Also today: The safest year for air travel, California legalizes pot, and the urban fitness revolution.

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High expectations: Recreational pot is now legal in California. But after two decades of very permissive medical marijuana legalization, the change in cannabis laws is being met with a bit of a shrug. Even the pot czar of Sacramento is wondering, “Maybe this isn’t a big deal anymore?”

Sky’s the limit: 2017 was the safest year on record for air travel, with no commercial passenger jet crashes all year and only 10 fatal plane crashes total. Maybe that explains why airline safety videos have gotten so weird.

On the agenda: How can your city do better in 2018? Visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger illustrates 10 New Year’s resolutions for cities made by people leading city change.

Andrew Small


Today on CityLab

The Places That May Never Recover From the Recession: The Rust Belt isn’t the only region left behind by the economic recovery. The suburbs of the American west are struggling, too.

Can Berlin Buy Its Way Out of a Housing Crisis?: The city’s boroughs can purchase apartment buildings to prevent spikes in rental costs. But the area that does it most is reaching the limits of what it can do.

The Urban Fitness Revolution: Fitness has become far more than just a New Year’s resolution in many American cities. Once rife with grit and nightlife, many urban neighborhoods now embrace fitness as a lifestyle.

The Local Fight To End Sexual Assault in Low-Wage Jobs: Hospitality and domestic workers suffer staggering rates of sexual harassment and assault. But they are among women still largely omitted from the #MeToo movement—and many federal protections.

Who’s the Best Valet Parker in America?: Competitive parking may not inspire the popular imagination like NASCAR or the NBA, but a handful of enthusiasts are hoping to change that. Welcome to the National Valet Olympics.


Eyes on the Tweets

Tweet from @riccoja

John Ricco takes an interesting dive into Census single-family home data, comparing their share of housing in 1990, 2000 and 2016. He writes, “in 2016, 81 percent of Americans live in a neighborhood where at least half the housing units are single family homes, up from 1990.”


What We’re Reading

Is Trump’s infrastructure plan already doomed? (Curbed)

The misleading optimism of “sustainable design” (Slate)

Park or playground? A preservation semantics dispute (New York Times)

Planning for informality, a paradox in Buenos Aires (Next City)

Can an algorithm tell when kids are in danger? (New York Times)

A weedsy dig into how to make the D.C. Metro great again (Vox)


What’s going on in your neighborhood? Send stories, tips, and feedback to hello@citylab.com.

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