Introducing the CityLab Congressional Density Index.
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What We’re Following
It’s the suburbs, stupid: When it comes to political shorthand, the urban-rural divide is nearly as useful as red states and blue states—and this November, the purple is in the suburbs. To understand how these middle grounds might determine control of the House of Representatives, CityLab’s David Montgomery and Richard Florida created the CityLab Congressional Density Index, breaking down this year’s midterm elections in terms of what kids of places people live in.
Congressional districts contain multitudes—a single one might have cornfields, cul-de-sacs, and skyscrapers. This index calculates the density of every neighborhood in each district to group them into six categories. You can even use our interactive tool to see how we classified your district. Looking at the data, one theme becomes really clear: Republicans have a lot more competitive seats to defend in the suburban districts than Democrats do. Get the full story: In U.S. Elections, Urban Density Is Increasingly Destiny
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
Detroit’s street lights seem to be reducing pedestrian deaths (Streetsblog)
Desire paths: the trails that defy urban planners (The Guardian)
Philly’s glass skyscrapers are killing birds. A new building has a solution (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Seattle’s decade-plus backyard cottage fight, annotated (Crosscut)
New York City has a “Yelp for noise” (Fast Company)