Also today: Why the urban revival depends on falling crime rates, and when the army planned for a fight in U.S. cities.

Hello and welcome to day two of the new CityLab Daily. You'll see below that we've made some changes to your regular daily email.

Why? We want to deliver a more comprehensive product with a personal touch. Consider this your one-stop shop for the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories and commentary, both on CityLab and around the internet. This is a living project, so tell us what you think. Send comments and feedback to hello@citylab.com.

Don't want the extra text? The links section you know and love is still there, right after the first solid line. We hope you'll stick with us as we try some new things, and if you like what you see, forward to your friends!

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What We’re Following

What if bidding wars like Amazon’s were illegal? If Amazon’s HQ2 sweepstakes feels a bit too much like eBay, consider this: A 2004 court case in Ohio suggests that the federal government may have the power to stop race-to-the-bottom incentives designed to keep companies in town. The case hit a procedural dead end in the Supreme Court, but the story, involving Chrysler, Ralph Nader, and $280 million in incentives to keep a factory in Toledo, sheds new light on cities’ starry-eyed Amazon dream. CityLab’s Sarah Holder reports.

The charge on sanctuary cities: A federal showdown with “sanctuary cities” is brewing, with U.S. immigration officials preparing a major sweep in Northern California cities and threatening charges against local officials. San Francisco’s acting mayor tells the San Francisco Examiner her city won’t stand down: “If the federal government wants to charge local officials and jurisdictions who support our values, let them do it. I have no doubt that we will prevail.” The Boston Herald reports that area mayors are similarly defiant.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Great Crime Decline and the Comeback of Cities

Patrick Sharkey, author of Uneasy Peace, talks to CityLab about how the drop in crime has transformed American cities.

Richard Florida

On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?

Feargus O'Sullivan

When the Army Planned for a Fight in U.S. Cities

In 1968, one retired colonel warned that urban insurrections could produce “scenes of destruction approaching those of Stalingrad.”

Conor Friedersdorf

Want to Make It in the Gig Economy? Emulate Romance Novelists

Their three keys to success: They welcome newcomers, they share competitive information, and they ask advice from newbies.

Chris Larson

Why Make Daycare Workers Go Back to School?

In an effort to improve outcomes for kids, education wonks are making life harder for workers who rely on daycare employment.

Amanda Palleschi

Check This Out

A London Underground map.

A new video series from TED begins with an urbanist stand-by: the London Underground map created by Harry Beck. Designer Michael Bierut explains how this design set a standard for subway maps that “converts complex geography down to crisp geometry.”

From the CityLab archive: Are our transit maps tricking us?


What We’re Reading

The Fair Housing Act and the fight for the suburbs (New Republic)

Why hasn't public housing studied its sexual harassment problem? (BBC)

Lyft says 250,000 of its riders ditched their cars in 2017 (TechCrunch)

How computers are watching you in the streets (Curbed)

Blame the infrastructure, not the cyclist (Strong Towns)

The two-week scramble to plan the Women’s March on Washington (Fast Company)


Hey CityLab fans: Spread the word! Forward today’s edition to a friend who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe to our newsletters. And send any of your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com. Thanks!


CORRECTION: An earlier version of this misidentified the gender of San Francsico’s interim mayor.

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