Also: The unhappy states of America, and how school choice affects gentrification.

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What We’re Following

A grim milestone: As local authorities in Tempe, Arizona, investigate the first pedestrian fatality from a self-driving car, police say an early review of the vehicle’s video footage suggests Uber isn’t at fault. “It would have been difficult to avoid this collision” no matter if the car was autonomous or human-driven, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir said. The victim, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, “came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir said.

But transportation experts aren’t so sure: LIDAR, the laser-based system that lets autonomous cars “see,” is supposed to automatically detect when someone's on the road. The crash occurred on a wide-open and regularly tested location. That has some observers questioning Uber’s approach to road safety, while the company has suspended its autonomous vehicle tests. CityLab’s Laura Bliss unpacks the many questions that remain after Sunday’s crash.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Unhappy States of America

Even with the economy humming, Americans are feeling more anxious, depressed, and dissatisfied with their lives than they did in 2009.

Richard Florida

Resilience Trutherism, Explained

There is a movement of people who believe that “climate resilience” is a Trojan horse for a global takeover of cities via weather manipulation, and a D.C. city council member may subscribe to that idea.

Brentin Mock

In a Historic Downtown, Disaster Becomes a Chance to Build Something Better

A 2014 fire in Clarkesville, Georgia, was “the worst nightmare for someone who’s in downtown development.” But the recovery launched an essential conversation about what the town square should be.

Adina Solomon

The Right Way to Regulate Algorithms

They’re intended to make decision-making more objective. But data-based tools will have the opposite effect if they aren’t subject to public scrutiny.

Stephen Goldsmith and Chris Bousquet

School Choice May Be Accelerating Gentrification

The ability to opt out of a neighborhood school increases the likelihood that a black or Hispanic neighborhood will see an influx of wealthier residents.

Matt Barnum


Grand Designs

Natural light fills a studio at the School of Architecture at CEPT University, which Doshi founded in 1962. (Courtesy of VSF)
Natural light fills a studio at the School of Architecture at CEPT University, which Balkrishna Doshi founded in 1962. (Courtesy of VSF)

Balkrishna Doshi, this year’s winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, has left a deep imprint on Ahmedabad, India. The Indian architect, a protege of the legendary Le Corbusier, moved to the city in 1954 to supervise four Le Corbusier projects and soon started his own practice. For CityLab, Ashish Malhotra spoke with Doshi in his Ahmedabad office, where he reflected on more than 65 years in the city he calls home:

I always liked this city because of the intimacy, the congeniality of the people here: very generous, very helpful and encouraging. And I think that’s what the essence of this city is.


What We’re Reading

Comparing Oakland’s embrace of pot sales with Compton’s ban (New York Times)

Trump’s tariffs barely register in America’s new steel towns (New Yorker)

The myth of “forcing people out of their cars” (Vox)

When towns lose their newspapers, disease detectives are flying blind (Stat News)

Homesick for a place you’ve never been before (Atlas Obscura)


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