Also: Why Chicago’s train tracks are on fire, and federal transit funding is set to dry up in 2021.
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
Keep Austin old: Though it often feels like Austin, Texas, has been overrun by tech- and taco-loving youth, the city is a magnet for older people, too. So when Megan Kimble moved to Austin and felt disappointed by its “half hype, half real” ethos, she decided to get to know the city better through people who had been there a while. She volunteered with a nonprofit that helps older residents age in their homes and communities, assisting them with home repairs, doctor visits, and social gatherings.
For the latest installment in CityLab’s Finding Community series, Kimble explains how this experience revealed parts of the city she didn’t have access to otherwise—including that come-as-you-are weirdness she’d heard so much about. “As I meet more people of all ages, I start to appreciate this easygoing openness, often on display in the quieter, unheralded corners of Austin,” she writes. Today on CityLab: How to Build a Multigenerational City
More on CityLab
Don’t Have a Meltdown
With winter bearing down on cities across the U.S., we can’t help but think of this story from last winter about the etiquette of shoveling out parking spaces:
As soon as he was old enough to hold a snow shovel, Adam Leskow remembers his father telling him the rules: Once you shovel out your car, your parking space is yours until the snow is off the streets.
“But what if someone takes your spot?” the younger Leskow would ask his dad.
That just didn’t happen—a good neighbor wouldn’t steal your spot. “He didn't condone violence,” says Leskow, now 34 and still living in the Boston neighborhood where he grew up. “But he was clear that this was an utter sign of disrespect that you didn’t do.”
Read it here: The Psychology of Boston’s Snow Parking Wars
What We’re Reading
As the polar vortex hits the Midwest, cities focus on the vulnerable, homeless (USA Today)
Foxconn may not build its Wisconsin factory after all (Reuters)
Congestion pricing is the only way to fix our broken transportation system (Curbed)
I visited the tallest building in the world, and it was a colossal waste of time (Business Insider)
Amazon has a new strategy to sway skeptics in New York (New York Times)