Also: How the bicycle’s ancestor relates to climate resilience, and who gets ‘Green New Deal’ jobs?

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What We’re Following

Supreme count: The fight over the 2020 Census has finally reached the Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the court’s justices heard oral arguments related to the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the next decennial census. The government argues U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has license to add the question, while a number of states, counties, and nonprofits argue it undermines the Constitution’s mandate for a complete count of every person residing in the country, especially since it could deter responses from the Hispanic community.

Some city leaders have warned that much of the damage to an accurate count has already been done. “Even if the 2020 census proceeds without a citizenship question, it may be hard to allay the fears that this debate has provoked,” Central Falls Mayor James Diossa told CityLab in January. Still, how the court decides could tilt everything from vote apportionment to federal funding formulas, and predicting how the justices vote is more an art than a science. The justices’ questions Tuesday honed in on very different concerns: While the court’s conservatives centered on the rigor of the data science, the court’s liberals asked what the citizenship question was really for. Read CityLab’s Kriston Capps dispatch from the court: What the Supreme Court Said About the 2020 Census Citizenship Question

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

‘Green New Deal’ Jobs Are Good Jobs. But Who Gets Them?

A Brookings report finds that jobs in the clean energy, efficiency, and environmental sectors pay higher salaries than the U.S. average.

Tanvi Misra

Silicon Valley Is Split Over California's Controversial Housing Bill

East Palo Alto is surrounded by tech riches, but that hasn’t necessarily helped longtime residents, who welcome a state law mandating more affordable housing.

Laura Bliss

How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

Linda Poon

How an Ancestor of the Bicycle Relates to Climate Resilience

Architecture students in Buffalo built their own versions of the "laufmaschine," a proto-bike invented in response to a 19th-century environmental crisis.

Nicole Javorsky

How a Radio Show Gives Unwed Mothers in Morocco a Voice

Legal changes gave Moroccan women more rights, but unwed mothers still face prosecution and stigma. A Tangier radio station, Mères en Ligne, gives them a voice.

Molly Keisman


Throwing Shade

A bus shelter, installed and maintained by the company that controls its ad rights, provides shade in Los Angeles. (Monica Nouwens for Places Journal)

You might think of shade as something everyone can access, but it’s actually become a bit of a luxury amenity in cities. From tree canopies to bus shelters, the forces that shape public and private space produce a shade disparity that can even be seen on, say, a satellite map of Los Angeles. As deadly heatwaves become more common, Sam Bloch argues in Places Journal that urban designers should think of shade as a mandatory civic resource. He writes:

Not everyone has the stamina to wait out the heat at an unprotected bus stop, or the money to duck into an air-conditioned cafe. When we understand shade as a public resource — a kind of infrastructure, even — we can have better discussions about how to create it and distribute it fairly.

CityLab context: The best ways to throw shade


What We’re Reading

It’s Elon Musk vs. everyone else in the race for driverless cars (The Verge)

California tried to fix its prisons. Now county jails are more deadly (ProPublica)

The best way to rejuvenate rural America? Invest in cities. (New York Times)

What grocery store obsession says about us (Eater)


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