Also: How socially integrated is your city? And when a transit agency becomes a suburban developer.

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What We’re Following

Moving Skid Row: Senior Trump administration officials are visiting Los Angeles this week as part of the president’s mission to intervene in California’s homelessness crisis. As officials discuss relocating some hundreds or thousands of unhoused people living on Skid Row, federal officials have already reportedly toured a facility where they might shelter (or detain) people: the former West Coast headquarters of the Federal Aviation Administration, located 20 miles away in Hawthorne, California, also known as the Hawthorne Federal Building.

Hawthorne Federal Building, designed by Cesár Pelli. (Google Maps)

Repurposing federal properties to shelter the homeless isn’t a new idea. Federal law requires the government to give nonprofit groups, charities, or local housing agencies access to unused properties, free of charge. In fact, two Los Angeles nonprofits asked to use the Hawthorne Federal Building back in 2016 and 2017, and they were denied. It’s unclear under what authority the Trump administration could relocate unhoused people to the facility—or why it could not be used by local providers to serve the same needs. Kriston Capps has the story: The Trump Administration Wants to Relocate Skid Row to This Federal Building

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How Socially Integrated Is Your City? Ask Twitter.

Using geotagged tweets, researchers found four types of social connectedness in big U.S. cities, exemplified by New York, San Francisco, Detroit, and Miami.

Richard Florida

When a Transit Agency Becomes a Suburban Developer

The largest transit agency in the U.S. is building a mixed-use development next to a commuter rail station north of Manhattan.

John Surico

Boston Saved $5 Million by Routing School Buses with an Algorithm

With 25,000 students and the nation’s highest transportation costs, the Boston Public School District needed a better way to get kids to class.

Emma Coleman

What Is Loitering, Really?

America’s laws against lingering have roots in Medieval and Elizabethan England. Since 1342, the goal has always been to keep anyone “out of place” away.

Ariel Aberg-Riger


Mayors’ Approval

Nearly 60 current and former mayors endorsed South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg for president, declaring their support in an op-ed in USA Today. The endorsement praises Buttigieg, whose support among Democratic primary voters has hovered around 7 percent in national polls, as a role model for the country who puts “practical solutions over partisan ideology.”

“For mayors, politics isn’t a blood sport,” they wrote. “Our residents expect electricity when they flip the switch, clean water from their taps and trash picked up regularly. It would be unthinkable for a mayor like Pete to shut down the government because of a petty ideological disagreement.”

CityLab context: Why Mayors Are Running


What We’re Reading

Kamala Harris’s brother-in-law is the public face of Uber’s labor fight. It’s awkward. (Los Angeles Times)

The truth about RVs: when vanlife breaks down (Curbed)

A watchdog lawsuit alleges housing companies use Facebook’s ad system to discriminate against older people (Washington Post)

The best architecture of the 21st century (The Guardian)

Inside Silicon Valley’s big split from Democrats (New York)


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