Also: Nashville can’t quit country, and how Democrats conquered the city.

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What We’re Following

Revved up: No matter if it’s online, on the road, or in a public meeting, there’s something about electric scooters that really gets people going. The tiny two-wheelers are widely criticized for cluttering sidewalks and posing a safety hazard for both riders and the people around them. At the core of these complaints, though, is the simple fact that there’s something different about scooters. Their unfamiliar shape, and the unfamiliar ways they move around cities, cause stress for pedestrians and other road users.

The e-scooter’s reputation for sowing chaos has led some cites to issue rules and bans on dockless scooter-sharing services. But the pushback is striking when compared with the generally warmer public attitude toward ride-hailing services, another new form of mobility that has brought arguably more challenges to city streets. Today on CityLab, David Zipper argues that the hostility toward scooters has relatively simple roots, and that local leaders should play a bigger role in helping people understand the true effects of new mobility technologies. Read his perspective: Why Do City Dwellers Love to Hate Scooters?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Nashville Can't Quit Country Music

A historian on the Ken Burns documentary Country Music explains why the Tennessee capital’s bond with country music endures, even as the city has boomed.

Lee Gardner

East Harlem Hasn’t Gotten Its Subway Yet, But It Is Getting Vibrant Art

As East Harlem waits for the Trump Administration to fund the Second Avenue subway, the Uptown GrandScale Mural Project is changing blight to beauty.

Rebecca Bellan

How Democrats Conquered the City

The 150-year history of how a once-rural party became synonymous with density.

Derek Thompson

Mapping the Monsters of a Northern Irish 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

Whither the School Librarian?

As school districts cut budgets, librarians’ jobs are dwindling and changing dramatically. What does that mean for students?

Hallie Golden


Compass Rose

Map: Beautiful Earth. Graphic: Madison McVeigh/CityLab

Thomas Dai gave his boyfriend Liam three maps for his birthday—one for each of the cities they had lived in as a couple: Tucson, Chengdu, and Providence. Left to right, the maps tell a story of how their relationship developed over time and space. But now, as Liam sets off for the Peace Corps in Nepal, their love story is heading into uncharted territory. “How do you make up a legend or fix a compass rose to a love happening in two places at once?” Dai asks. Read the latest entry in our The Maps That Make Us series: An International Love Story, in Three Maps

Today is the last day to submit a mini-essay about a memorable map in your life for our The Maps That Make Us series. Read more about what we’re looking for and send us your brief map story here.


What We’re Reading

The case for raising kids in the city (Vox)

Bernie Sanders previews his affordable housing plan (New York Times)

Neighboring schools, worlds apart (Boston Globe)

Beto O’Rourke looks to reactivate suburban strength in Texas (Texas Tribune)

‘Overtourism’ and the curse of cruise ships (The Guardian)


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