Also: Learning and unlearning the Bauhaus legacy, and why the Democrats chose Milwaukee.
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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.)
More on CityLab
We Built This City
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)