Also: What universal basic income looks like in America, and who’s ready for autonomous vehicles?

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What We’re Following

Damage control: What’s a city to do when its efforts to attract tourists are too successful? In traditionally laid-back Amsterdam, locals’ patience is wearing thin with a spike in tourism and disruptive visitors who are just there to party. The city is trying to get things under control: It removed its “I Amsterdam” sign that became an Instagram hit, and it banned tours of the Red Light District because people were coming to gawk. “You could say quality tourism people travel because they’re inquisitive and want to learn,” says a founder of an Amsterdam tourism think tank. “Unfortunately, that kind of tourism is on the downward trend.”

But official efforts to stem the tide aren’t all working in concert. On one hand, the city has tried to restrict Airbnb rentals and hotel construction, and the country’s tourism board has even decided it will no longer promote the capital as a destination. Meanwhile, airports are due for a massive expansion and a vast new terminal for cruise ships is in the works, setting the stage for further inflating the tourist bubble. Today on CityLab, Feargus O’Sullivan reports: A Tourist Hotspot Begs Travelers to Show Some Respect

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Aren’t Cities Getting Ready for Autonomous Vehicles?

Self-driving vehicle technology may be coming, but most city leaders aren’t doing much to anticipate our robot-car future, a new study warns.

Laura Bliss

Is This the Universal Basic Income That Americans Will Buy?

A new proposal for a Universal Earned Income Tax Credit could unlock the poverty-fighting powers of no-strings-attached money.

Kriston Capps

There Are Two Types of Airport People

Some travelers love being late.

Amanda Mull

The Toxic Effects of Electronic Waste in Accra, Ghana

Sorting through used electronics is a livelihood for many in the Agbogbloshie area, but toxic e-waste poses serious health risks.

Peter Yeung

Corporations Are Getting Better at Gutting Worker Protections

Thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling, more and more companies are using forced arbitration to undermine state and local labor laws.

Kriston Capps


All Over the Map

Her father, she said, was a brilliant cartographer who was deeply committed to traditional conservative principles like free will and limited government. As a child, she said, she was schooled in those same principles, but every successive gerrymandered map he created only solidified her conviction that he had abandoned them in a quest to entrench his party in permanent control.

“He had me with the idea that we are made to be free,” she said. “And then he lost me.”

The New York Times has a wild story about the late Thomas B. Hofeller, a Republican strategist who crafted partisan political maps across the country, and how his estranged daughter discovered that he played a role in the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The Times reports that Hofeller analyzed Texas legislative districts and concluded that drawing maps based on the number of American citizens eligible to vote—instead of on total population—“would be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites,” but would require a citizenship question to make it happen. Read the full story here.

CityLab context: How Gerrymandering Limits City Power


What We’re Reading

Cities are making big climate promises. Keeping them can be tough. (NPR)

The first public schools in the U.S. will start to use facial recognition next week (BuzzFeed News)

How a city in fear brutalized the Central Park Five (New York Times)

Tesla’s electric vehicles changed the world. They’re also doomed. (Digital Trends)

Black homebuyers in Chicago lost at least $3.2 billion in today’s dollars because of predatory contracts between 1950 and 1970 (Chicago Sun Times)


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