Also: Mapping America’s loneliest roads, and climate change won’t make people nicer.

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

Serenity now: Just southwest of Atlanta, a suburban utopia called Serenbe seems to have spawned out of nowhere. This isn’t a cookie cutter cul-de-sac development. It’s a close-knit town with urban and rural amenities that balance city life with nature—a walkable downtown boasts a mix of architecture while having access to green space and organic farms. It’s idyllic to say the least, but in no way immune to the difficult questions of inclusion, diversity, and the perils of self-segregation.

CityLab’s Mimi Kirk toured this “wellness community” to see what’s working, what promises are still to be fulfilled, and what’s really behind the seductive power of a suburban utopia.

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

America's Loneliest Roads, Mapped

An interactive map highlights the least traveled routes in the country—and some of the most scenic.

Linda Poon

Climate Change Will Not Make Us Nicer

A recent study found that people who grow up in places with mild weather are more agreeable and outgoing. What does that mean in a world of climate extremes?

Amanda Kolson Hurley

Can London Become a People-Centric Smart City?

“That's no easy step—it involves investment in human beings, not just systems,” says the city’s newly-appointed chief digital officer.

Tanvi Misra

The Latest Supervillain Attacking Batgirl's Gotham City: Gentrification

Batgirl author Hope Larson talks about the changing face of Burnside, Gotham City's Brooklyn, where tech incubators and housing affordability are bigger threats than even the Penguin and Harley Quinn.

Kriston Capps

Minneapolis YIMBYs Go to the Mat for Zoning Changes

Activists turn to creative videography in their efforts to allow fourplexes throughout the city.

Benjamin Schneider

Map of the Day

Screenshot of RENTCafe renter and landlord policy map

RENTCafé has a new map and ranking of which states are the most tenant-friendly or landlord-friendly. The apartment-listing site scores states on the 10 most common aspects of tenancy including security deposits, rent increases, the warranty of habitability, and eviction notices. Best for renters: Vermont, Rhode Island, D.C., Maine, Alaska, and Hawaii. Best for landlords: Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Georgia, and North Carolina.

CityLab context: Where Americans are facing the most evictions.

What We’re Reading

New Orleans ends its Palantir predictive policing program (The Verge)

Kushner Cos. filed false NYC housing paperwork (AP)

Sons of rich black families fare no better than sons of working-class whites (New York Times)

How do you boycott a building? (Fast Company)

Hold onto your hard hats, it’s Ivanka-structure week (Des Moines Register)

Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Stella Bowles stands on a riverbank.

    How One Kid Stopped the Contamination of a River

    To halt the illegal flow of raw sewage into Nova Scotia’s LaHave River, it took a determined 11-year-old with water samples and a Facebook page.

  2. A heavy layer of smog over Paris

    How Much Are You 'Smoking' by Breathing Urban Air?

    A new app can tell you (and it’s not pretty).  

  3. POV

    What a Bipartisan Push Against Exclusionary Zoning Looks Like

    Back in the first Bush Administration, HUD tried to rein in local housing restrictions. It didn’t work. But today’s zoning reformers should take note.

  4. Transportation

    A New Zealand Politician Biked to the Hospital to Give Birth. So What?

    The virality of Julie Anne Genter’s ride to an Auckland hospital says more about us than her.

  5. An LAPD officer looks in a tent on Skid Row in Los Angeles, California.

    The Homelessness Problem We Don’t Talk About

    The barriers formerly incarcerated people face are creating a housing crisis—and no one is paying attention.