Also today: The case for reforming rent control, and the imperfect science of mapping the flu.

What We’re Following

State of the Amazon: As Amazon winnows down its HQ2 wishlist, it’s hard to keep track of what each of the 20 remaining cities has going for it. Weighing the pros and cons of the finalists’ urban amenities, potential locations, and tax incentives, CityLab’s Sarah Holder offers up the ultimate guide to the HQ2 Hunger Games.

Under control: Arguments about rent control can frame it in a vacuum, with drawbacks and benefits too neatly organized. But the consequences of putting limits on rent increases might be messier than we think, a new study finds. In fact, a San Francisco policy to help low-income tenants in the short-term may have hurt regional affordability in the long-term.

Programming note: We’ll be watching tonight’s State of the Union address with our infrastructure bingo cards in hand (“Who’s got potholes in column G?”). As you’re watching, send your thoughts and questions to hello@citylab.com and we’ll consider them in our coverage.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Imperfect Science of Mapping the Flu

As influenza rages across the U.S., scientists labor to develop better health surveillance techniques.

Laura Bliss

Mapping Where Automation Will Replace Britain's Jobs

A new report suggests northern cities will see major job losses—unless Britain acts fast.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Hello, Your Court Date Is Tomorrow

Texting people reminders makes them more likely to show up for court, according to a pilot program in New York City.

Teresa Mathew

Worrying About the Rent Is Making People Sick

New research finds that housing instability can affect the mental and physical health of family members of all ages.

Candace Butera

Can Libraries Save the Local News?

As small-town media outlets wither, some libraries are stepping in.

David Beard


Chart of the Day

Speaking of the State of the Union, you’ll likely to hear a lot about jobs tonight. And as you do, consider this chart of state job growth from 2014 to 2017.

A chart of 2017 job growth from @WSJecon

The Wall Street Journal reports that both red states and blue states saw economic gains in 2017 for the first time in a while. Still, it’s a relatively small shift in the overall “great divergence” we’ve seen in the economy.


What We’re Reading

How politics is failing mass transit (Democracy)

The free research that losing HQ2 bids did for Amazon (New York Times)

After the Grenfell fire, removed cladding has left London flats frigid (Vice)

Inspecting Philadelphia’s “sneckdowns” (99 Percent Invisible)

Mayors and the #MeToo movement (Route Fifty)


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.

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