Also: When did Spain’s high-speed rail get so good? And how Utrecht became a cycling paradise.

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What We’re Following

Vacation, all I ever wanted: Tourism campaigns have long been a way for cities to lure in outsiders by showing off what they have to offer. But what if too many people take the bait? That’s what’s happening in Vancouver this summer as the city approaches its full tourism capacity, with tour buses clogging up streets and hotels running out of rooms.

Vancouver is hardly alone here. Longstanding vacation hotspots like Venice, Amsterdam, and Barcelona have been feeling this pain for years—and they’ve even offered an instructive model for other cities. Now Vancouver and others are following their lead with a different kind of campaign, one that aims to dissuade, disperse, or delay tourists in order to keep things from getting out of control. Today on CityLab: Hit by a Tourism Boom, Cities Wonder When to Stop Self-Promotion

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

France’s Next High-Speed Trains Could Be Run by Spain

Spain’s national rail operator has quietly become a leader in Europe. Now it wants to compete with its neighbor to the north.

Feargus O'Sullivan

How Utrecht Became a Paradise for Cyclists

A new short film reveals how the Dutch city reengineered itself around the bicycle, with life- and money-saving results.

Laura Bliss

Where Gentrification Leads, School Desegregation Follows

In rapidly gentrifying areas of Queens and Brooklyn, the new population is spurring a gradual desegregation of some New York City public schools.

Kfir Mordechay and Jennifer B. Ayscue

The Last of Shanghai's Historic Shikumen Houses, in Photos

Built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, shikumen houses are barely holding on in the modern megacity.  

Claire Tran

Despite Everything, America Remains a Nation of Hot Dogs

On the Fourth of July, Americans might not have much in common, but the power of one national symbol endures.

David Dudley



What We’re Reading

Two large earthquakes rattled Los Angeles—where was the early warning? (Curbed)

The overlooked monument that marks “America’s worst road trip” turns 100 (WAMU)

ICE used facial recognition to mine state driver’s license databases (New York Times)

Justice Department changes legal team behind the 2020 census citizenship question (NPR)


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