Also: When zoning targets families with kids, and “My Brilliant Friend” threatens to gentrify a neighborhood.

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What We’re Following

They’re running?: Bloomberg. Garcetti. Buttigieg. Emanuel. De Blasio. There are almost 30 names floating around in the potential 2020 Democratic presidential field. And for the first time in a long time, mayors are making waves in this early-stage jockeying for a shot at the White House. Only three times in U.S. history has a president ever graced the office of mayor on the rise to power.

The usual dig against mayors is that local experience doesn’t translate to the national stage. But amid a backdrop of federal dysfunction, even hopefuls with federal credentials are emphasizing their mayoral experience. At last week’s U.S. Conference of Mayors, CityLab’s Sarah Holder and Kriston Capps spoke with a whole slew of potential 2020 contenders to find out why mayors are running.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

When Zoning Targets Families With Kids

‘Vasectomy zoning’ can block or raise the cost of things young families need, like three-bedroom apartments and day-care centers.

Nolan Gray and Lyman Stone

Teen Suicide Rates Are Higher In States Where More People Own Guns

A new study finds a striking correlation at the state level between rates of household gun ownership and youth suicide.

Richard Florida and Nicole Javorsky

Alongside New Light Rail Stations, Seattle Plans Affordable Housing

Affordable apartments near reliable public transportation aren’t always easy to find. As Seattle expands its Link light rail, the city has codified a solution.

Hallie Golden

Will ‘My Brilliant Friend’ Gentrify a Naples Neighborhood?

Residents of Rione Luzzatti never expected it to become a tourist destination. Then Elena Ferrante set her bestselling novels there.

Irene Caselli

A Priceless Archive of American Architecture Publishing

Meet George Smart, a Modernism fan now obsessed with assembling the largest open digital archive of 20th century U.S. architecture magazines.

Ben Ikenson

When It’s Time to Sell the Family Home

Putting up a for-sale sign can mark a new stage in life for empty-nesters and their children alike.

Hayley Glatter


School of Thought

A student sketch of the school he wanted to see.
A student sketch of the school he wanted to see. (Courtesy Positive Tomorrows)

How do you design a school with the specific needs of homeless children in mind? You ask the kids, of course. Positive Tomorrows, an Oklahoma City-based nonprofit organization that has been educating homeless kids and providing social services to families since 1989, got kids to participate in designing a new school through a “dream big” exercise, in which students submitted drawings like the floor plan above. Their suggestions included a treehouse, a small lending library, and “a place to sit with friends”—a common and powerful request, given that homeless children generally don’t have a place to host playdates. Today on CityLab: Designing Oklahoma City’s New School For Homeless Kids


What We’re Reading

Twenty “yes or no” questions for the Chicago mayoral candidates (WBEZ)

Can technology help fix the housing market? (New York Times)

The lowest-paid shutdown workers aren’t getting back pay (Washington Post)

What does the House’s new transportation committee chairman have planned for Infrastructure Week? (Streetsblog)


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