Also: Amazon HQ2 and the “gentrification of jobs,” and Philadelphia could be next to provide lawyers for low-income tenants.

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What We’re Following

Can it be done?: Cities consume more than two-thirds of global energy and account for at least 70 percent of carbon emissions, and that means they have an enormous task ahead of them in the fight against climate change. With less than three years to deliver on the commitments made in the Paris climate agreement, it’s going to take unprecedented actions—Banning combustion engines! Solar panels on every roof!—to meet the goals. But that still only gets us halfway there, one sustainability specialist estimates.

The hard but necessary work is to revamp cities so they cancel out the carbon they emit. Some designers and advocates are pushing for what they call climate-positive design, which requires redesigning neighborhoods, buildings, and transportation networks to reduce and absorb carbon. And technological changes aren’t the biggest hurdle standing in the way—getting to a net-zero design at a holistic scale will rely more on policy and bureaucratic changes, but progress on those so far has moved slowly. Today on CityLab: Is “Climate-Positive” Design Possible?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

For California Housing Advocates, It’s ‘Literally the YIMBY-est Year’

The state’s lawmakers are getting serious about removing the most serious roadblock to building new affordable housing.

Kriston Capps

Amazon HQ2 and the ‘Gentrification of Jobs’

Amazon has said each HQ2 site will result in 25,000 jobs. Will the working-class benefit? Will Amazon train locals for future employment?

Sarah Holder

Philadelphia Could Be Next To Provide Lawyers For Low-Income Tenants

A new report shows that by investing in representation for low-income tenants facing eviction, the city could save more than $45 million.

Karim Doumar

Luxembourg’s New Deal: Free Transit and Legal Weed

It’s not just public transit: The Grand Duchy’s progressive new government also raised the minimum wage and gave everyone two extra days off.

Feargus O'Sullivan

America’s Power Grid Isn’t Ready for Electric Cars

The challenge isn’t just about how much energy electric vehicles will need. A more important question is when they’ll need it.

F. Todd Davidson, Dave Tuttle, Joshua D. Rhodes, and Kazunori Nagasawa


Love, Actually

More than half of New Yorkers view Amazon’s plan to open a headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, as a blessing, not a curse. In fact, a new Quinnipiac University poll finds that despite the controversy surrounding the company’s selection process, only 26 percent of New York residents disapprove of the deal.

But as you can see above, Amazon enthusiasm varies a lot by borough. The city is a bit more evenly divided on the $3 billion in subsidies given to the mega-online retailer. Meanwhile, Manhattan residents were most skeptical of the deal, with 16 percent more respondents disapproving than approving of the city’s tax incentives. But in Queens, residents not only welcome HQ2’s arrival to their borough; more people actually approve of the tax incentives than disapprove, with a plus 16 percent net approval. CityLab’s Sarah Holder and David Montgomery crunched the numbers: Why New Yorkers Actually Support Amazon HQ2


What We’re Reading

Are rural voters the “real” voters? Wisconsin Republicans seem to think so (New York Times)

What Chicago’s voters can look forward to in a very crowded mayoral election (ProPublica)

Seattle’s population is booming, except where it’s shrinking (Next City)

Watch AI conjure an entire city from scratch (Fast Company)

Architects build gingerbread city to whet appetite for design (Reuters)


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