Also today: DOJ takes on pot, and people aren’t ready for self-driving cars.

In the News

Cold snap: Ah yes, the #BombCyclone has arrived, bringing school closures and snow plows along with it to the East Coast. But extreme weather also shows how much infrastructure is Not Built for This. Two quick examples: heat and water issues in Baltimore schools have kids bundled up in their coats in frigid classrooms, and the rush to shelter homeless people across numerous cities. From shutdowns to ‘sneckdowns’, snowstorms can show how cities rise to challenges (and they can be a make-or-break moment for mayors.)

Burn notice: The Justice Department is set to rescind Obama-era guidelines that discouraged federal prosecutors from enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that legalized its use, the Associated Press reports. The change comes just after California became the sixth state to legalize the recreational use of pot.

Upzoning to California: A new bill would encourage building much more housing around transit in California. To address state’s massive housing shortage, state senator Scott Wiener from San Francisco has proposed overriding local zoning to build much denser housing in neighborhoods along transit lines as they expand over the coming decades.

Andrew Small


Today on CityLab

How To Survive a Bomb Cyclone: Don’t get frozen in action when the cold snap hits, East Coast.

People Aren't Ready for Self-Driving Cars: The risk of consumer backlash is high. To avoid it, automakers and governments should take it one step at a time.

What Might Hold Houston Back: The post-Harvey city needs to get denser and more urban.

To Become a Manufacturing Powerhouse, India Bets Big on Automakers: The country has quietly become the world's sixth-biggest auto producer. But it'll need to do better if it's to join the top tier of global powers.


Photo of the Day

A man shovels snow in Times Square.
Workers remove snow during a snowstorm in Times Square. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

What We’re Reading

Charlottesville appoints Nikuyah Walker as its first black woman mayor (Newsweek)

Florida study finds cyclists don’t break laws more than cars (Streetsblog)

Chicago’s last manual elevator (Chicago Mag)

How a drug treatment boom created a city of sobriety entrepreneurs (The New York Times)

Five new mayors to watch this year (Next City)


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

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