Also: Lyft adds public transit info to its app, and Trump’s “public charge” rule is facing legal challenges.

What We’re Following

Cranes in the sky: Reaching hundreds of feet into the sky and dangling over city streets, cranes should be pretty hard to miss. But spotting one in the wild can be a bit like spotting its avian homonym: You have to watch the skies. In some cities, a skyline full of construction equipment has become synonymous with change and displacement. And residents study the cranes like tea leaves.

But they can be a flawed measure of “neighborhood change"—the construction booms they represent could be exacerbating an affordability crisis, or easing one. CityLab’s Sarah Holder went out in San Francisco with one of the construction project managers behind the bi-annual Crane Count that tallies these towering tools. Read her story: What I Learned Counting Cranes in San Francisco.

Loyal readers of CityLab, we need your help: We are looking to gather feedback on our some of our journalism—what you like, what stands out, what you want more of. Let us know if you are interested in participating in upcoming research by answering a few questions here.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Lyft’s New App Features Real-Time Public Transit Info

Like its rival Uber, the ride-hailing company wants to be a one-stop mobility shop that integrates buses, trains, subways, and scooters.

Laura Bliss

Women’s History Sites Are Competing in a Preservation Playoff

The sites that get the most votes will win a total of $2 million from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.

Sarah Holder

How Paris Hopes to Build an E-Bike Boom

The French capital region just launched a bikeshare program for electric bicycles, and now it wants to help people buy e-bikes of their own.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Trump's ‘Public Charge’ Rule Change Is Facing Legal Challenges

Immigrants hope legal challenges will prevail but continue to prepare for October 15, when the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule changes take effect.

Amir Khafagy

This Lawyer Fought Housing Segregation. Now Wealthy Suburbanites Want to Fire His Firm.

Westport is the second Connecticut town this year to pressure one of the state’s leading law firms to abandon its affordable housing work—or risk losing the local school system as a client.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas


Strokes of Genius

A rendering of a memorial garden at the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, by MacArthur fellow Walter Hood. (Hood Design Studios)

The MacArthur Foundation announced its 26 “genius” fellowship grant recipients today. Although the awards tend to recognize people who are not yet household names, some of the winners may be familiar to CityLab readers.

Brentin Mock spoke with landscape designer Walter Hood in 2017 about designing the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Last year, former CityLab fellow Teresa Mathew reviewed a show by conceptual artist Mel Chin at the Queens Museum that put a spotlight on community chaos, and CityLab’s Kriston Capps also interviewed Chin for Architect magazine in 2011 about his project that used children’s drawings to raise money for combatting lead soil contamination in New Orleans.


What We’re Reading

Will luxury towers edge out the last of the working-class Chinese residents in New York’s Chinatown? (Vox)

An effort to punish China could slow the roll of electric buses (Wired)

How a Green New Deal would change our homes (Curbed)

After 15 years, Seattle’s radical experiment in no-barrier housing is still saving lives (Crosscut)


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