Also: A town called Atlas keeps disappearing from Google Maps, and a pothole stunt for the ages.

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What We’re Following

Heartland soul: Many issues divide America, but few stir passions like deciding upon the boundaries of “the Midwest.” Maybe it’s an impossible task, because the Midwest isn’t just a geographic entity: It can also be a cultural identity only loosely associated with the land itself. Sure, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis are easily Midwestern, but what about Pittsburgh or Buffalo? To get to the bottom of this, CityLab data reporter and fully licensed Midwesterner David Montgomery asked readers to tell us themselves.

(David Montgomery/CityLab)

More than 12,000 people responded to a simple survey asking two questions: What zip code do you live in, and do you consider it part of the Midwest? The results so far, shown above, won’t end any debates, but do offer a picture of how the region is popularly understood. David also spoke with geographers to understand what, beyond borders, defines America’s midsection. Read: We Mapped ‘the Midwest’ for You, So Stop Arguing

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Ranking Cities By the New Urban Crisis

When cities rather than metros are measured by inequality, economic segregation, and affordability, the New Urban Crisis has surprising hits and misses.

Richard Florida

On Google Maps, a Town Called Atlas Keeps Disappearing

There’s proof that Atlas, Illinois, exists, and that I was once there. But its namesake grows more appropriate as the town declines.

Avery Gregurich

Here’s a Pothole Stunt for the Ages in New Orleans

Tired of waiting for the city to fix their street, residents of the Irish Channel neighborhood furnished their pothole and listed it as an Airbnb rental. It worked.

Laura Bliss

College Dorms Are Getting Way Too Nice. Here's Why.

Many of today’s students are living in far better-appointed accommodations than now-graying alumni did.

Joe Pinsker

How Bad Is It to Let Your Cat Outside?

Your adorable house cat is also a ruthless predator. A conservation biologist makes the case for keeping cats indoors, or at least on leashes.

Andrew Small



What We’re Reading

Trump’s China tariffs are already hitting the housing industry (Curbed)

Deaths from red-light running are at a 10-year high (NPR)

Pete Buttigieg was rising. Then came South Bend’s policing crisis (New York Times)

Uber and Lyft don’t have the right to exist (Jalopnik)

Streetsblog’s founder reflects on 20,000 posts since 2006 (Streetsblog)


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