Also: Mapping the global mosquito invasion, and is there a future for the Newseum?
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What We’re Following
Keep the change: Uber. Sweetgreen. Amazon Go. More businesses are opting to go cashless, and trends show Americans are hopping on board: In 2017, debit and credit card payments made up 48 percent of all transactions. Even more conventional restaurant and retail establishments have cut cash, citing increased efficiency and safety. But lawmakers at the local level are concerned that the cash-free economy will discriminate against low-income people. Philadelphia recently became the first city to ban cashless businesses, and San Francisco and D.C. are eyeing similar measures.
New York City is the latest to consider such a bill. With nearly 12 percent of its residents living unbanked—often people of color and undocumented immigrants—the policy brings a bigger question to life: Is refusing to accept cash a form of racial discrimination? “In the end, I think the need for equity outweighs the efficiency gains of a cashless business model,” says the city councilmember sponsoring New York’s legislation. “Human rights takes precedence over efficiency gains.” Today on CityLab: Citing Civil Rights, Cities Are Banning Cashless Retail
More on CityLab
Rue the Day
The residents of Paris’s Rue Crémieux don’t give a damn about your Instagram. Filled with small pastel-painted houses, weathered cobblestones, and blooming window boxes, the car-free street near Bastille has become a popular destination to strike a pose, leaving residents’ doorways blocked by influencers and yoga aficionados alike. Now the people who live there have had enough. They’re asking the city to put up a gate to keep visitors out on nights and weekends.
With #ruecremieux now linking to over 31,000 images, all the photobombing does sound wearisome. “We sit down to eat and just outside we have people taking photos—rappers who take two hours to film a video right beneath the window, or bachelorette parties who scream for an hour. Frankly, it’s exhausting,” one resident recently told radio station France Info. CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan has the story: The Special Curse of Living on Instagram’s Favorite Street
What We’re Reading
Overlooked no more: Julia Morgan, pioneering female architect (New York Times)
What a fortune cookie factory tells us about San Francisco rent (BBC News)
If the world’s nighttime lights were mountains (Washington Post)
Your landlord turns your apartment into a smart home. Now what? (CNET)
Opinion: Cars are killing us. Within 10 years, we must phase them out. (The Guardian)