Also: Where blue-collar workers fare better, and the resegregation of Baton Rouge’s public schools.
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What We’re Following
End zone: In the wake of urban renewal in the 1960s, neighborhoods gained a greater say in deciding their own destinies. And for the past 40 years, residents with greater social power have been incredibly effective at resisting new development. Now, faced with rising levels of housing affordability and inequality, many cities are trying to encourage more density by reforming restrictive zoning codes. It’s a concept that still faces long political odds, but recent examples in Minneapolis and Seattle have shown that, with some patience, it’s possible.
It comes down to a simple idea: By allowing more kinds of housing, more of it will get built, and costs will come down. But the plans can take years to pass, and the process can be incredibly divisive. Some ambitious efforts have failed after facing resistance from vocal blocs of residents. “There’s this belief that if you just get rid of single-family zoning, it’s the Mecca,” Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tells CityLab. “And I just I think you’ve got to do more to really make it work right.” CityLab’s Sarah Holder and Kriston Capps have the story: The Hottest Trend in Housing Policy? Make Cities Denser
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What We’re Reading
Inside the long war to protect plastic (Center for Public Integrity)
Tuesday could be the beginning of the end for Philadelphia’s soda tax (New York Times)
GM’s car-sharing service, Maven, is pulling out of eight cities, including Chicago and New York (The Verge)
The cities funding legal defense for immigrants (Next City)
Interactive: Where Democrats and Republicans live in your city (FiveThirtyEight)