Also: Why Indonesia wants to move its capital city, and Denver votes on magic mushrooms.

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What We’re Following

Be more: In 2016, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh came into office with a background in public relations and a promise to “change the narrative” of the city—a salient focus after the unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s death in 2015. As she resigned last week, it became clear that storytelling may indeed be the central theme of her time in office. A scandal unfolded around her series of self-published children’s books, prompting a corruption probe and a federal raid on her home and office.

Even before the scandal broke, the portrait of dysfunction during her administration was pretty damning, as the stubborn problems of violence, poverty, and policing persisted. In her resignation statement on Thursday, she apologized for the harm she did to “the image of the city of Baltimore.” CityLab executive editor David Dudley writes, “To the end, it was the well-being of the brand that seemed to consume her, not the city itself.” Today on CityLab: Where Will Baltimore’s Story Go Next?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Indonesia Wants to Move Its Capital Out of Jakarta

Jakarta has 10 million people and is sinking faster than any other city in the world. But there are other factors involved in its relocation plan.

Linda Poon

What It’s Like to Live in a California Ghost Town

To be an off-season caretaker of Bodie, California (winter population: 5), you need a high tolerance for cold, solitude, and two-hour grocery runs.

Rick Paulas

Will Denver Vote to Decriminalize Magic Mushrooms?

Denver led the nation in cannabis reform. Initiative 301 seeks to do the same with psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Lindsay Fendt

Dementia-Friendly Cities Prepare for an Aging Populace

Soon, baby boomers, the country’s largest generation, will be the oldest. A new movement is helping communities prepare by learning to be dementia-friendly

Sue Sveum

What Makes Subways Safe? Harasser Bans? Women-Only Cars? NYC Is Asking

While other countries have turned to women-only cars, New York legislators are proposing to ban repeat sex offenders and increase penalties for subway grinders.

Sarah Holder


Garage Scale

A Modern-style one-bedroom garage conversion. (LA-Más)

It doesn’t get much more “yes in my backyard” than an accessory-dwelling unit, but getting your neighbors to see how this affordable housing option might work can be difficult. As Los Angeles’s recent regulatory changes make these backyard homes more plausible, an urban-design nonprofit has developed renderings like the one above to illustrate how small-scale homes could fit into a landscape dominated by single-family homes. Read about the one-stop shop for affordable backyard homes in Los Angeles.


What We’re Reading

The arc of legal weed bends toward injustice (Next City)

Lyft says it’s “not in the transportation business” so disability law doesn’t apply (Gizmodo)

The future of housing looks nothing like today’s housing (Fast Company)

What happens to a factory town when the factory leaves? (New York Times Magazine)

The big business of loneliness (Vox)


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