Also: California’s electricity future is in flux, and more dispatches from CityLab DC.

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What We’re Following

Ode to joy: If there’s one thing you might know about Vienna, Austria, beyond classical music, it’s that the city of nearly two million people perennially tops the livability rankings of cities around the globe. At this year’s CityLab DC conference, Maria Vassilakou, the city’s former deputy mayor, led her comments with that familiar ode to her city’s quality of life. “A livable city is a city where people live because they want to, not because they have to,” Vassilakou said.

But building a “livable” city means flexing your municipal muscles. In her presentation, Vassilakou described how efforts to build social housing, fund public transit, and pedestrianize streets were key to making the “already-storybook-like” capital even more idyllic. CityLab’s David Dudley has the notes from Vassilakou’s livability greatest hits show. On CityLab: How Did Vienna Get So Livable?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

As California Burns, Its Electricity Future Is in Flux

A fresh round of wind-fanned wildfires and planned power outages is darkening the fate of Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest electric power utility.

Laura Bliss

What Atlanta Learned From a Crippling Cyberattack

Atlanta’s chief information officer explains why it’s better to spend millions recovering city computer systems from a cyberattack than to pay ransom.

Adam Sneed

The Fight Against Gun Violence Depends on Where You Live

In the face of federal inaction, mayors are increasingly trying gun policies that are tailored to their geography.

Kriston Capps

Want Better Streets? Just Add Paint.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Asphalt Art Initiative wants to bring a boost of color to the streets of America’s small and mid-size cities.

Andrew Small

Amazon Is Building a Homeless Shelter in Seattle

Will the center for unsheltered families that Amazon is building in a corporate property help counter criticism that the company fuels the city’s homelessness?

Hallie Golden



What We’re Reading

Here’s why Halloween is the deadliest day of the year for child pedestrians (Washington Post)

A taco truck served lunch to ICE workers, prompting a backlash (New York Times)

Why Salt Lake County mayor Jenny Wilson used only mass transit for a week (KSL)

How climate change creates a “new abnormal” for the real estate market (Curbed)

The superblock revolution is making cities cleaner and safer (Bloomberg)


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