Also: How the self-driving dream might become a nightmare, and the people who pretend to be wolves.

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What We’re Following

Austin’s terror: The suspect in Austin’s serial package bombings is dead, but the city remains on edge after two deaths and several more injuries over the past three weeks. Police urge caution, as there may still be bombs left over from the suspect’s last 24 hours. But even with ample evidence that the fear of terrorism in Austin is real, that label hasn’t been formally applied to the bombing campaign. When is “terror” terrorism? CityLab’s Kriston Capps reports.

Tunnel vision: In the final days to avert a government shutdown, the Gateway Tunnel could get a starring role. The replacement rail tunnel system to connect Manhattan and New Jersey may hold up the spending bill in Congress; President Trump has promised to veto the bill if it includes the $900 million allocated this year for the project. Now a compromise bill tucks away $541 million in a yearly appropriation for rail and bridge projects instead. Alon Levy explains the messy politics of this critical project and how to consider its $12.7 billion price tag.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How the Self-Driving Dream Might Become a Nightmare

What will happen if we just accept that a certain number of pedestrian deaths are an inevitable part of adopting autonomous vehicles?

David Alpert

The People Who Pretend to Be Wolves

As once-vanished wolves return to Europe and move into urban areas, humans are trying to empathize with the creatures through nighttime “wolf safaris.”

Erica Cirino

Photographing Newark's 'Four Corners'

Change may be on the horizon for the city’s unofficial town square, but it is not yet apparent on its streets.

Camilo José Vergara

The Cities at Risk of Climate-Driven Conflict

The evidence is mounting that climate-related droughts, floods, and other events lead to political instability and human conflict. Some cities are especially vulnerable to the “threat multiplier” of climate change.  

Thor Benson

The Hidden Workers of New Delhi's Shiny Satellite City

A French photographer captures the disconnect between the promise and the reality in the Indian capital’s hyper-privatized township.

Tanvi Misra


Time for Lunch

Chamber of Commerce Foundation illustration of food truck cities
(U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has a new report ranking 20 American cities for ease of operating a food truck. The index is based on the regulatory and financial obligations put on the industry. To whet your appetite, here’s a comparison from the report: It costs just over $5,000 a year in regulatory operating costs to run a food truck in Portland, Oregon (the highest ranked city) compared to nearly $38,000 a year in Boston (the lowest ranked city).


What We’re Reading

The suburban population slowdown, mapped (New York Times)

Could we bribe NIMBYs? (CityMetric)

Buying property with Bitcoin (Curbed)

Inside Airbus’s mad dash to get a robo air taxi off the ground (Fast Company)

The zip codes where gentrification has had the biggest impact (Washington Post)

Welcome to Zucktown. Where everything is just Zucky. (New York Times)


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