Also: We were promised moon cities, and the future of the city is childless.
What We’re Following
Bank shot: When cities collect tax revenue, they put it into commercial banks that then decide how to make that money grow. But what if cities could make those investments by themselves—in their own communities—and control the banks that manage their money? That’s the idea behind local public banks, and a bill in California proposes letting cities give it a try.
After a Los Angeles campaign pushed for public banking that would support cannabis businesses, a coalition of 10 cities adopted the idea with an emphasis on how it could fund efforts to address affordable housing, inequality, and climate change. “The city is identifying the needs for the community, and they’re turning to the bank to finance those needs,” says one of the legal architects of the legislation. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the story: Could Public Banks Help California Fund Affordable Housing?
More on CityLab
Maybe you’ve visited your local zoo a hundred times, but have you ever looked at the buildings instead of the animals? A new book by architecture professor Natascha Meuser chronicles zoo design and the institutions’ transformation from “a living collection of game trophies, to a museum of live exhibits, to a theme park with a moral mission.” The book explores the ever-shifting relationship between humans and wildlife, and the connection between zoo architecture and the natural environment. On CityLab: What Zoo Design Reveals About Human Attitudes to Nature
What We’re Reading
Climate mayors ask Congress for swifter transportation action (Curbed)
A brutal heat wave is descending on the U.S.—and blackouts may ensue (Slate)
Opioid deaths soared where pain pills flowed (Washington Post)