Amazon, YIMBYs, electric scooters, Europe’s war on cars, and more.

The Year in Review

2018 was a year of ups and downs. From NIMBY battles to natural disasters, from elections to electric scooters, the stories that dominated the headlines are sure to resonate in 2019 and beyond. To cap off an eventful year, our writers and editors unpacked some of the issues we’ve been following over the past 12 months, explaining what mattered, what changed, and what to look for going forward.


2018 Was...

The Year Cities Trusted Amazon

After 14 months, Amazon’s HQ2 hunt ended with a split decision in Washington, D.C. and New York City. What did we learn?

Sarah Holder

The Year Progressive Populism Roared Back

Populism was reclaimed by American progressives, as citizen-initiated ballot measures and a Poor People’s Campaign took aim at poverty and voter suppression.

K.A. Dilday

The Year of the Complicated Suburb

The old narrative of city and suburb is dead; in 2018, the spaces outside of cities were revealed in their full complexity.

Amanda Kolson Hurley

The Year of the Scooter

Scooters are dorky, polarizing, dangerous, fun, and maybe even useful. They could also be the kick in the butt that cities need to demand safe streets.

Andrew Small

The Year of the Affected Generation

On issues like climate change and gun violence, younger people demanded a louder voice in 2018.

Nicole Javorsky

The Year 1968 Replayed Itself

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King was assassinated. But the racist housing and policing policies he was fighting are still with us.

Brentin Mock

The Year Some Notable Ideas Died

Sam Adams, Sarah Deer, Stephen Goldsmith, Sarah Ichioka, Emeka Okereke, Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, Katie Wells, and David Zipper weigh in.

CityLab

The Year of Europe’s War on Cars

From Paris to Madrid, efforts to curb the use of automobiles formed a battleground across Europe.

Feargus O'Sullivan

The Year of the Smart City Skeptic

Companies like Google, Uber, or Facebook aren’t built to fix society. That includes cities.

Laura Bliss

The Year of the YIMBY

A milestone upzoning plan in Minneapolis capped a year that saw pro-housing forces duel NIMBYs in cities nationwide.

Kriston Capps

The Year of the Aspirational Park

Private funding and high-impact design were recurring themes of parks that opened in 2018. So was the hope that parks can unite, repair, and invigorate cities.

CityLab Staff


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