Also: How large corporations took over single-family homes, and will the Supreme Court strike down inclusionary zoning?

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.


What We’re Following

Mirror, mirror on the road: Covering blacktop with white paint to beat the heat makes intuitive sense: Dark surfaces absorb heat from sunlight, while lighter colors reflect more of that light. With plenty of asphalt to go around, Los Angeles is deploying white paint known as “cool pavement” with zeal to combat the urban heat island effect. But there’s a little problem with painting the street white: It may be reflecting heat back onto people.

(Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services)

The revelation comes from new research at UCLA that found the reflective surfaces could actually make pedestrians feel 7 degrees hotter on a typical L.A. summer day. The results, provided exclusively to CityLab in advance of their publication, are the first known real-world, empirical assessments of how cool pavements affect the human body. But they likely won’t be the last assessment. The finding hasn’t deterred L.A. from continuing the program, and there is lots more to study, from the benefits of painted roofs rather than roads, to how new trees might mitigate the pavement’s warming effect. On CityLab: The Problem With ‘Cool Pavements’: They Make People Hot

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

How Large Corporations Took Over Single-Family Homes

The Great Housing Reset has led to more than one-third of single-family homes being rentals, with a significant share controlled by large corporations.

Richard Florida

Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Inclusionary Zoning?

A Marin County lawsuit has conservatives and housing advocates preparing to face off over the constitutionality of a powerful affordable housing tool.

Kriston Capps

A Space-Strapped City Gets an Unusual Opportunity: A Brand-New Neighborhood

Faced with an unusual chance to build a brand-new neighborhood on a tract of state-owned land, leaders don’t intend to just sell it off to the highest bidder.

Hallie Golden

The Inclusive Growth Problem

Can left-behind Rust Belt cities in the U.S. catch up to booming tech hubs without magnifying local economic disparities? So far, the evidence is mixed.

Richey Piiparinen

What We’re Reading

Can better parks fight climate change? (Curbed)

Trump has been obsessed with alligator moats for 35 years (New York)

How Medellín, Colombia, reinvented itself for a sustainable future (Retro Report)

Why are cities filled with metal men on horseback? (JSTOR Daily)

People tell their stories about getting hit by cars (New York Times)

Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.

    Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

    If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

  2. Design

    How We Map Epidemics

    Cartographers are mapping the coronavirus in more sophisticated ways than past epidemics. But visualizing outbreaks dates back to cholera and yellow fever.

  3. photo: Masdar City in Abu Dhabi

    What Abu Dhabi’s City of the Future Looks Like Now

    At the UN’s World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, attendees toured Masdar City, the master-planned eco-complex designed to show off the UAE’s commitment to sustainability.

  4. photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.

    In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

    Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

  5. An aisle in a grocery store

    It's Not the Food Deserts: It's the Inequality

    A new study suggests that America’s great nutritional divide goes deeper than the problem of food access within cities.