Also: Why cities are less powerful in U.S. politics, and the wildly appealing, totally doomed future of work.

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***

What We’re Following

On the level: Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outlined a legislative package this week aimed at elevating poverty as an agenda item for the left much like she has for Medicare for All or the Green New Deal. The suite of proposals features a tenants-rights bill that would significantly expand federal housing policy.

One proposal that stands out is a national rent control doctrine that would establish a 3 percent cap on annual rent increases. Rent control already may be the most divisive housing policy for lawmakers, economists, and activists, but AOC’s proposal goes further than almost any rent control law on the books. Housing professionals say such a proposal would slam the brakes on the construction of new apartment buildings, which experts and activists alike see as critical to easing the affordability crisis. CityLab’s Kriston Capps reports: Would AOC’s National Rent Control Solve the Housing Crisis, or Make It Even Worse?

Loyal readers of CityLab, we need your help: We are looking to gather feedback on 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

Why Cities Are Less Powerful in U.S. National Politics

A new book shows the historical roots behind the concentration of left-leaning Democrats in large cities and metro areas.

Richard Florida

How an Architect Who Designs ‘Half-Houses’ Rebuilt a City

Alejandro Aravena, who helped a city recover from an earthquake and a tsunami, says participatory design is not just inclusive but “more efficient.”

Amanda Kolson Hurley

Germany Makes a National Commitment to Rescue Its Forests

“Every missing tree is a missing comrade-in-arms against climate change,” agriculture minister Julia Klöckner says.

Feargus O'Sullivan

The Wildly Appealing, Totally Doomed Future of Work

WeWork was supposed to reinvent office life. Unfortunately, it did.

Ian Bogost

How Urban Air Pollution Is Linked to Kids’ Cognitive Decline

Severe air pollution can speed up neurodegeneration when the brain is at the peak of its development—during childhood.

Amedeo D'Angiulli


Carefree Attitude

(David Montgomery/CityLab)

Going without a car isn’t just a matter of personal commitment—it depends a lot on where you live. The map above, by CityLab’s David Montgomery, shows which U.S. metros are most hospitable to living car-free. Based on an index that combines household car ownership, and the share of people who ride transit, walk, or bike to work, the wine- and rust- colored metros show where going without a car is easier, while light orange and pink show much higher dependency. Richard Florida breaks down the rankings on CityLab: The Best and Worst U.S. Places to Live Car-Free


What We’re Reading

Millennials continue to leave big cities (Wall Street Journal)

Chicago’s teachers decided this week to go on strike: Can Chicago learn anything from its past teacher walkouts? (Chalkbeat)

Mortgage lenders are shifting climate risks to borrowers, study finds (New York Times)

A Park Slope meeting about traffic calming got really weird (Streetsblog)

Venezuela is collapsing. So is its architectural heritage. (Bloomberg)


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