Also: A solution for empty churches, and a tip for buying your first home.

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What We’re Following

Electric avenue: There’s a new scooter on the street, and it aims to bring some order to the often chaotic world of micromobility. Rentable electric motor scooters—think Vespa, not Razor—recently arrived in Washington, D.C., after rolling out in San Francisco, Atlanta, and parts of New York. Even in a hotbed of shared-mobility experimentation, these vehicles can offer up something new: They’re more tightly regulated and officially legitimized than the little electric kick-scooters now littering so many urban sidewalks, and they manage to offer some of the benefits of driving a car alongside some of the benefits of riding a bike.

Their main hurdle might be the fact that motor scooters represent an unfamiliar mode to many Americans. Lots of first-time users are likely to be bicycle and e-scooter riders who can use some training in how to operate these machines in an urban setting. Revel, the first company to launch in D.C.’s four-month pilot, offers free lessons, but after some joyrides on these new two-wheelers, I realized I needed to unlearn some of my bike-brain reflexes. I spoke with a motorcycle instructor about how to acquire the road habits to ride safely. Read my piece on CityLab: How to Survive Your First Electric Motor Scooter Ride

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

One Solution for America’s Empty Churches: a Change of Faith

On Buffalo’s East Side, long-vacant churches are finding new uses as mosques and temples. But faith-to-faith conversions can be controversial.

Ashima Krishna

Where There Be Dragons, I Saw My Childhood

Growing up amid the political conflict in Northern Ireland, a 16th-century map that blended real and mythical monsters spoke to my fears and fascinations.

Darran Anderson

The Kennedy Center’s ‘Reach’ Expansion Is a Beautiful Maze

The new addition to D.C.’s performing-arts behemoth strives to create a sense of lightness, movement, and intimacy—qualities that the original building lacks.

Kriston Capps

‘Storm Area 51’ Could Be a Disaster for Lincoln County

The Facebook event may have started in jest, but local officials are bracing for mayhem.

Jacob Stern

Buying Your First Home? A Look at 20-Year Trends

There are fewer people buying a first-home these days, but of those entering the real estate market, more are unmarried, Asian, or Hispanic.  

Linda Poon


Equal Measures

As the back-to-the-city movement brought more affluent populations back to urban centers, it also deepened economic inequality in cities. In the final part of a series on the economic performance of America’s cities, CityLab’s Richard Florida looks at how U.S. cities score when measured by inequality, economic segregation, and affordability: Ranking Cities by the New Urban Crisis


What We’re Reading

White House prepares to revoke California’s right to set tougher pollution rules (New York Times)

DMVs are selling your data to private investigators (Vice)

WeWork might be worth just half of its former $47 billion valuation (Vox)

Trump administration plan for home loans rattles watchdogs (NPR)

How lagging late-night transit harms vulnerable workers (Curbed)


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