Also today: ‘Queering the map,’ and Cape Town adjusts to a water diet.

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What We’re Following

Florida shooting: Wednesday’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is the deadliest high school shooting in modern U.S. history. As the New York Times notes, three of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in the country’s recent history have occurred in just the past 5 months.

In Florida alone, there have been two recent mass shootings: In 2016, a massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead, and in 2017, five people were killed at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Last year, Tallahassee fought state preemption laws overriding local gun ordinances—and won a narrow victory in court.

Where gun control inches forward: While these incidents have become too common, in each instance there are calls for reform. But how have those efforts fared? After the Las Vegas shooting, attempts by Congress to ban the use of bump stocks failed. But in December, Columbia, South Carolina, became the first city to ban the use of bump stocks. Denver followed its lead. And more than a dozen states are now considering banning an accessory that made that previous attack so deadly.

In passing the reform, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin conceded the significant limits on local action. But, he said, “The hope is, not only does this influence the actions of those who might sell bump stocks, but more so it would influence federal policymakers.”

For the first signs of reform in the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting, just look to what the kids in Broward County are telling their superintendent about getting the country to have “a real conversation on sensible gun control laws”—they’ve got something to say.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Geography of Trump's First-Year Job Approval

The president’s approval rating stands at a record low, but the geography of opinion reflects pre-existing cultural, educational, and economic divides.

Richard Florida

How to 'Queer the Map'—and Fend Off Attack

When a design student launched an interactive project to map LGBTQ spaces in Montreal, it went viral. Then it went dark.

Martín Echenique and Alastair Boone

Cape Town Residents Adjust to a Water Diet

From showering in buckets to special pee spray, here’s how they’re coping with water restrictions.

Olga Khazan

The Quiet Rise of the Downtown Tech Campus

While the world focuses on the battle for Amazon HQ2, the other tech giants are consolidating their own urban fiefdoms.

Benjamin Schneider

Big Data Suggests Big Potential for Urban Farming

A global analysis finds that urban agriculture could yield up to 10 percent of many food crops, plus a host of positive side benefits.

Amy Crawford


Map of the Day

Pew Research Center map showing increases in ICE arrests in 2017.
The darker the color, the higher the increase in arrests by ICE. (Pew Research Center)

As the Senate tees up immigration proposals, new maps show the Trump administration’s crackdown, and the local response to it. The map above, from Pew Research Center, shows where immigration arrests increased in 2017, while two more maps from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center chart where local sanctuary policies have changed.

CityLab’s Tanvi Misra writes that together the maps reveal a common theme: “Local sanctuary policies that limit cooperation with federal authorities seem to be blunting the force of the administration’s actions.”


What We’re Reading

You don’t need transit to build a walkable place (Strong Towns)

Who keeps Britain’s trains running? Europe (New York Times)

Uber CEO says “we could be profitable” if they wanted to and “traffic will get better” (TechCrunch)

A housing push divides California (The Guardian)

The Senate’s debate on an immigration bill has begun (Vox)


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