Also: Inside the master plan for Sidewalk Labs’s big smart city, and where Americans really come together.

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***

What We’re Following

Pool party: Sometimes, changing people’s transportation habits takes is a little push. And if that doesn’t work, give them tacos. That’s what Waze did a few weeks ago to convince employees in a D.C. WeWork office space to try a new spin on an old idea: carpooling. Over the last few weeks, the wayfinding app has been making a concerted effort in the region to get people to try its spinoff app, Waze Carpool.

The hope is that a company that specializes in helping people find driving directions can remind us what’s great about riding together. In the process, it could take a few cars off of the road, save some gas, and ease the traffic congestion that Waze users try to avoid—something that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft have so far failed to do. But can an app persuade Americans to fill their empty seats? I gave the app a try for my latest: Can Waze Convince Commuters to Carpool Again?  

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

A Big Master Plan for Google’s Growing Smart City

Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.

Laura Bliss

McDonald’s Restaurants Are America’s Ultimate ‘Third Places’

Americans have fewer and fewer spaces to gather. That’s where nuggets come in.

Adam Chandler

The Uncertain Future of a Migrant School in Beijing

As Beijing aims to cap population growth, it must contend with outlying villages that are home to migrant workers who provide the city’s cheap labor.

Lavinia Liang

How Luxury Units Turn Into Affordable Housing

Building more high-end apartments doesn’t sound like a quick fix for the affordable housing crisis. But maybe you just have to look harder.

Nolan Gray

‘Fairbnb’ Wants to Be the Unproblematic Alternative to Airbnb

The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?

Feargus O'Sullivan


Bourdain Day

Jim Cooper/AP

It’s been just over a year since chef, writer, and television star Anthony Bourdain died, and today would have been his 62nd birthday. In honor of the Parts Unknown host, chefs Éric  Ripert and José Andrés have declaring today Bourdain Day and setting up an international culinary scholarship in his name, while restaurants across the globe toast to his memory. It’s a fitting tribute to Bourdain, who “used food as his lens to explore and unveil the intersection of human creativity, authenticity, and community,” when he traveled throughout cities around the world, as CityLab’s Richard Florida wrote last year: Urbanists Could Learn a Lot From Anthony Bourdain.


What We’re Reading

The long odds of getting Opportunity Zone capital to businesses (Next City)

Why building walkable cities is key to economic success (Curbed)

U.S. cities are joining forces to figure out what the hell to do with scooters (The Verge)

50 years of Dutch anti-car ads — in pictures (The Guardian)


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