Also: Why Jakarta doesn’t walk, and real-time traffic control spooks mobility experts.

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What We’re Following

Build me up: Tuesday night’s Democratic debate featured a precious few moments of talk about rebuilding the country’s infrastructure. Anyone on alert for the subject got a taste from Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who called infrastructure “a bread and butter issue for people that are caught in traffic jams.” Self-help author Marianne Williamson pointed to an issue of national urgency that’s about more than fixing broken pavement and lead-leaching pipes. “We need to say it like it is: It’s bigger than Flint.” But, like other recent attempts to focus attention on infrastructure, the discussion was quickly overshadowed.

Will things be any different in round two? New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s appearing on stage tonight, is today introducing an infrastructure spending and building bill called the “Build Local, Hire Local Act.” With an eye toward job creation and local input, the legislation explicitly acknowledges the history of federal projects inflicting harm on low-income communities. The bill would give local residents a leg up in hiring for infrastructure projects, paying special attention to small businesses and members of marginalized communities. If Gillibrand talks up her plan tonight, look for others to tout the common theme that runs through many of their platforms: pairing progressive values with urgent local needs. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the details: Can the Democratic Candidates Build a Better Infrastructure Plan?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Trump Wants to Police Black Cities

The president’s Twitter attack on Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings reflects a law-and-order manifesto with a long history.

Brentin Mock

Why Jakarta Doesn’t Walk

Traffic, smog, and lack of sidewalks make the Indonesian megacity hard on pedestrians. But foot-friendly infrastructure is finally coming.

Laura Bliss

The World’s Population Will Stop Growing in 80 Years

When that happens, there are going to be a lot more old people, plus emotional and economic consequences to deal with.

Joe Pinsker

Why Real-Time Traffic Control Has Mobility Experts Spooked

A plan to develop a data standard for technology that could monitor and manage various mobility services has raised privacy fears.  

Laura Bliss



What We’re Reading

In Baltimore, Ben Carson defends Trump’s harsh depiction of the city (Washington Post)

San Francisco voters rank their candidates. It’s made their politics a little less nasty. (Vox)

South Bend’s comeback story has a different ending depending on who’s telling it (US News & World Report)

How opioid painkillers became big business in a Philadelphia neighborhood already ravaged by drugs (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Why cities should pay attention to a new bill to rein in private equity (Next City)


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