Also: Heating violations leave residents in the cold, and for good Modernism, visit Queens.

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What We’re Following

The geography of arrests: Every three seconds, someone gets arrested in the United States. The bulk of those arrests occur in metropolitan areas, and it’s the suburban cities within them that post the highest arrest rates. In 2016, suburban cities had an average of 4,604 arrests per 100,000 people, compared to the 3,332 arrests per 100,000 people within an area’s principal city. That’s according to an analysis by the Vera Institute of Justice, which unveiled a new tool that looks at the geography and demography of arrests in the U.S. since the 1980s.

While crime rates have fallen nationally, it’s not clear why suburban cities are getting a growing share of policing attention. But theories include everything from sprawl increasing driving-related police encounters to the growing economic and racial diversity in the suburbs, which could be eliciting harsher policing responses from local governments. One thing is clear, though: There’s much more to study about how suburban policing affects the national enforcement trends. “By simply focusing on that city, we’re missing the mark,” one researcher tells CityLab’s Tanvi Misra. Read her story: The Suburbanization of Arrests

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Airbnb Effect: It’s Not Just Rising Home Prices

A new Economic Policy Institute study finds that Airbnb contributes to rising home prices in cities, yet often escapes comprehensive regulation.

Sarah Holder

17 Candidates Want to Be NYC’s Public Advocate. Does the Public Care?

A special election for New York City's top watchdog has many asking how the office can be more effective, or if it should exist at all.

Michael Stahl

Heating Violations Are Leaving Residents in the Cold

As wind chills dip as much as 50 degrees below zero, cities like New York and Chicago scramble to restore heating and hot water in homes.

Linda Poon

Mattie Freeland’s Green Vision for a Black Atlanta Neighborhood

As Atlanta hosts Super Bowl LIII, a new urban park in the stadium’s shadow is trying to revitalize the struggling neighborhood English Avenue.

Brentin Mock

For Good Modernism, Visit Queens

It’s time to look beyond Manhattan, according to architectural historian Frampton Tolbert. His new project documents the overlooked postwar buildings of Queens.

Nicole Javorsky

SB 100 Is Moving Cities in California Toward Zero-Emissions Futures

Buoyed by bill SB 100, marginalized communities, often overlooked by the environmental movement, have spurred progress in Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

Teju Adisa-Farrar


Tip the Scales

Madison McVeigh/CityLab

The scale figure is usually the last thing added into an architect’s rendering. But those little people—known as “scalies”—can us tell a lot about the relationship between people and architecture. In An Unfinished Encyclopedia of Scale Figures Without Architecture, two architects isolated more than 1,000 scalies from the buildings they helped show off. Removed from their usual context, the drawings raise questions about the history of culture and art, and whether architects are thinking more as artists or as technocrats. As one of the authors tells CityLab’s Kriston Capps, “Our responsibilities are as much about the reality of what we make as the imaginary.” Today on CityLab: ‘Scalies,’ the Extras in Architectural Renderings, Finally Get Their Due


What We’re Reading

Impose a speed limit on the Autobahn? Not so fast, many Germans say (New York Times)

Will Pennsylvania convert cash assistance into housing funds? (Next City)

In an unequal America, getting to work can be hell (The Nation)

How California’s state constitution makes affordable housing hard to build (Los Angeles Times)


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