Also: How Ian McHarg taught generations to “Design With Nature,” and what self-driving cars mean for airlines.

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What We’re Following

Cool it down: Can communal living cool down a hot rental market? In downtown San Jose, California, an 18-story building is set to be the biggest attempt at a co-living mega-dorm ever conceived. It’s in a city that tops the lists of highest-value housing markets and highest-income earners, with average rents reaching $2,700. The hope is that this project takes a step toward making a more affordable city, and that Millennial living preferences can help it get there.

The San Jose city council even created a whole new zoning category—“co-living”—for the development. With construction set to start this fall, it’s another example of how the Silicon Valley city’s approach to housing has been, by necessity, “try anything.” “We struggle so greatly just to get a shovel in the ground to get housing in the city,” says San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “The fact that the developer had found an approach that could get housing built was a good enough signal to me that we should get any obstacles out of the way.” CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the story: The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How Ian McHarg Taught Generations to ‘Design With Nature’

Fifty years ago, a Scottish landscape architect revolutionized how designers and planners think about ecology. His legacy matters now more than ever.

W. Fleming, F. Steiner, W. Whitaker, K. M'Closkey, R. Weller

How Self-Driving Cars Could Disrupt the Airline Industry

If and when it arrives, autonomous vehicle technology is likely to encourage more travelers to skip the hassle of flying.

Scott Winter and Stephen Rice

A Designer’s Airport for the Jet Age

As this 1958 Charles and Ray Eames film shows, Dulles was truly designed for modern air travel.

Mark Byrnes

U.S. Cities Are Seeing a Big Drop in Tourism From China

Travel from China to the U.S. fell for the first time in over a decade. That could mean money lost for big cities as well as smaller places near national parks.

Linda Poon

Why Cory Booker Is Focusing on Affordable Housing

A monthly tax credit for low-income renters and a “baby bond” program to help first-time homebuyers are part of the presidential hopeful’s list of proposals.

Kriston Capps


Little Red Riding Cap

“If you tried to ride with the Red Caps, they would just take off and leave you. And then they’d come back and smoke a blunt on the park bench. If you somehow made it back, they’d laugh at you: ‘Who’s this guy, trying to ride with us?’”

In the 1970s, cycling groups for people of color were rare. But halfway through the decade, two New York cycling groups, the Red Caps in Brooklyn and L & M in Manhattan, came along and put predominantly black riding groups on the map. The Red Caps still meet at the entrance of Prospect Park, where they start rides that can last for 100 miles or more. The pioneering peloton, whose ranks include seasoned and upcoming Olympic cyclists, may be getting a little bit older, but their competitive trips are still fierce. The New York Times has the story: Why This Black Cycling Group Made History

CityLab context: The biking community is overwhelmingly concerned with infrastructure. Is that an equity problem?


What We’re Reading

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao created a special path for Mitch McConnell’s favored projects (Politico)

Homelessness is a crisis in California. Why are 2020 candidates mostly ignoring it? (Los Angeles Times)

Where is the world’s rainiest city? (The Guardian)

Blight is eating American cities. Here’s how Mobile, Alabama, stopped it. (Fast Company)

Video: The case for wooden skyscrapers (Grist)


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