Also: Are planners partly to blame for gentrification? And preserving the legacy of black baseball in Detroit.

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What We’re Following

Fuggedaboutit: If you ask someone to name a left-behind industrial city, you’re likely to hear places like Detroit or Cleveland. Those places certainly have their challenges, but they also have a lot going for them: large companies, talent, airports, even name recognition. “The truly left behind and most forgotten places are smaller places, many of which are little known,” the Manhattan Institute’s Aaron Renn writes for CityLab. But, he argues, speculative projects or subsidies aren’t the way to help turn things around.

Renn argues that the best strategy for stagnating cities is to create the “preconditions of revival” by balancing budgets, eliminating corruption, and rebuilding core public services. To that end, a newly released Manhattan Institute report offers strategies to revitalize cities such as Danville, Illinois; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Michigan City, Indiana; Pittsfield, Massachusetts; and Youngstown, Ohio. By doing basic civic repair, cities can be prepared for when market forces swing back in their favor instead of placing bets on business relocations or expensive amenities to restore their economic vitality. Read his perspective: How to Bring Back Struggling Cities

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Are Planners Partly to Blame for Gentrification?

In his new book Capital City, Samuel Stein contends that real-estate interests have co-opted urban planning and made planners complicit in gentrification.  

Tanner Howard

Preserving the Legacy of Black Baseball in Detroit’s Hamtramck Stadium

An effort to restore one of the last remaining Negro League ballparks uncovers a hidden history of America’s pastime.

Anna Clark

Are California's Police Departments Defying Its Sanctuary Law?

Here’s how immigration enforcement changes when a whole state tries to become a sanctuary.

Tanvi Misra

Meet the UPS Driver Who Instagrams the Good Dogs on His Delivery Route

#Pupsofjay proves once and for all that mail carriers and dogs can live in harmony.

Linda Poon

Airbnb Has a Hidden-Camera Problem

The home-rental start-up says it’s cracking down on hosts who record guests. Is it doing enough?

Sidney Fussell


Root for the Home Team

A drawing from Harper’s Weekly depicts a game between the Red Stockings and the Brooklyn Atlantics. New York Public Library

On Major League Baseball’s opening day, you may have noticed a patch on the players’ uniforms that reads “MLB 150.” That’s commemorating the Cincinnati Red Stockings, a club team that became the the first professional baseball team in 1869—and went on to win an unprecedented 81 straight games. That winning streak put the “young, growing, grimy city” of Cincinnati on the map, and it also made the very idea of professional baseball acceptable to the American public. “This did not just make the city famous,” says John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian. “It made baseball famous.” Read: How Cincinnati Turned Baseball Into a National Sensation


What We’re Reading

An EPA science panel is considering guidelines that upend basic air pollution science (NPR)

Four maps that show who’s being left behind in America’s wind-power boom (Vox)

Residents in San Francisco started a GoFundMe to block a new homeless shelter (The Guardian)

Subway bathrooms: Are they as bad as you think? (New York Times)

Even with IPO money, can Uber and Lyft survive long enough to replace their drivers with machines? (Washington Post)


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