Also: Where the creative class is growing, and when “big plans” could change the world.
Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.
What We’re Following
Grid lock: Density can define how a city looks, feels, and functions. It’s also a characteristic that tends to get painted in broad strokes. Most discussions of density focus on a single number that represents how many people live in a given area. But that inevitably misses nuances on the ground: What if there’s uninhabited water, mountains, or deserts, and what about airport tarmacs, railroad yards, or central business districts where few people live?
For a more fine-grained look, geographer Garrett Dash Nelson offers up a new visualization that maps density by square kilometer. The result reveals how much density can vary within cities and neighborhoods, and sheds light on where people are living in close quarters, or where other factors are at play. Today on CityLab: What Micro-Mapping a City’s Density Reveals
More on CityLab
Grand plans shaped America’s cities in the late 1800s and early 1900s, giving rise to the related fields of urban planning and landscape architecture. A new exhibition at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum recounts the story of large-scale civic improvement in New York, Boston, and Chicago, with maps, renderings, and photographs from a period when America trusted in urban design to ameliorate pressing social problems. Today on CityLab: When ‘Big Plans’ Could Change the World
What We’re Reading
Cory Booker wants to block the use of Census citizenship data to draw voting districts (NPR)
Who’s using license plate cameras to track cars? Cops, landlords, and your neighbors (Slate)
How trees can provide immediate urban climate action (Curbed)