Also: A new HUD rule could evict 55,000 children, and what it takes for parents to live car-free.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

What We’re Following

Back to the future: Last week, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos unveiled his spaceflight company’s design for a lunar lander, along with a longer-term vision of what human cities might look like in space. As he pitched this imagined future, you might have felt some déjà vu—and not just because the renderings resemble Singapore, Seattle, and Florence.

(Blue Origin)

Bezos’s vision builds on the ideas popularized by one of his college professors: Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill. Back in 1975, O’Neill briefed Congress about a plan he was working on with NASA to develop habitable places beyond Earth. “Bezos’s proposal is a version of O’Neill’s project that somehow manages to look and feel less futuristic than its predecessor,” writes Fred Scharmen, the author of Space Settlements. And it’s not just the imagery that’s the same: Bezos’s vision relies on similar assumptions about ecosystem design and social order that seem quaint from a 2019 vantage point. Today on CityLab: Jeff Bezos Dreams of a 1970s Future

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

HUD Rule Targeting Immigrant Families Could Evict 55,000 Children

A Trump administration regulation targeting undocumented immigrants seeks to boot families if even one person is not eligible to receive public housing aid.

Tanvi Misra

What It Takes for These City Parents to Live Car-Free

Advice from readers around the world on how they make it work—and when they can’t.

CityLab

The First City to Remove and Replace a Confederate Monument?

Native-American lawmakers pushed the removal of a 100-year old Confederate monument in Helena, Montana, in 2017. It’s being replaced by a public art project.

Gabriel Furshong

Making Urban Space for Monarch Butterflies

With the population of the distinctive species in decline, cities around the U.S. are trying to add monarch-friendly spaces.

Allison C. Meier

Listening to My Neighbors Fight

When people are crammed into cities, there’s not much privacy, and neighbors become spectators to one another’s personal lives.

Maris Kreizman


House Calls

Beverley Somai was afraid of her downstairs neighbor. She first called the police on him because he was playing music so loudly it shook the floorboards of her Bedford, Ohio, apartment. But things escalated last year when he allegedly started following her and her disabled son around town... As the months went on and he continued to follow them, she called the police repeatedly, hoping to make it stop.

Then, Mother Jones reports, her landlord told her she was being evicted because of the calls. Somai is now challenging the “nuisance ordinance” in Bedford, Ohio, that allows police to force the eviction of renters if they call 911. The law was intended to address illegal activities on rented property, but police have also applied it to people placing two or more calls to 911. These laws have spread to hundreds of municipalities in at least 35 states in the past few decades, according to Mother Jones, and critics argue they put people—especially people of color—at risk when they ask for help. Read MJ’s story: “The Crime of Being Black in a City That Doesn’t Want You There”

CityLab context: Is there a better way to battle evictions?


What We’re Reading

Glass, golden flames, or a beam of light: Architects pitch replacements for Notre Dame’s spire (New York Times)

Amazon is offering to pay employees to quit their jobs and deliver packages (Time)

A Seattle crane collapsed and killed four people last month. Experts say common practice is the likely cause (Seattle Times)

Don’t create a new gang database, ACLU tells Mayor-elect Lightfoot and Chicago police (Block Club Chicago)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of the L.A. Metro Expo Line extension
    Life

    Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

    In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

  2. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  3. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

  4. a photo of a local business displaying a protest sign of the proposed extension of the light rail system along Central Avenue, in Phoenix.
    Transportation

    Phoenix’s Light Rail Future Is Under Attack

    Proposition 105, a ballot measure funded in part by groups tied to the Koch brothers, threatens to halt long-planned extensions to the booming Arizona city’s transit system.

  5. Two women wave their phones in the air at a crowded music festival.
    Life

    The Rise, and Urbanization, of Big Music Festivals

    The legacy of hippie Woodstock is the modern music-festival economy: materialist, driven by celebrities and social media, and increasingly urban.

×