Also: Ride-hailing cars are turning into high-tech billboards, and Berlin wants to freeze rents for 5 years.

What We’re Following

Rise and shine: Fawn Lake, a gated community surrounded by sparkling lakes and rolling fields near the historic Civil War battlefields of Spotsylvania, Virginia, has a new neighbor: a solar power plant with 1.8 million panels. And residents nearby aren’t happy about it, with arguments against the solar facility ranging from forest destruction, to fire risks, to damaging Spotsylvania’s historic character.

As the renewable energy market expands, so has the opportunity for “solar NIMBYism.” While the American public increasingly supports green energy, all kinds of communities have their own reasons to say “not in my backyard” to the actual facilities that generate the power. CityLab’s Linda Poon looks at the rationales behind the resistance: When Residents Support Solar—Just ‘Not in My Backyard’

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

Ride-Hailing Cars Are Turning Into High-Tech Digital Billboards

A startup called Firefly puts sensor-equipped advertising screens on top of Uber and Lyft vehicles. Now they do more than marketing: They collect data.

Sarah Holder

How AI Could Change the Highly-Skilled Job Market

A new study uses artificial intelligence to find that jobs done by highly skilled workers are the most likely to be affected by AI.

Richard Florida

Berlin Wants to Freeze Rents for 5 Years. Can It Really Do That?

The German capital is about to begin a groundbreaking rental law, but looming legal challenges and new revelations cast doubt on whether it’s possible at all.

Feargus O'Sullivan

How Strong Social Bonds Help Communities Cope With Disaster

As climate change makes disasters more severe, researchers say we can prepare by being informed, volunteering, and staying socially connected.

Nicole Wetsman

What We’re Reading

A new housing development in Tempe, Arizona, won’t allow residents to bring cars (Curbed)

Feds pin Uber self-driving crash on human operator, call for better rules (Wired)

Homeless advocates worry official’s firing means a change in Trump strategy (NPR)

Former Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh charged with 11 counts of fraud, tax evasion in “Healthy Holly” scandal  (Baltimore Sun)

With paper monuments, New Orleanians draft the city’s history themselves (Next City)

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. Perspective

    Coronavirus Reveals Transit’s True Mission

    Now more than ever, public transportation is not just about ridership. Buses, trains, and subways make urban civilization possible.

  2. Coronavirus

    The Post-Pandemic Urban Future Is Already Here

    The coronavirus crisis stands to dramatically reshape cities around the world. But the biggest revolutions in urban space may have begun before the pandemic.

  3. A pedestrian wearing a protective face mask walks past a boarded up building in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Governors from coast to coast Friday told Americans not to leave home except for dire circumstances and ordered nonessential business to shut their doors.

    The Geography of Coronavirus

    What do we know so far about the types of places that are more susceptible to the spread of Covid-19? In the U.S., density is just the beginning of the story.

  4. photo: San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency employees turn an empty cable car in San Francisco on March 4.

    As Coronavirus Quiets Streets, Some Cities Speed Road and Transit Fixes

    With cities in lockdown and workplaces closed, the big drop in traffic and transit riders allows road repair and construction projects to rush forward.

  5. Traffic-free Times Square in New York City

    Mapping How Cities Are Reclaiming Street Space

    To help get essential workers around, cities are revising traffic patterns, suspending public transit fares, and making more room for bikes and pedestrians.