Also today: New York City divests, and California commuters take to the sea.

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What We’re Following

Is it infrastructure week yet? With mixed signals on the status of an infrastructure bill, one thing’s clear: President Trump needs a deal with Democrats to get anything through the Senate. On Streetsblog, Angie Schmitt argues they shouldn’t take the bait: So far, it appears state and local governments would have to pony up $800 billion of the trillion-dollar plan.

An anonymous administration official told CNBC that Republicans seem worried that Trump will throw too much money at the bill: “The president’s view of it is a Manhattan-centric vision of giant bridges and tunnels that people remember. If Donald Trump is building something, he wants it to be huge.” CityLab context: All this uncertainty is messing with cities’ money.

Planet money: On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to divest New York City’s pensions from companies that extract coal, oil, and gas. This is the biggest fish to enter the divestment pool yet, sending a key signal from the financial capital of the U.S. after the country pulled out of the Paris Accord: “If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere.” CityLab’s Sarah Holder reports.

Andrew Small


Today on CityLab

With the Highway Blocked, California Commuters Take to the Sea:
Mudslides have closed US 101 above Los Angeles, so tourist boats are offering an ad-hoc ferry service between Ventura and Santa Barbara.

An Agenda for Inclusive Prosperity: At a time when the U.S. is cutting investments in shared public goods, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne talks about her more progressive path forward.

Can Oman Build a Better Planned City? In a region of crazily ambitious megacities, this Persian Gulf urban project may be more viable.

Conversations in a Divided Berlin: Several years into a new wave of refugees entering the city, the grassroots organizations that sprung up to meet their needs have become part of the fabric of the city.

Which One Is Paris?: Francois Proust’s new photo series looks at Tianducheng, a town built to look exactly like the City of Lights.


Reader’s Response

Illustration of a LimeBike
(LimeBike/Madison McVeigh/CityLab)

On CityLab’s report about private, dockless bikeshare companies bringing more diversity to D.C.’s cycling scene, reader Donald Johnson comments on the industry’s impact in China:

I live in China, where dockless systems are the norm and where they are orders of magnitude larger than the US docked system… Bikes being left everywhere is definitely an issue, and I think the long term business model is still unproven... I personally think the huge benefits to riders and cities of having lots of people biking are worth the growing pains, but time will tell.


What We’re Reading

Nine of the 21 cities that have hosted the Winter Olympics will be too warm for snow by 2050 (New York Times)

Mapping how long it takes to get to a city anywhere on earth (Atlas Obscura)

How do communities get more black-owned grocery stores? (Slate)

A before-and-after look at how Detroit gave way to asphalt and cars (Streetsblog)

Consider Rexford Guy Tugwell in the classic Moses vs. Jacobs fight (Places Journal)


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

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