Also: Democrats won Texas’s last conservative city, and what Seattle wants from an octopus census.

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What We’re Following

HQ, Too: All week, simmering just under the election news, rumors have swirled that Amazon is really, finally, set to announce the winner of HQ2—and in fact there might be two. The leaks suggest the e-commerce giant has chosen to split its second headquarters, with 25,000 jobs heading to Crystal City near Washington, D.C., and another 25,000 to Long Island City in Queens, New York. That would bring the epic sweepstakes to a close, but we don’t blame you if you think it all feels a little too obvious to be an exciting conclusion.

Exciting or not, the choice would make sense, Richard Florida explains today on CityLab. The two cities have huge talent pools, and it’s easy to pair up the hubs of the East Coast megaregion. Still, the HQ split runs the risk of backfiring on Amazon if it’s seen as just a game to negotiate tax incentives in cities where Amazon already has a notable presence. Today on CityLab: Why New York and D.C. Make Sense for Amazon’s HQ2

The geography of mass shootings: Twelve people are dead after a shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California. As CityLab reported earlier this year, a number of mass shootings in recent years have taken place in affluent suburban communities, but these tragic events happen in communities of all sizes, income levels, and racial and ethnic compositions: Mass Shootings Are the Problem of Everytown, USA

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

It's Time to Count How Many Octopuses Moved to Seattle

Once a year, the Seattle Aquarium enlists local divers to search for giant Pacific octopuses in the Puget Sound.

Hallie Golden

In Purple Texas, the Last Conservative City Falls

Despite a narrow defeat to Ted Cruz in the midterms, Beto O’Rourke conquered the state’s last major conservative urban area, and helped Democrats statewide.

Kriston Capps

The City Leaders Who Reached Higher Office in 2018

The midterm elections saw a handful of mayors and city councillors win seats in Congress and statewide offices.

Linda Poon

The London Underground Now Has Its Own Sneaker Line

The lines around the block to buy them aren’t because of their design or inevitable collector’s item status. It’s because they’re basically free for straphangers.

Feargus O'Sullivan

The Unconventional Beauty of Montreal’s New Bonaventure Expressway

After years of political wrangling, planning, and construction, the new $141.7-million (CDN) Projet Bonaventure is actually pleasant, as far as expressways go.

Tracey Lindeman

Why L.A.'s Recreational Weed Industry Can't Go Straight

Recreational cannabis became legal in California in January. But unlicensed dispensaries outnumber licensed ones in Los Angeles—and the gap is only growing.

Jack Denton


Kind of Blue

After Tuesday’s elections, suburban districts are now twice as likely to be represented by a Democrat than by a Republican. At least 22 of the House seats that Democrats picked up this year classified as “sparse suburban” or “dense suburban” in CityLab’s Congressional Density Index. Add that to Democratic gains in almost all Republican-held urban districts and you have the new house majority. Before Tuesday's election, Republicans controlled a majority of the “sparse suburban” districts, and a third of "dense suburban" districts, which are more often tightly packed suburbs near cities.

“That’s all gone now,” writes CityLab’s David Montgomery, with Democrats now holding nearly 60 percent of sparse suburban districts and more than 80 percent of dense suburban. “The suburbs, at least for one election, are now comfortably Democratic territory.” Read his analysis: Suburban Voters Gave Democrats Their Majority


What We’re Reading

How a deal to bring autonomous vehicles to Disney World blew up (Jalopnik)

The tenant-landlord relationship is going digital (Curbed)

How the midterms altered the 2020 redistricting landscape (Washington Post)

Chicago DOT develops a parklet prototype to encourage hanging out (Next City)

Why Uber and Lyft want to create “walled gardens” (Fast Company)


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