Also: The dream of “universal rent control,” and Chernobyl doesn’t have an Instagram problem.
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What We’re Following
Hard case: One of the honors of working in city government is that the job is close to members of the public. But it’s also part of the risk, especially in the wake of acts of violence that target city workers. After the mass shooting at a Virginia Beach municipal complex, where a coworker killed 12 people, city leaders are grappling with how to make these very public workplaces more secure.
Providing extensive safety features can be costly for cash-strapped cities, and their effectiveness can seem murky given how statistically rare these attacks are. There’s also the concern that locking down city buildings undermines their democratic purpose. “I want people to be able to walk into my office and sit down and [tell me] about their headaches and heartaches,” one city manager tells CityLab’s Laura Bliss. “I also need to make sure we’re not putting ourselves at undue risk.” Read her story here: The Hard Questions About Staying Safe in City Hall
More on CityLab
Don’t miss CityLab senior editor Amanda Kolson Hurley on the latest episode of Nice Try!, a podcast from Curbed that’s examining attempts at utopian placemaking. The show looks at the promise of America's postwar suburbs as exemplified by Levittown, and how they failed to integrate. Amanda discusses the Philadelphia suburb of Concord Park, which aimed to create a more racially inclusive version of the suburbs. It’s is one of the communities featured in her new book, Radical Suburbs, which you can read an excerpt of here.
What We’re Reading
How activists became “accidental planners” in Berlin (Places Journal)
Cities’ climate change plans are wildly underestimating emissions (Curbed)
In New York City, Uber and Lyft drivers now make an average of $16 per trip (BuzzFeed News)
He tried to plug a wasp nest and ended up starting California’s biggest wildfire (New York Times)
Presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s nonprofit tried to transform cities with startups (Recode)