Also: The book that captured Paris in the mid-1970s, and the downtown highway that could drive Hartford’s comeback.

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What We’re Following

Up on the housetop: All they want for Christmas is zoning reform. With a new majority in the statehouse, Virginia Democrats are eyeing a wish list of housing bills. The proposed new measures would legalize duplexes and accessory dwelling units, and give local governments more leeway to build affordable housing, ahead of the arrival of Amazon’s second headquarters in Arlington. But rents are also rising in cities such as Richmond and Charlottesville. See how Virginia’s ideas compare to recent upzoning legislation in Minneapolis, Austin, and Seattle. Kriston Capps has the story: With New Democratic Majority, Virginia Sees a Push for Denser Housing

Programming note: The newsletter will be taking a holiday hiatus on Tuesday and Wednesday. See you Thursday.

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

The Downtown Highway That Could Drive Hartford’s Comeback

The Connecticut capital has been using zoning and transit reforms to stage a downtown recovery. But there’s one big thing in the way: an aging interstate.

Anthony Flint

Why Some Hawaiians Are Fighting a Massive Flood-Control Project

A flood could devastate the tourist zone of Waikīkī in Honolulu, but a federal plan to fortify the Ala Wai Canal has met with strong local resistance.

Timothy A. Schuler

The Book That Captured Mid-’70s Paris

Georges Perec’s An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris documented the tumult, traffic, and street life of the French capital over three days in 1974.

Ian Klaus and Daniel Levin Becker

How Ride-Hail Companies Can Help, Not Hurt, Cities

A veteran of municipal transportation regulation advises ride-hail companies on how to make cities into friends, not foes.

Dawn Miller

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

(Seth Wenig/AP)

This weekend, Eddie Murphy reprised his classic Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood sketch on Saturday Night Live. It’s been 35 years since we’ve seen Murphy’s character, a satire of Mr. Rogers’ neighborly schtick. In this version, he sang about how New York City has changed since we last saw him: “I was gone for a bit but now I’m alright / My neighbors were all black but now they white.”After the song, Robinson gives a particularly blunt definition of “gentrification.” But we won’t spoil the joke, you can watch the full sketch here.

CityLab context: The gentrification of Gotham and how Mr. Rogers shaped the way a generation thinks about neighborhoods

What We’re Reading

The French cities trying to ban public advertisements (The Guardian)

One-day deliveries are breaking our cities (Fast Company)

Science explains why we should all work shorter hours in winter (Wired)

Verizon hits goal of launching 5G in more than 30 cities (The Verge)

Black, homeless, and burdened by L.A.’s legacy of racism (New York Times)

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