Also: What should a “smart city” look like, and can park design deter crime?
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What We’re Following
Day in court: The Supreme Court handed down two decisions today that could shape the political power of local governments going forward into 2020 and beyond.
On the question of partisan gerrymandering, the court ruled 5-4 against a challenge to congressional districts that were drawn to favor the party in power, with cases brought against Republicans in North Carolina and Democrats in Maryland. While the Supreme Court has previously ruled against racial gerrymandering, Chief Justice John Roberts concluded that redistricting for partisan advantage “presents political questions beyond the reach of the federal courts.” (NYT) CityLab context: How gerrymandering limits city power
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is asking a lower court to reconsider the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Again, Roberts wrote the majority opinion, saying the White House’s reason for adding the question was “contrived,” without ruling out the possibility of a better justification (WaPo). That puts the Commerce Department, which handles the census, up against a very tight deadline to produce a legitimate rationale for a citizenship question. Experts say such a question could result in an undercount of more than 8 million people. CityLab context: Three-quarters of Americans think a citizenship question would yield a Census miscount
More on CityLab
What We’re Reading
College students want Uber parking (New York Times)
A working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia struggles to repair the damage from postwar urban renewal (Places Journal)
Rendezvous with density: Will upzoning make housing more affordable? (Governing)
Minneapolis may ban drive-throughs (Next City)