Also: The cities with the most singles, and the opioid crisis’s rural-urban divide.
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What We’re Following
Cancel order: Breaking things off on Valentine’s Day is a move. Amazon just announced that it will not build its HQ2 campus in New York City after all. The online retailer said in a statement that opposition from state and local politicians, who criticized the nearly $3 billion in incentives promised for the project, “made it clear” that they could not “build the type of relationships that are required to go forward” on the campus in Long Island City, Queens. The company also said it does not have plans to reopen its HQ2 search, and will focus only on its other planned locations in Northern Virginia and Nashville.
That may be wise: Already, legislators in New York and beyond are doubling down on plans to make future deals like Amazon’s more difficult to broker again. On Tuesday, New York State Senator Julia Salazar and New York State Assemblymember Ron Kim pitched a plan to stand together with other states against the practice of competing for corporations with tax incentives. They also introduced legislation that would ban New York state from any future such tax giveaways. A spokesperson from Salazar’s office tells CityLab’s Sarah Holder, “We’re glad that it looks like our efforts as a movement were successful, but we’re ready to keep fighting if something changes.” Look for her story later today on CityLab.
More on CityLab
Hearts in San Francisco
If you’re looking for love this Valentine’s Day you might do well to go to San Francisco. According to data from the online dating site OkCupid, residents of the Bay Area may be among the most romantic in the country, based on answers to profile questions in nine major American cities. San Francisco-area users were most likely to call themselves romantics or to embrace stereotypically romantic activities like long walks on the beach.
Austin, Denver, and Los Angeles aren’t far behind on romance, either. By contrast, Washington, D.C., appears to have a different idea of how these things work: This chart of OkCupid users shows Washingtonians were far less likely to find hopeless, unrequited love to be “romantic.” (Just to humor the District, maybe try asking how they feel about long walks on the swamp.) CityLab data reporter David Montgomery gets to the heart of the story: Which Cities Are for Lovers? Here’s the Data
What We’re Reading
When Baltimore said “I love you” with potholes on Valentine’s Day (Baltimore Sun)
Amazon is taking over suburbia (Quartz)
Highway infrastructure isn’t “crumbling,” actually—it’s just congested (Streetsblog)
Chicago introduces a bird-friendly building ordinance (Next City)
In the year after Parkland, there was nearly one mass shooting a day (Vox)