Also: How the Bauhaus kept things weird, and #trashtag cleans up.

What We’re Following

What’s up, dock? At this year’s South by Southwest festival, the city of Austin, Texas, saw a surge of more than 9,000 rentable dockless scooters roll in. It was an intense variation of the disruption that cities have experienced over the last two years as docked bikeshare gave way to dockless bikeshare, which then gave way to scooters. Now, if the conference circuit is any indication, we’ve come full circle—with docks for scooters.

At last week’s National Shared Mobility Summit, a startup called Swiftmile pitched itself at as a sort of gas station for micromobility, using solar power to charge scooters while they’re tethered to docks. Lyft, at SXSW, demoed its own low-fi parking racks, which are intended to bring some order to the scooty chaos. Going back to docks could make shared scooters more predictable and lessen the need for human labor to get recharged, but it could also add costs to the already dodgy road to profitability for these scooter startups. CityLab’s Laura Bliss has the rundown: The Hot New Thing in Dockless Electric Scooters: Docks.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Secret Ingredient of Resilient Cities: Culture

Investing in cultural cohesion and preservation can help rebuild cities devastated by war or natural disasters, says a new World Bank report.

Tanvi Misra

How the Bauhaus Kept Things Weird

Many imitators of the famous art school’s output have missed the surreal, sensual, irrational, and instinctual spirit that drove its creativity.

Darran Anderson

‘The Whole World a Bauhaus’ Reveals a Movement’s Fault Lines

An exhibition at the Elmhurst Art Museum shows how the Bauhaus was defined by its conflicting ideologies.

Zach Mortice

An Old Mies For a New Toronto

How Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the final director of the Bauhaus school, sparked an architectural arms race in downtown Toronto among Canada’s major banks.

Chris Bateman

Should Tech Startups Ask Permission From the Cities They Want to Disrupt?

On Episode 3 of the podcast Technopolis, we wrestle with the legacy of Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb on how startups engage with government.

Molly Turner and Jim Kapsis


Tag, You’re It

Wayne Parry/AP

Garbage hardly makes for a good Instagram backdrop. But this past weekend, the #trashtag challenge had people across the globe posing with heaps of trash that they’d collected from beaches, parks, and rivers. The challenge—which circulated on Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram—is to take before-and-after shots of areas in need of a good clean-up, and volunteers were rewarded with wholesome likes. CityLab’s Linda Poon has a roundup on the global hashtag activism trend: How #Trashtag Inspired People to Clean Up Their Parks


What We’re Reading

The case against lawns (Curbed)

Thousands of ICE employees can access license plate reader data, emails show (The Verge)

Cory Booker’s massive overhaul of Newark’s schools, explained (Vox)

Airbnb and Uber alumni fuel tech’s next wave (New York Times)


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