Also: Milwaukee’s “sewer socialists,” and the affordable home crisis continues.

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What We’re Following

Blue Devils in the details: After two decades, a rail project linking Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, came to a screeching halt. The reason? Duke University wouldn’t sign a cooperative agreement for the $2.7 billion project, and refused further meetings with the region’s transportation authority.

Duke’s decision angered local leaders who desperately want light rail. “If, in fact, this was insurmountable, we should not have been going forward and spending tens of millions of dollars in public funding,” said one Durham County official. “It really raises the question of what was the intent all along. Was there no real commitment in the first place?” Today on CityLab: How Did Duke Doom Durham’s Light Rail?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Who Were Milwaukee’s ‘Sewer Socialist’ Mayors?

The city stands apart for electing three socialist mayors, but their work on infrastructure, parks, and housing looks much like what’s expected of mayors today.

Linda Poon

The Affordable Home Crisis Continues, But Bold New Plans May Help

Wyoming fares best; Nevada the worst. No state has an adequate supply of homes for its poorest renters a new National Low Income Housing Coalition report finds.

Diane Yentel

New York City Looks to Eliminate Hidden Bail Fees

As they await statewide action to eliminate cash bail, city council members look to reduce the financial burden on families of incarcerated people.

Bryce Covert

The Bauhaus in the Age of Frictionless Design

The new Kaplan Institute at Chicago’s IIT is a direct descendant of the Bauhaus. It is also, in some ways, everything the Bauhaus was not.

Zach Mortice

A Modernist Gas Station With a New Purpose

How an architecture firm turned a Mies van der Rohe-designed Esso in a remote section of Montreal into the La Station community center.

Tracey Lindeman


Bauhaus in Tel Aviv

International Style architecture balances function, aesthetics and philosophy drawing on Bauhaus tenets. (Ariel Aberg-Riger/CityLab)

Little did the Nazis know when they shuttered the Bauhaus that it would inspire the signature style of Tel Aviv.

As European Jews fled Nazism, the city needed housing, fast and cheap, that appealed to the people arriving in the “first modern Jewish city.” The answer was the International Style of architecture, which drew on the core tenets of the Bauhaus. Over 4,000 such buildings were erected in the 1930s and ’40s, but it would be decades before Tel Aviv mythologized its Bauhaus past and established it as part of the city’s brand.

For CityLab’s Building Bauhaus series, visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger explains how Tel Aviv’s buildings came to be monuments to its history of sanctuary and self-isolation: Unpacking Tel Aviv’s White City


What We’re Reading

How cities preserve their “viewing corridors” (The Guardian)

Secretary Chao’s hands-off approach to emerging transportation tech (Curbed)

Kamala Harris announces a bill to expand the U.S. Digital Service for state and local governments (Wired)

Is Hudson Yards the neighborhood New York deserves? (New York Times)


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