astudio/Shutterstock

Also: It’s time to stop copying the High Line, and the FCC’s confusing attempt to change a local law.

What We’re Following

A/C 360°: People love to fight about the social and environmental consequences of staying cool indoors. Air conditioning gets a bad rap as an energy hog, but it may not be the villain it’s sometimes made out to be. In fact, heating actually makes up most of America’s energy use for controlling indoor temperatures: The United States uses four times as much energy heating homes as it does cooling them.

Part of that is just a matter of having many cities that are relatively far north, but even warm-weather American cities spend considerably more energy on heating than cooling. The heating-cooling gap is shrinking, however, as warmer states have added population faster than cooler states in recent decades. Still, the biggest fight over air conditioning isn’t whether to have it, but how to set it. CityLab data reporter David Montgomery has the numbers on America’s air conditioning habits. Read: 8 Charts on How Americans Use Air Conditioning

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

London’s ‘Tide’ Is Public-Space Design at a Low Ebb

London’s newest destination, on North Greenwich Peninsula, shows why it’s time to stop copying New York City’s High Line.

Feargus O'Sullivan

How a California Bill Could Affect Gig Work, Uber, Lyft, and Drivers

Supporters and foes of California’s AB5 marched on the capitol this week over the bill that could transform the business model for Uber, Lyft, and drivers.

Sarah Holder

The FCC’s Confusing Attempt to Change a San Francisco Law

The city found a novel way to give residents access to more broadband internet providers. Federal regulators just partly blocked it, but it’s not clear how.

Alisha Green

‘Reading the City’ Helps Travelers Find Books About Their Destinations

If guidebooks aren’t your thing, check out these stories to learn about the cities you’re visiting next.

Linda Poon

The Sheriff Who’s Defying ICE

Garry McFadden of North Carolina’s Mecklenburg County pledged to limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. But honoring that promise hasn’t been easy.

David A. Graham



What We’re Reading

How cities and immigrants drove the controversy about the 1920 census (NPR)

Amazon HQ2 is upending Northern Virginia’s already unstable housing market (New York Times)

New Orleans braces for the dual threat of flooding and hurricanes (New Republic)

How are small farms surviving? Airbnb. (Vox)

Don’t count on regulators to make self-driving cars safe for pedestrians (Slate)


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