Also today: The world’s first minister of loneliness, and building a binational bikeshare.

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What We’re Following:

The first cut is the cheapest: Ah yes, Amazon has announced its first elimination round in the HQ2 city tournament, squeezing the list of 238 city applicants down to a not-so-short list of 20. The finalists range from Los Angeles to Boston, reaching as far south as Miami to as far north as Toronto. CityLab’s Sarah Holder has the developing story, and she notes that the list of mostly large cities clusters along the east coast, with multiple bids near New York and Washington, D.C.

Dig deeper:

HQ2, Apple? If you didn’t make it in the Amazon league, there actually might be a next time. Apple announced Wednesday that it, too, will build a second headquarters.

Duly corrected: Yesterday we mistakenly used the wrong pronoun when referring to San Francisco’s interim mayor London Breed, who is female. Many thanks to the readers who caught the error.

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

The World's First Minister of Loneliness

Britain just created an entirely new ministry to tackle this serious public health concern.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Instead of a Wall, Why Not a Binational Border Bikeshare?

El Paso and Ciudad Juárez hope to open the first system to connect both sides of the Rio Grande by the end of 2018.

Martín Echenique

Disaster Resilience Saves Six Times as Much as It Costs

A new report finds that federal disaster-mitigation grants produce an average of $6 in societal savings for every dollar spent.

Benjamin Schneider

How Portland Is Sourcing Hydropower From Its Drinking Water

The method has little environmental impact and uses existing infrastructure. So why isn’t it more popular?

Alastair Boone

Could You Live Entirely on Mobile Internet? Try It for a Day

Millions of Americans lack high-speed internet at home and have to rely on smartphones to connect. The MobileOnly Challenge asks more people to understand how limiting that can be.

Linda Poon

Going Up

A gif of Seattle's growth
(Ricardo Martin Brualla)

This mesmerizing time-lapse video captures three years of growth in Seattle, as seen from the Space Needle.

What We’re Reading

What is a city street and what will it become? (New York Magazine)

Travis Kalanick’s departure from Uber was weirder and darker than you thought (Bloomberg)

Why cities that definitely get snow are still bewildered by it (Popular Science)

Apparently Helsinki can’t get enough of this civic participation board game (Bloomberg Cities)

A history of Riker’s Island: a jail to end all jails and a city in itself (Urban Omnibus)

Trump’s “demolition derby” on Obama’s criminal justice legacy (The Marshall Project)

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