Also: Mapping micro-segregation, and a GM town faces the end of manufacturing.

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What We’re Following

A-okay: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez caught some flak this weekend after a New York Post article detailed her transportation choices, which include a fair amount of rental cars and ride-hailing services while promoting the Green New Deal. Seemingly only in New York do people yell at politicians for not riding transit—it’s a charge levied against Mayor Bill de Blasio on the regular, too. And it’s true that both officials might benefit from sharing in what their constituents deal with day to day on the MTA.

But there’s another reason why AOC should be taking the bus or the train: It’d be a good publicity stunt for her, as it is for all local leaders. In a country where less than 5 percent of Americans take public transit, there’s a nationwide hypocrisy to fix, CityLab’s Laura Bliss writes:

Like eating, doing yard work, or going to the supermarket, getting around is just about the most normal-looking and thus relatable thing political figures can appear to do. In a county that’s long elected presidents based on the “beer test,” such moments of down-to-earthiness are occasions to connect with voters and constituents.

Read Laura’s story: Yes, It’s A Stunt. But Politicians Should Ride Transit Anyway

Pittsburgh readers: Join us for an event next Wednesday on “What It Means to Be Protected in Urban Spaces.” CityLab’s Brentin Mock will interview writer Kiese Laymon about his recent memoir, Heavy, followed by a panel moderated by the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation. Details and tickets here.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Mapping Micro-Level Segregation Reveals a Neighborhood’s Real Diversity

MIT Media Lab’s new interactive “Atlas of Inequality” shows that “segregation is not just about where you live, but what you do."

Tanvi Misra

A Town Made By Cars Awaits Life After General Motors

It wasn’t long ago that GM’s Hamtramck plant was being hailed as a Detroit comeback story. Now it’s closing, and the town around it faces the end of its manufacturing era.

Nicholas Wu

Your City Is Full of Ways to Get an Incidental Workout

New research shows the health benefits of short bursts of incidental physical activity. Here’s how to sneak in some exercise into the normal course of your day.

Linda Poon

Why an Indian City Is Turning Old Buses Into Bathrooms

In Pune, refurbished buses offer something that many local women need: a clean, safe place to use the restroom away from home.

Romita Saluja

A Lagos Film Series Recasts a Neighborhood and Shapes a Writer

James Baldwin, Ousmane Sembène, Maya Angelou, and the dynamic discussions they provoke help a young writer find her tribe at a film screening series in Nigeria.

Kay Ugwuede


Tokyo Drift

Ōita Prefectural Library was one of Isozaki’s first commissions. (Photo courtesy of Yasuhiro Ishimoto)

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki is this year’s winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize—the field’s top honor. The 87-year-old architect was a teenager when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed, an event that had a profound effect on him. “My first experience of architecture was the void of architecture, and I began to consider how people might rebuild their homes and cities,” he said. His career began with the postwar rebuilding of Japan, before breaking out as an international figure in the 1980s and early ‘90s. Over six decades, Isozaki has demonstrated uncommon versatility, and, CityLab’s Amanda Kolson Hurley writes, “Isozaki’s architecture is impossible to boil down to a signature style.”


What We’re Reading

ICE has kept tabs on “anti-Trump” protesters in New York City (The Nation)

Prosecutors don’t plan to charge Uber in self-driving car crash (New York Times)

Dallas DOT just completed its first year as a transit agency (Next City)

Self-driving cars may be likelier to hit black people than white people (Vox)

From video game to day job: How “SimCity” inspired a generation of city planners (Los Angeles Times)


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