Also: José Andrés talks about the role of food in disaster recovery, and Dutch cities try out temporary tiny homes.

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

Grow up, not out: We talk a lot about what car-free streets could mean for reducing pollution, improving business, and saving lives. But what could it mean for families?

For a hint, look to Pontevedra, Spain. For almost two decades, the city has carried out a pedestrianization policy that has filled the streets with strollers, toys, and playgrounds, becoming a friendlier place for kids and their caretakers. The removal of cars from the city’s center even seems to be attracting families: Since 2000, the population of kids age 0 to 14 has increased by 8 percent, while Spain overall grapples with low birth rates.

There was, of course, early resistance from neighbors and businesses. But their initial concerns have faded away, and local leaders have even reaped rewards at the ballot box for the plan. “Cities must be designed so citizens can afford being a parent—an urban model that favors work-family reconciliation,” says one demography expert. “They need to feel accompanied through the process and [that they are in] an ecosystem that values childhood and teenhood.” Read the latest in our Room to Grow series: What Happens to Kid Culture When You Close the Streets to Cars

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Growing Inequality Between America’s Superstar Cities, and the Rest

A new Brookings study documents the growing economic divergence of America’s superstar cities from smaller urban and rural areas.

Richard Florida

How Temporary Tiny Homes Could Solve Dutch Cities’ Housing Crises

As the Netherlands struggles to keep pace with its need for new homes, many cities like Rotterdam have sprouted temporary micro-neighborhoods.

Feargus O'Sullivan

The FCC Is Leaving Low-Income Americans Out of the 5G Rollout

San Jose, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors agree: The FCC’s order on 5G rollout will leave millions of Americans behind.

Shireen Santosham

Chef José Andrés on How Food Helps People Rebuild

The celebrity chef and humanitarian talks about the role of food in recovering from a disaster and why building local capacity is so important.

Richard Florida

Is it Possible to Walk Every Block in New York City’s 5 Boroughs?

“The World Before Your Feet” looks at Matt Green’s pursuit of a simple goal: To walk each block of New York’s five boroughs.

Ezra Haber Glenn


Case of the Cyber Mondays

We probably don’t need to remind you that e-commerce is booming. But do you know how much? From 2012 to 2016, online businesses added 8,269 physical establishments (including warehouses and offices). That’s 20.6 percent growth, compared to 4.4 percent across all industries. Meanwhile, struggling retailers such as clothing, book, and department stores posted a net decline of about 6,120 establishments nationally, down 4.2 percent. The chart above from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings shows how e-commerce’s growth has come in all business sizes.

The report also finds that job sprawl of e-commerce resembles the pattern of brick-and-mortar establishments. Nearly 56 percent of establishments are more than 10 miles from a central business district, much like 49 percent of brick-and-mortar retailers locate near the customers in dense suburbs. But the pattern of development isn’t an exact fit, as the warehouses that fulfill those online orders are increasingly locating in less dense neighborhoods closer to the urban core to enable those speedy overnight deliveries. CityLab context: After the retail apocalypse, prepare for the property tax meltdown


What We’re Reading

The suburbs are changing. But not in all the ways liberals hope. (New York Times)

Podcast heads-up: On The Media asks “Whose streets?” (WNYC)

Jeff Sessions left behind a record-breaking gun prosecution machine (The Appeal)

GM announces cuts at car assembly plants in Michigan, Ohio, Canada (NPR)

Reader’s choice: There’s a smarter way to regulate D.C.’s scooters (Washington Post; h/t Nick Samonas)


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. Protestors hold a sign that reads "Respect Democracy Our Vote Matters"
    Equity

    The Conservative Backlash Against Progressive Ballot Measures

    In many states, ballot initiatives on expanding Medicaid, limiting gerrymandering, and raising the minimum wage swept to victory in November. Now lawmakers are doing their best to reverse them.

  2. Transportation

    You Can’t Design Bike-Friendly Cities Without Considering Race and Class

    Bike equity is a powerful tool for reducing inequality. Too often, cycling infrastructure is tailored only to wealthy white cyclists.

  3. Amazon HQ2

    Without Amazon HQ2, What Happens to Housing in Queens?

    The arrival of the tech company’s new headquarters was set to shake up the borough’s real estate market, driving up rents and spurring displacement. Now what?

  4. Life

    The Town Where Retirees Can’t Retire

    In fast-aging pockets of rural America, older residents are going back to work. But not always because they need the money.

  5. a photo of people sunbathing on a hot summer day in Central Park in New York City
    Environment

    The New York City of 2080 Will Be as Hot as Arkansas

    A new study finds the climate “twin city” for hundreds of places across the United States.