Also: Suburban retail’s ticking time bomb, and DOJ’s new test for “sanctuary” laws.

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What We’re Following

Women make cities: Happy International Women’s Day, readers! The day to rally for gender parity had its origin in cities, naturally. As Vox explains, it began as a commemoration of a garment workers union strike in New York City in 1909. It became an international holiday the next year at a working women’s conference in Copenhagen.

We’d like to mark the occasion with a CityLab classic: How to Design a City for Women, detailing one city’s efforts to bring “gender mainstreaming” to city planning:

In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city’s ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. “Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes,” says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. “But the women couldn't stop writing.”

It’s a reminder that cities can’t overlook their responsibility to address gender parity. At my own risk of mansplaining the city, I’ll shut up now and offer up a brief CityLab syllabus to inspire you to keep pushing forward:

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Ticking Time Bomb for Suburban Retail

Lightning-speed deliveries and autonomous cars could accelerate the current big-box implosion.

Laura Bliss

What the DOJ's Lawsuit Could Mean for 'Sanctuary' Laws

The attorney general has teed up a new test to the local-state dynamic on immigration that could make its way up to the U.S. Supreme court.

Tanvi Misra

If Your Streetlights Were Spying, How Would You Know?

As LED streetlights proliferate, they come with the promise of more efficient smart city service. But they also raise new opportunities for surveillance.

Sarah Holder

Cape Town May Not Run Out of Water

The city’s severe water restrictions may allow taps to stay on through the end of the year.

Nathalie Baptiste

The EU Is Giving Teens a Month of Free Train Travel Across Europe

The cultural enrichment plan could change young lives, and maybe even revive the heyday of the Interrail train pass.

Feargus O'Sullivan


Meet the Mapmakers

Illustration for The Hidden History of Maps Made by Women
(Mark Byrnes/CityLab)

Another recommendation for International Women’s Day is this four-part series from CityLab’s Laura Bliss on the Hidden History of Maps Made by Women.

The stories trace 300 years of North American mapmaking, but the themes resonate worldwide. As Bliss writes, “Women have made maps to chart territories, educate students, sell propaganda, convey data, argue policy, and make art. In other words, women have made maps, period.” Check out parts one, two, three, and four.


What We’re Reading

New York is confiscating delivery bikes, and helping no one (Fast Company)

In defense of dorms for grown-ups (Slate)

Bricklayers vs. the robots who would take their place (New York Times)

Where is the world’s noisiest city? (The Guardian)

Cities are dying to get their hands on Uber and Lyft’s secrets (Wired)

A correction to the TIGER grant story we linked to yesterday: Reports of the program’s death are premature


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