Also: Berlin’s take on a high-end smart city, and remembering the city boosters of the 19th century.
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What We’re Following
Troubled waters: As climate change threatens heavier rainfalls and worse flooding in urban areas, many cities are getting serious about their climate action plans. But when basements flood, residents tend to place their blame on the city, not the climate. That’s what researcher Christine Carmichael found as she surveyed flood victims in Detroit: Residents told her the flooding was caused by what the government wasn’t doing, like fixing the drainage or modernizing the sewer system. Sometimes the government even blamed the floods on homeowners.
This happened as the city poured millions into climate mitigation projects like rain gardens and solar arrays. As residents stared at the water flooding their backyards, Carmichael found they were skeptical of those efforts because they didn’t trust the officials who said they wanted to solve the crisis. The research points to the ways climate plans can suffer if cities haven’t dealt with the infrastructure problems that are already afflicting residents regularly. CityLab’s Brentin Mock reports: Why Flood Victims Blame Their City, Not the Climate
More on CityLab
In yesterday’s newsletter, we shared the news about nearly 60 mayors and former mayors endorsing South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg’s candidacy for president. Last night on the Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a gut check on that number. “Sixty mayors! Wow, that’s a lot... or not very many?” he asked. “Depends on what the total number of mayors is!” Well, Colbert’s team looked into it and found that in the United States, there are somewhere between 1,400 and 20,000 mayors, “if you count honorary animal mayors.”
From the CityLab archives: Meet San Francisco’s Newest Mayor, Who is a Dog
What We’re Reading
Trump wants San Francisco to get an environmental violation for homelessness (New York Times)
Ten trends that will shape real estate in 2020 (Curbed)
Chicago city council announces a package of reforms to parking fines and fees (ProPublica)