Also: Vulnerable and unprepared for climate change, and the problem with Amazon’s cheap gas stunt.

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

Square the circle: At the end of July, the mobile payment company Square announced it would be investing in a new space and a significantly larger workforce in downtown St. Louis, where company founders Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey grew up. As the company signed a 15-year lease in a building that used to house the city’s last daily newspaper, it made another commitment: a promise to fund the demolition of vacant houses.

Dorsey is injecting half a million dollars into the St. Louis Blight Authority, a private group that will help the city demolish some of its 7,000 vacant buildings. But the demolitions are concentrated on the north side, where almost all the residents are black. Meanwhile, development incentives are being funneled to wealthier and whiter neighborhoods. “The effect of St. Louis’ efforts will increase the value of central city neighborhoods while demolishing and depreciating the north side,” writes Michael Allen, a lecturer in urban design at Washington University in St. Louis. Read his perspective on CityLab: Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Climate Change Readiness: Cities Most at Risk Are the Least Prepared

New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

Brentin Mock

The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

Laura Bliss

Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

Linda Poon

How HUD Could Dismantle a Pillar of Civil Rights Law

The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to revise the “disparate impact” rule, which could fundamentally reshape federal fair housing enforcement.  

Kriston Capps

Are Small Businesses Really Fleeing New York? This Tool Can Tell.

A first-of-its-kind law will give the city data on small businesses fleeing the city as retail rents skyrocket. But skeptics fear that won’t be enough.

John Surico



What We’re Reading

Daniel Pantaleo, the NYPD officer who held Eric Garner in a chokehold, is fired (New York Times)

The terrorized Mississippi towns that ICE left behind (Slate)

Amid a homelessness crisis, Los Angeles restricts living in vehicles (NPR)

Welcome to Housing Twitter, the shoutiest debate on the internet (Fast Company)

Nipsey Hussle understood cities better than you (Streetsblog)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: Helsinki's national library
    Design

    How Helsinki Built ‘Book Heaven’

    Finland’s most ambitious library has a lofty mission, says Helsinki’s Tommi Laitio: It’s a kind of monument to the Nordic model of civic engagement.

  2. Tourists walk on raised platforms during a period of seasonal high water in Venice in February 2015.
    Environment

    Will a Huge New Flood Barrier Save Venice?

    Finally, construction is finishing on the delayed barrier to protect the city from high tides. But how well will it actually work?

  3. photo: Interstate 70 near Odessa, Mo.
    Transportation

    In the Trump Era, Transportation Funding Is Simple: Build Roads

    Under Trump, an Obama-era transportation grant program designed to fund innovative multi-modal projects became a rural highway-building machine.

  4. Three men wearing suits raise shovels full of dirt in front of an American flag.
    Equity

    How Cities and States Can Stop the Incentive Madness

    Economist Timothy Bartik explains why the public costs of tax incentives often outweigh the benefits, and describes a model business-incentive package.

  5. Design

    How Advertising Conquered Urban Space

    In cities around the world, advertising is everywhere. We may try to shut it out, but it reflects who we are (or want to be) and connects us to the urban past.

×