Also: Learning and unlearning the Bauhaus legacy, and why the Democrats chose Milwaukee.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.


What We’re Following

Third time’s the Charm City: After deploying in New York City and San Francisco, a crime-tracking app called Citizen recently launched in Baltimore, specifically because of the city’s challenges with crime and public safety. Using police reports, 911 calls, and ambulance dispatches to map incidents as they happen, the company’s goal is to empower citizens to steer around danger. But in a community that has a fraught relationship with policing, the crime-spotting app has also raised eyebrows—especially given its original name: Vigilante.

Since the name change, the company has gained a powerful local booster: Ben Jealous, former head of the NAACP and a recent Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. The app “allows people to take greater control of their lives,” Jealous says, “and to feel, for the first time in their lives, fully informed, in real time, of what’s happening around them.” Today on CityLab, Sarah Holder explores what makes Citizen different from other crime-tracking apps, and what still concerns critics. Read her story: An App For Mapping Crime, or Urban Paranoia?

Pittsburgh readers: Join us tomorrow for “What It Means to Be Protected in Urban Spaces,” an event at the Ace Hotel. CityLab’s Brentin Mock will interview writer Kiese Laymon, followed by a panel discussion with local leaders and journalists. The event is free, but RSVP is required. (Read up before with Brentin’s latest about how race could factor into Pittsburgh’s new gun control proposals.)

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

The Brutal Austerity of Trump’s Huge 2020 Budget

The president’s wish list for 2020 mixes massive military spending boosts with slashes to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, and other domestic needs.

Kriston Capps

The Dream of the Bauhaus Is Alive Just Outside Pittsburgh

Aluminum City Terrace was a project of the Federal Works Agency and the only multi-tenant housing taken on by Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer in the U.S.

Anthony Paletta

Making Sense of a Walter Gropius ‘Memory Palace’

An interview with the artist behind a 2017 film about the still-operating Fagus shoe factory in Germany that revolutionized industrial architecture.

Daisy Alioto

A Bus for Learning and Unlearning the Bauhaus Legacy

With their traveling project, the Savvy Contemporary collective hopes to examine power relations in the context of globalization and the impact of these on design and ideas.

Marie Doezema

Why the Democrats Chose Milwaukee

Since the announcement that Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention, we are likely to hear a lot about the city’s Red past. But this pick was not about socialism.

Charles J. Sykes

Urban, Suburban, and Rural: We’re More Alike Than We Think

No matter the nature of the locale—urban, suburban, or rural—differences stem more from who we are than what we want in our communities.

Richard Florida

We Built This City

These go to eleven: Rehearsal space at 7DC gives musicians a place to practice. (Mike Kim/7DrumCity)

If you’ve ever sat at your desk, daydreaming about becoming rock star, I have a message for you: It can be done! See, for example, a monthly concert in D.C. called Flashband, which brings strangers together to form bands for a one-night-only show. It starts as speed dating for bandmates, giving musicians a chance to find others like them who also want to put on a show. Your humble newsletter writer even brushed off his electric guitar to give it a try. Read my story: How I Plugged In to My City’s Music Scene

What We’re Reading

Study finds racial gap between who causes air pollution and who breathes it (NPR)

Uber to pay $20 million to settle driver classification suit (Bloomberg)

911 calls from Amazon warehouses raise new questions about working conditions (The Daily Beast)

The tragedy of Baltimore (New York Times)

Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a full parking lot with a double rainbow over it

    Parking Reform Will Save the City

    Cities that require builders to provide off-street parking trigger more traffic, sprawl, and housing unaffordability. But we can break the vicious cycle.   

  2. a photo of a man at a bus stop in Miami

    Very Bad Bus Signs and How to Make Them Better

    Clear wayfinding displays can help bus riders feel more confident, and give a whole city’s public transportation system an air of greater authority.

  3. a map comparing the sizes of several cities

    The Commuting Principle That Shaped Urban History

    From ancient Rome to modern Atlanta, the shape of cities has been defined by the technologies that allow commuters to get to work in about 30 minutes.

  4. A woman looks straight at camera with others people and trees in background.

    Why Pittsburgh Is the Worst City for Black Women, in 6 Charts

    Pittsburgh is the worst place for black women to live in for just about every indicator of livability, says the city’s Gender Equity Commission.

  5. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.