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Lab Report

Lab Report: Understanding the French Election

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

French President elect Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Trogneux celebrate on the stage at his victory party. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters)

What’s next for France? Parisians on Sunday celebrated the victory of their new president, Emmanuel Macron, a nontraditional candidate who nonetheless captured the left largely due to fears of the other option: far-right anti-EU nationalist Marine Le Pen. Among Politico’s takeaways:

It has almost become a cliché to note that Macron inherits a divided country — as illustrated by the big divisions between urban and small-town France, between the north-east leaning toward Le Pen and the south-west toward Macron, between the educated and the non-educated, between the quartiers chics and the derelict banlieues.

But the real question is whether Macron can deal with France’s long-term economic and social woes by implementing his reform “without waiting and without hesitating,” as he has said. If he wants to avoid the paralyzing opposition of organized labor, street demonstrations and even strikes that have crippled previous reform attempts, he will have a lot of convincing to do.

Housing fail: The Washington Post discovered that D.C.’s local housing agency was forced to forfeit $15.8 million in federal funding for affordable housing over the past three years after missing key deadlines—returning more money to HUD than any other housing agency in the nation.

Sanctuary battles, cont’d: Without prior notice, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on Facebook Live Sunday night to sign into law the state’s controversial crackdown on sanctuary cities. (Washington Post)

• Meanwhile, appeals courts in Richmond and Seattle are set to hear arguments that support reinstating President Trump’s travel ban. (L.A. Times)

Streetcar desire: It took Detroit a decade to get to this week’s debut of the new 6.6-mile QLine streetcar loop. Now talks are shifting to the (potentially easier?) future expansion. (Crain’s Detroit)

Birth of the burbs: Seventy years ago this week, work began on one of America’s first suburban communities—Levittown, N.Y.—helping create the prototype for mass migration out of not only New York City, but urban centers across the country. (AM New York)

Olympic hopefuls: Los Angeles and Paris will both host Olympic inspectors this week to assess their prospects of hosting the 2024 games, with L.A. offering a privately funded model opposed to Paris’ plans to use taxpayer money for new venues. (AP)

The urban lens:

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About the Author

  • Katie Pearce writes the Lab Report, CityLab’s morning news roundup.