Also today: Infrastructure at the State of the Union, and mayors pressure Congress for housing funds.

What We’re Following

Cinder block ball? At Tuesday’s State of the Union, President Trump is poised to talk up his administration’s forthcoming infrastructure package, proposing public works projects ranging from highways to rural broadband to maybe even “commercial spaceflight.” If it’s anything like last week’s leaked draft, though, it might not be a great deal for cities. As a trillion-dollar promise shrinks to just $200 billion in federal spending, Politico reports that key players in Congress are skeptical. With a possible cut to the federal share of local transit partnerships, now mayors are worried, too (Governing). No wonder Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel dismissed the plan last week as “fairy dust” (Chicago Sun-Times).

We’re not broke: Cities stand to absorb a financial hit from the new federal tax law, but they’re not left without ways to bring in money. On CityLab, Bruce Katz and Jeremy Nowak outline three ways U.S. cities can fund the future.

CityLab Daily is written by Andrew Small. Tell us what’s on your mind at hello@citylab.com, and consider forwarding this newsletter to a friend!


More on CityLab

Mayors Take the Fight for Affordable Housing to Capitol Hill

Business and municipal leaders are putting pressure on Congress to maintain existing support for housing and expand with new opportunities.

Kriston Capps

When White Parents Won't Integrate Public Schools

Can a grassroots movement succeed where policy has failed?  

Mimi Kirk

More Lights, More Diseases?

An ongoing study suggests light pollution’s effects on animals can help spread some viruses, like West Nile.

Linda Poon

Inside the Red State Race to Destroy Medicaid

Repealing the ACA isn't the only way to dial back the law's Medicaid expansions—and threaten the program itself.

Dwyer Gunn

Urban Bird Feeders Are Changing the Course of Evolution

More than 50 million Americans are conducting an unwitting experiment on a vast scale. I joined them from my Manhattan high-rise.

Emily Voigt

Is Driver's Ed Only for Rich Kids Now?

As states have stopped funding driver's education, participation has declined—and it's lower-income teens and teens of color who are missing out.

Kathi Valeii


Map of the Day

Strava shared routes outline a U.S. military base / Strava screenshot by Nathan Ruser
Routes on Strava outline a U.S. military base (Strava screenshot by Nathan Ruser)

Reports emerged over the weekend that fitness tracking app Strava is revealing sensitive information about the location, layout, and personnel of overseas military bases and spy outposts.

CityLab’s Laura Bliss is on the news: “Strava’s global ‘heat map’ visualizes about a billion anonymized jogs, strolls, and bike rides, including those of military employees who did not opt out of the app's default settings. As CityLab has previously reported, city planners use Strava’s fitness data to improve public facilities. But this story raises important questions about the perils of data sharing on popular mobility apps. I’ll have more in this week’s edition of MapLab, my newsletter exploring the cartographic landscape.”


What We’re Reading

A video on New York City’s subway troubles—banjo busker included (New York Times)

The case for crowded neighborhoods (Bloomberg)

Which city has the best energy policy for Amazon HQ2? (Slate)

A guerilla project swaps ads with art (Fast Company)

The plan to privatize public sidewalks in Kansas City, Missouri (Vox)


Hey CityLab fans: Spread the word! Forward today’s edition to a friend who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. And we want to hear from you, too: Send your comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Four young adults exercise in a dark, neon-lit gym.
    Life

    Luxury Gyms Invite You to Work Out, Hang Out, Or Just Work

    With their invite-only policies and coworking spaces, high-end urban gyms aspire to be fitness studio, social club, and office rolled into one.

  2. a photo of a woman covering her ears on a noisy NYC subway platform
    Life

    My Quixotic Quest for Quiet in New York City

    In a booming city, the din of new construction and traffic can be intolerable. Enter Hush City, an app to map the sounds of silence.   

  3. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

  4. Charts

    The Evolution of Urban Planning in 10 Diagrams

    A new exhibit from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association showcases the simple visualizations of complex ideas that have changed how we live.

  5. Transportation

    CityLab University: Induced Demand

    When traffic-clogged highways are expanded, new drivers quickly materialize to fill them. What gives? Here’s how “induced demand” works.

×