Also: Mayors make a plan for net neutrality, and an affordable boost for “granny flats.”
Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.
What We’re Following
A tale of new cities: For over a decade, the Atlanta region has been carved into new cities, predominantly in white neighborhoods. But when residents in the majority-black community of South DeKalb wanted to form a new city of Greenhaven, the state legislature couldn’t even put it on the ballot this year.
With the wealthiest and whitest neighborhoods already decamped, South DeKalb’s disinvestment has paradoxically become the argument for and against Greenhaven as a city project, creating an economic quagmire that has the challenges of racial segregation at its roots. In a follow-up to an earlier article, CityLab’s Brentin Mock digs into the question of whether cityhood is the remedy that unincorporated and financially disadvantaged communities have been searching for.
Put it in neutral: A coalition of 12 cities is pledging to protect net neutrality—and shame the companies who won’t. Speaking to a panel at South by Southwest (SXSW) moderated by CityLab, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that cities are committing to only do business with internet service providers that honor net neutrality principles, as part of an “open internet pledge.”
Today at the SXSW Cities Summit:
- Kriston Capps hosts a panel on superheroes and the city (3:45 p.m. Central).
- Tanvi Misra joins a live taping of the Third Wave Urbanism podcast to discuss women-led cities (4 p.m.).
- CityLab hosts a HappyHourLab with Tunde Olaniran to discuss his hometown of Flint, Michigan; the music scene in Detroit; and marrying advocacy with music (6 p.m.)
More on CityLab
The Urban Lens
Instagram user @ethan.k56 sends this view an urban canyon of buildings that perfectly framed San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. He writes “You gotta wonder if they lined it up like this on purpose.” Check out this CityLab archive photo essay with some more incredible views of the Bay Bridge’s reconstruction, which took more than a decade.
Spotting some urban sights up high or down low? Tag us with #citylabontheground and we might share it here or on our Instagram page.
What We’re Reading
A decaying bridge lays bare how a struggling city treats its poorer residents (New York Times)
The plague inspired Da Vinci to design a city. We should steal his ideas. (Fast Company)
The Los Angeles Times’s architecture critic is taking a job in city hall. Here’s why. (Los Angeles Times)
The case for fare-capping (Streetsblog)
Paul Ryan says an infrastructure plan might have better luck if it’s passed in pieces (Bloomberg)
The future of Silicon Valley (San Francisco Chronicle)