Donald Trump is pictured.
Reuters

Also today: A win-win deal for HQ2, and how to save a town from rising waters.

What We’re Following

Leaky cauldron: The draft infrastructure plan acquired by Axios on Monday has yet to be verified by the White House. But if it’s to be believed, it doesn’t do much to satisfy anyone who’s looking for details, CityLab’s Laura Bliss writes. There are no dollar amounts tied to each part of the long-promised trillion-dollar plan, and all signs point to an emphasis on how much money cities can bring to the negotiating table.

Questionable: The Justice Department’s request to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census could shift political power further away from cities, the Washington Post reports. Advocates for Hispanic communities say the question seeks to undercount undocumented immigrants. Poor census data could not only limit urban electoral representation, it could also alter federal funding formulas that factor in noncitizens. CityLab context: Over 60 percent of undocumented immigrants live in just 20 metropolitan areas. And is the 2020 Census doomed?

An elite gathering: Not Davos! The U.S. Conference of Mayors kicks off its 86th winter meeting today in Washington, D.C., and a group of mayors is scheduled to meet with President Donald Trump at the White House this afternoon.

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

How Cities Can Strike a Win-Win Deal for Amazon HQ2

City leaders do a shocking disservice to their citizens and their city if they give Amazon a free ride by offering incentives packages that solely reduce the firm’s costs. There are things they can and should do to advocate for their constituents’ interests.

Amy Liu

The Loneliest Grocery

What's going on with Amazon Go, the e-retailer’s automated convenience store?  

Joshua McNichols

How to Save a Town From Rising Waters

Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles Resettlement Project is the only government-funded climate relocation in the country—and a test case for more to come.

Michael Isaac Stein

Paris: 'Please Do Not Give Us This Free Jeff Koons Sculpture'

Wrong art, wrong location, say critics.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Want Immigration Reform? Look to Cities

While fear, anger, and misinformation dominate the federal-level debate, local leaders are making policies that work.  

Juliana Kerr

Massachusetts Could Become a Pot Sanctuary

A bill in the state legislature would protect cannabis users from federal enforcement, not unlike sanctuary policies for immigrants.

Teresa Mathew


Map of the Day

CNBC map of closing Toys R Us stores.
(CNBC)

Ah, Toys Were Us. The company announced Tuesday that it plans to close about 180 stores around the country. CNBC mapped where stores are set to close by April. CityLab context: If your city has some empty stores and malls sitting around, consider it a unique opportunity to build new, productive community spaces.


What We’re Reading

Lack of affordable housing worries mayors, survey says (Seattle Times)

San Francisco just got its third mayor in three weeks (KTVU)

We overestimate what ‘science’ can do for social progress (Slate)

Drunk Tesla driver blames car (Washington Post)

What Deaf urbanism can teach us about design (Greater Greater Washington)

Check how LGBTQ-friendly your next vacation spot will be (Fast Company)


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. Equity

    CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

    You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

  2. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  3. POV

    What ‘Skyscraper’ Doesn’t Get About Skyscrapers

    The Rock’s new movie should have gotten more thrills out of high-rise design, an engineer argues.

  4. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”

  5. A view from outside a glass office tower at dusk of the workers inside.
    Life

    Cities and the Vertical Economy

    Vertical clustering—of certain high-status industries on the higher floors of buildings, for example—is an important part of urban agglomeration.