Also today: The most popular CityLab stories of 2019.

What We’re Following

This month, San Francisco employees at the Ford-owned electric scooter company Spin voted to join Teamsters Local 665. For this emerging industry, it represented a historic milestone—the first unionization of the dockless e-scooter workforce.

It was made possible in part because of California’s new bill to protect gig workers, which will become a law on January 1. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the latest on what the union victory means for the micromobility industry—and the evolution of the gig economy: The First Scooter Company to Unionize Tests California’s Gig Work Bill


Most Popular CityLab Reads in 2019

The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

Kriston Capps

What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

Brentin Mock

Carefully, Japan Reconsiders the Trash Can

The near-absence of public garbage bins in cities like Tokyo is both a security measure and a reflection of a cultural aversion to littering.

Allan Richarz

How Bad Is It to Let Your Cat Outside?

Your adorable house cat is also a ruthless predator. A conservation biologist makes the case for keeping cats indoors, or at least on leashes.

Andrew Small

White Americans’ Hold on Wealth Is Old, Deep, and Nearly Unshakeable

White families quickly recuperated financial losses after the Civil War, and then created a Jim Crow credit system to bring more white families into money.


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About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  2. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  3. photo: Bernie Sanders
    Life

    Bernie Sanders Wins Endorsement From the Internet’s Premier Urbanist Meme-Makers

    In backing the Vermont senator, the popular Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens” is leveraging some offline political clout.

  4. Design

    Before Paris’s Modern-Day Studios, There Were Chambres de Bonne

    Tiny upper-floor “maids’ rooms” have helped drive down local assumptions about exactly how small a livable home can be.

  5. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

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