Also: New York City unveils a next-generation trash can, and what have we done to lunch?

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What We’re Following

Map projections: If there’s one thing we know, it’s that we haven’t yet approached the limit of CityLab readers’ curiosity about maps. Part of that is because these atlases provide a way to explain the complex and sometimes ineffable features of cities—from bus lines to neighborhoods to the curiosities that hide around any corner.

Perhaps maps also draw us in because there’s nothing more personal than the feeling of a map that says, maybe not explicitly, “you are here.” That’s part of the takeaway from the reader contributions to CityLab’s series, The Maps That Make Us.

A hand-made map of an imaginary city, created by Pedro Bastos at 16 years old. (Courtesy of Pedro Bastos)

CityLab series editor Laura Bliss, and our audience team, Jessica Lee Martin and Gracie McKenzie, selected a few of the more than 100 submissions that spoke to the diversity of responses. Some wrote in about maps of bulldozed neighborhoods, essential workday plans, or fictional walking routes. Others just filled us with wonder, making us long for the sea or to learn about the paths of birds and bees. On CityLab: The Maps That Made You, Dear Readers

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

New York City Unveils a Next-Generation Trash Can

The winner of the BetterBin design competition is easier for sanitation workers to lift and deters bulk trash-dumpers. It could replace the ubiquitous green litter basket.

Linda Poon

What Have We Done to Lunch?

From the Automat to Sweetgreen Outpost, grabbing a bite during the workday has long sacrificed human contact and flavor to value and efficiency.

Sarah Holder

Why Dead Brands Live on in Japan

Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

Laura Bliss

You Can't 'Open' a Dive Bar

Hole-in-the-wall spots need time to evolve.

Naomi Tomky

What We’re Reading

You might be buying trash on Amazon—literally (Wall Street Journal)

The tax break for children, except the ones who need it most (New York Times)

Forget electric cars—e-bikes will be the top selling electric vehicle in the next decade (The Verge)

Trump’s plan to let big banks get a piece of the stadium scam (New Republic)

Among the world’s most dire places: This California homeless camp (New York Times)

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