Also: The geography of corporate headquarters, and Tulsa’s offer to remote workers.

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What We’re Following

Burning up: As wildfires claim homes, towns, and lives in California, many have pointed out the role that climate change is playing in making these infernos more intense. But another crucial factor hasn’t received as much attention: sprawl.

California’s homes—and the infrastructure that supports them—are increasingly meeting and intermingling with wildland vegetation. As of 2010, more than 30 percent of the state’s housing stock was in the so-called wildland-urban interface. That means more possibilities for wildfires to start, and more things standing in their way once they do. There’s a harrowing consensus among scientists that things will only get worse unless something changes in a big way. But the tools at city and state leaders’ disposal are often met with hostility from homeowners and hampered by local politics. Can communities at risk balance their needs and fire-proof their neighborhoods at the same time? Today on CityLab, Karim Doumar reports: What California’s Cities Can Do to Prevent Wildfires

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Geography of Corporate Headquarters

Complaints that Amazon’s HQ2 locations are already superstar cities don’t recognize a counter-trend of Fortune 500 corporate headquarters relocations, new data shows.

Richard Florida

How Canada Discovered Its Visual Identity

A documentary by Vancouver-based graphic designer Greg Durrell explores the surprisingly rich history behind the nation’s postwar design culture.

Mark Byrnes

Philadelphia's Secret Ingredient for More Civic Engagement: a Lot of Food

The Knight Foundation’s “On the Table” series mixes eating, grantmaking, and community discussion. Come hungry: It lasts all day.

Andrew Small

How Friendsgiving Took Over Millennial Culture

In the past five or so years, hosting a Thanksgiving meal among friends a week before the actual holiday has become a standard part of the celebration for many young adults.

Ashley Fetters

Making 3-D Models to Recreate Somalia’s Architectural History

One architecture student’s “bedroom project” has become a multimedia quest to understand the war-torn nation’s architectural history.

Marie Doezema


Pay Day

About 3.9 million Americans work remote jobs at least half of the time. Between 2005 and 2015, that share of the workforce grew almost 10 times faster than the rest. The map above from Flex Jobs, a remote job-finding site, shows which states have the largest shares of those laptop-bound telecommuters.

Oklahoma’s second city sees that as a big opportunity: Tulsa is now taking applications from remote workers willing to move there in exchange for $10,000 in cash, a housing stipend for a fully-furnished downtown apartment, and a desk at a local co-working space. Think of it as an Amazon HQ2-style incentive war, except in miniature, and in a place where housing is actually affordable. (The median home price is about $120,000, compared to $700,000 in New York City.) Brand new state, gonna treat you great. From CityLab’s Sarah Holder: Does Paying Remote Workers $10,000 to Move to Tulsa Make Sense?


What We’re Reading

E-scooters are like Q-tips (Washington Post)

Cities and their buildings might make hurricanes damper (NPR)

Why the housing market is slumping despite a booming economy (New York Times)

In Trump’s America, immigrants are afraid to apply for food stamps (Mother Jones)

Amazon deal will disrupt plans for affordable housing in Long Island City (Politico)


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