Also: Episode 2 of Technopolis, and the curse of living on Instagram’s favorite street.

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What We’re Following

Distress signals: The surprise results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election led many people to wonder if the 2008 financial crisis changed the nation’s political trajectory. Housing researcher Deirdre Pfeiffer questioned in particular if housing distress had an effect on people’s politics and voting patterns between the 2006 and 2010 elections in Maricopa County, Arizona. Drilling down to the neighborhood level across the Phoenix region, the short answer she found was: Yes, it did.

Holding all else equal, neighborhoods with higher foreclosure rates were less likely to vote Republican in the second election, and there was a leftward shift in the hardest-hit areas. “We can’t really say that what was going on in Arizona was a factor in Trump’s election,” Pfeiffer told CityLab’s Tanvi Misra. “Our research is suggestive that what was going on in the housing market may have contributed to that outcome in other places in 2016.” Read the story today on CityLab: Does Housing Distress Affect How We Vote?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Geography of America’s Mobile and ‘Stuck,’ Mapped

The United States is facing a new class distinction: those who are mobile across state lines, and those who are stuck.

Richard Florida

The Special Curse of Living on Instagram's Favorite Street

Instagrammers love the colorful homes on Paris’s Rue Cremieux. Frustrated residents want to install gates to lock them out.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Is There a Better Way to Count the Homeless?

I hit the streets for HUD’s Point-in-Time homeless count to help get a snapshot of Oakland’s growing unsheltered homeless population. But one thing was missing.

Alastair Boone

The NRA Is Targeting San Jose’s Proposed Gun Law

Mayor Sam Liccardo wants gun stores to record all sales transactions, in an effort to prevent “straw purchases” that contribute to illegal firearm trafficking.

Kriston Capps

Zulu Mardi Gras Blackface: Heritage or Hate?

The reasons for granting the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club of New Orleans an annual waiver on blackface during Mardi Gras are growing paler by the moment.

Brentin Mock


AV Club

Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Autonomous vehicles may be coming sooner than you think. Even if it takes a while until AVs are ready to transport people all on their own, they could soon become vehicles for delivering your groceries or takeout. All of this will pose new challenges for cities, from how we might change laws for pedestrians to what we might do in the cars when we’re not driving them.

In the second episode of CityLab’s Technopolis podcast, hosts Molly Turner and Jim Kapsis take a tour of autonomous vehicles’ little-considered effects. Check out the latest episode, Sex, Vomit, and Criminalized Pedestrians: Is This the Future of Self-Driving Cars?

Listen and subscribe to Technopolis: Apple Podcasts / Stitcher / Google Play


What We’re Reading

Ben Carson says he intends to leave HUD at the end of Trump’s term (Washington Post)

Chicago is sinking (Chicago Tribune)

Pritzker Prize goes to Arata Isozaki, designer for a postwar world (New York Times)

How federal disaster money favors the rich (NPR)

In Central Valley towns, California’s bullet train isn’t an idea: “It’s people’s lives” (Los Angeles Times)


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