Wounded city: In London, authorities are treating the early morning van rampage against pedestrians near the Finsbury Park Mosque as a possible act of terrorism, feared to be retaliation for several recent attacks attributed to Islamist extremism. The New York Times reports:
Residents of London, a multicultural city with a large Muslim population, predominantly responded with equanimity, solidarity and tolerance.
“We want to recognize this as an incident the same as other incidents,” said Deb Hermer, a 20-year resident of Finsbury Park who left a bouquet of flowers at the gate of the mosque. “This is no less important than other incidents — Tower Bridge, Manchester, others in the U.K.”
But Muslim leaders and human rights advocates have warned that some could try to use recent terrorist attacks to try to stir hostility against Muslims, and to foster the notion of a culture war between Islam and the West.
Google village: The city of San Jose decides tomorrow whether to negotiate to sell 16 city-owned properties to Google, as the internet giant’s plans for a transit-centered village look poised to reshape downtown dramatically. (Mercury News)
The urban-rural divide: A new Washington Post-Kaiser survey finds a strong sense of kinship among rural Americans, with their estrangement from big cities based more on social identity than economics—though two-thirds rate local job opportunities as fair or poor. Views on immigration appear to form one of the widest gulfs between urban and rural Americans.
Amazon’s organic guinea pig: The best way to think of the $13.7 billion Whole Foods acquisition, argues one New York Times column, is viewing the grocery chain as guinea pig for Amazon that will take years to fit into any long-term strategy. Forbes says the pairing might be “the last and best chance for anyone to succeed in the online grocery retail space.”
Planned town anniversary: As the planned community of Columbia, Md. turns 50 this week, the once “poster child of the post-war New Town movement,” faces big changes with a $2 billion injection in downtown development. (Next City)
The urban lens:
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