Also: Can voters end gerrymandering when politicians won’t? And the ultimate mid-century modernism road trip.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

What We’re Following

Soul train: Detroit’s People Mover is certainly not an effective form of public transit. But for tourists and business travelers visiting Motor City, it is a delightful and affordable diversion with unparalleled views of downtown. On her visit at CityLab Detroit this week, Laura Bliss said the elevated train ride was penny-for-penny the best investment she made during her trip—only 75 cents! “It’s an urban admiration tour that trumps any ferry ride I’ve been on,” Bliss writes. “The automated service is fast, frequent, and reliable—after all, it’s only going one way.”

Without any transfers and a limited reach, though, Detroiters aren’t exactly moved by the elevated train. The nearly three-mile loop is a diversion in another way: It distracts from the the city’s poor bus networks and shiny new streetcar with underwhelming ridership. While the People Mover accomplishes its job in style, transportation remains out of reach for too many Detroit locals. Today on CityLab: The Diverting Pleasures of Detroit’s People Mover

Greatest hits: Speaking of Motown, did you miss this week’s festivities at CityLab Detroit? AtlanticLIVE has got you covered with the video highlights, including talks with mayors, planners, artists, and entrepreneurs as well as a performance by the Detroit Youth Choir.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

In These Outlier Congressional Districts, Density Doesn’t Equal Democrats

Across the U.S., denser districts in Congress tend to be more Democratic, and sparser ones more Republican. But there are a few exceptions with their own personalities, from Staten Island to Bernie Sanders land.

David Montgomery

Can Voters End Gerrymandering When Politicians Won’t?

On Election Day, voters in Michigan, Utah, Missouri, and Colorado will decide if independent commissions—not lawmakers—should draw their states’ political districts.

Kriston Capps

After the Tree of Life Attack, Synagogues Seek Balance Between Safety and Openness

With anti-Semitic hate crimes on the rise, security fears are a growing part of synagogue design.

Nicole Javorsky

From Portland: A Tax to Fund Equity in Tackling Climate Change

The Portland, Oregon, Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative on the ballot Tuesday is a model for other cities to address inequity and climate change.

Sam Adams

'Environmentalist' Doesn't Just Mean White and Wealthy

A new study refutes some common stereotypes of who cares most about the environment.

Linda Poon

An Ultimate Architectural Road Trip of East Coast Mid-Century Modernism

Architecture writer Sam Lubell and photographer Darran Bradley reveals the hidden gens and greatest hits of postwar design along the Eastern Seaboard.

Mark Byrnes



What We’re Reading

What the 2018 campaign looks like in your hometown (Bloomberg)

In echo of Flint, Michigan, water crisis now hits Newark (New York Times)

Elon Musk says electric scooters “lack dignity” (Vox)

Why Amazon’s future depends on moving from the internet into the physical world (The Verge)

Your smartphone’s location data is worth big money to Wall Street (Wall Street Journal)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. An illustration of a private train.
    Transportation

    Let’s Buy a Train

    If you dream of roaming the U.S. in a your own personal train car, you still can. But Amtrak cuts have railcar owners wondering if their days are numbered.

  2. A photo of the interior of a WeWork co-working office.
    Design

    WeWork Wants to Build the ‘Future of Cities.’ What Does That Mean?

    The co-working startup is hatching plans to deploy data to reimagine urban problems. In the past, it has profiled neighborhoods based on class indicators.

  3. Transportation

    China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter's Worst Nightmare

    What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

  4. Equity

    How Poor Americans Get Exploited by Their Landlords

    American landlords derive more profit from renters in low-income neighborhoods, researchers Matthew Desmond and Nathan Wilmers find.

  5. In this image from "No Small Plans," a character makes his way to the intersection of State and Madison Streets in 1928 Chicago.
    Stuff

    Drawing Up an Urban Planning Manual for Chicago Teens

    The graphic novel No Small Plans aims to empower the city’s youth through stories about their neighborhoods.