Also: Amsterdam will make downtown driving (even) harder, and what climate change could do to cities’ power to borrow money.
What We’re Following
Home court: The Supreme Court is in session starting today, and in addition to the many hot-button issues already on the docket, this term may also test the constitutionality of a powerful affordable housing tool. Property developer plaintiffs have asked the highest U.S. Court to hear Dartmond Cherk, et al. v. Marin County, California, which could mean a definitive ruling on inclusionary zoning.
Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, the wealthy enclave of Marin County has long been at the forefront of efforts to stop new construction, with opposition to almost any new housing resulting in the highest racial disparities of any county in California. But in this case, the county has a law on the books that requires paying a fee to produce affordable housing, which the Supreme Court could use as a wedge to reshape property rights. “In a twist, Marin County’s extraordinary commitment to NIMBYism may wind up helping the Roberts Court land a haymaker against progressive policies,” writes CityLab’s Kriston Capps. Read his story: Will the Supreme Court Strike Down Inclusionary Zoning?
More on CityLab
For two years, the Myanmar refugee crisis has made the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh home to more than 600,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees. With the crisis showing no sign of abating, aid and relief organizations are finding new ways to manage the long-term needs of the most populous refugee camp in the world.
But the ad-hoc city is still fundamentally temporary. With the Bangladeshi government having banned the construction of permanent housing, one camp is piloting a design for a bamboo shelter, shown in the photo above. It uses a steel frame that can be quickly disassembled and moved, and which could theoretically move with the refugees when they return home. On CityLab: The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Is Becoming a Real City
What We’re Reading
City leaders are off to Copenhagen this week for the C40 climate summit (Curbed)
A glimmer of hope as ridership rebounds for transit systems (Washington Post)
Renters only: These new homes aren’t for sale (NPR)
Transportation secretary Elaine Chao favored Kentuckians in meeting with officials seeking grants (Politico)
What a fight over the local library in rural Arkansas taught me about my neighbors’ go-it-alone mythology (New York Times)