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Also today: Bringing Christmas back downtown, and the rise and fall of New Year’s fitness resolutions, in five charts.

What We’re Following

Love, actually? If you spent any time this week watching television holiday rom-coms, you may have noticed a pattern: The city is no place for love. CityLab’s Linda Poon explains:

You don’t have to watch many of these movies to see the bad rap that cities get. Before our protagonist (usually a single woman) gets enchanted by twinkling lights and prop Christmas trees, she must first flee the grey, cold-hearted metropolis that leaves her feeling some combination of lonely, overworked, and grumpy. And leave it to the residents of some weirdly Christmas-obsessed small town that she finds herself in for some reason—a baking contest! a secret inheritance! supernatural forces!—to teach her the True Meaning of Christmas.

What gives? Read Poon’s take: Why Do Christmas Movies Hate Cities So Much?

And enjoy a few of our favorite archive holiday links below.


More on CityLab

Last Exit to Pottersville

What the 1946 Christmas movie ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ says about small-town America in 2016.

David Dudley

Bringing Christmas Back Downtown

Shoppers once flocked to the centers of American cities during the holidays. Today, boosters are using the season to spur urban revival.

Jessica Leigh Hester

The Rise and Fall of New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, in 5 Charts

The January gym spike is real, but it drops off just a few weeks later, according to data from location and fitness apps.

Linda Poon

Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

Laura Bliss


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