Also: Why Kansas City’s free transit experiment matters, and how Friday the 13th could actually be a lucky day.

What We’re Following

Wing it: Anyone working in a glass skyscraper will likely recognize that unmistakable thud that comes from birds flying full speed at a window. That’s especially true in New York City, where each year up to 230,000 birds collide with buildings, and many die as a result, according to estimates from New York City Audubon. But this week, the city council passed a bill to update the building code, requiring more bird-friendly design on exteriors below 75 feet.

The problem architects need to solve for is getting birds to see buildings as actual obstacles, since birds have not evolved to gain sufficient depth perception. But adapting buildings is pretty simple: The bill advises architects to place design patterns on windows or netting around buildings. CityLab’s Linda Poon has the story: New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Kansas City’s Free Transit Experiment Matters

The Missouri city is the first major one in the U.S. to offer no-cost public transportation. Will a boost in subsidized mobility pay off with economic benefits?

Laura Bliss

The Right to Eviction Counsel Is Gaining Momentum

As New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expands tenant protections, a pair of U.S. senators introduce the Eviction Crisis Act to help renters get legal help.

Kriston Capps

New York Just Set a ‘Dangerous Precedent’ on Algorithms, Experts Warn

NYC’s task force on algorithms was supposed to be a beacon of transparent government. It couldn’t even gain access to basic information.

Kate Kaye

How Friday the 13th Could Actually Be a Lucky Day

Our fears end up translating into safer roads and cheaper flights.

Aria Bendix



What We’re Reading

Why people are freezing in America’s prisons (Vox)

Many renters who face eviction owe less than $600 (New York Times)

Seattle joins the rush to slow down traffic on city streets (Wired)

In cities across America, the fight for curb space heats up during the holidays (Wall Street Journal)

The trailer for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights suggests it’s right on time (Slate)


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