Refugees

A surge in migrants has fueled populist backlashes in cities around the world. But urban areas have a key role to play in mitigating the crisis.

Robert Muggah



What We’re Reading

Car ownership is rising in New York City (Streetsblog NYC)

Amazon is coming for the corner store (Curbed)

The dread and hope of migrant farmers and families (California Sunday)

Banished: Miami-Dade’s homeless sex offender problem (The Marshall Project)


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