Also: Amazon’s slow retreat from Seattle, and the geography of online dating.
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What We’re Following
Restoring hope: The extent of the fire damage at the Notre-Dame Cathedral is still uncertain, but the good news is that the structure has survived. That’s because Gothic architecture is strong stuff—the stone structure of the 13th century cathedral proved fundamentally fireproof. “It’s not that they’re designed to be burned down, but it’s designed so that if the roof burns off, it’s hard for [the fire] to spread to the rest of the building,” a scholar of medieval architecture tells CityLab.
With a long history of wars, accidents, and natural disasters, conflagrations have claimed many of Europe’s cathedrals over the centuries, and some have been rebuilt with great success. Governments and institutions around the world are already committing to help the restoration effort, which is sure to be huge. “Even determining the scope of the fire will take a lot of work,” CityLab’s Kriston Capps and Feargus O’Sullivan write. “Notre-Dame, which drew about 13 million visitors every year, is likely to represent a colossal historic preservation project.” Today on CityLab: Amid Notre-Dame’s Destruction, There’s Hope For Restoration
More on CityLab
Can You Hear Me Now?
Changed bus routes. A shuttered park. How many times has your city made a decision affecting you that you didn't know about until after it happened? This communication gap is one of the great conundrums for city leaders, and apps and social media haven’t made things much better. What are cities doing to find us where we are? And is using tech a more effective way to get our feedback?
On the latest episode of CityLab’s Technopolis podcast, hosts Molly Turner and Jim Kapsis hear how a startup tracks opinions about city government through online comments, and how a proliferation of online platforms bring new communications challenges to city leaders. Check out the latest episode, Feedback City: Is tech making it easier for us to talk to our cities?
What We’re Reading
New York City’s algorithm task force is fracturing (The Verge)
Uber says it fixed electric bikes that had a similar problem to the bikes Lyft recalled (Washington Post)
Offering shoppers new experiences isn’t helping as malls see tsunami of store closures, falling traffic (CNBC)
America’s mass shooting problem surfaces in Pulitzer Prizes (Vox)
Suspect in 3 black church fires in Louisiana is charged with hate crimes (New York Times)