Also: The rise of the rest (of the world), and why newspaper websites are so horrible.

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

Scoot over: The perceived scooter scourge has been removed from San Francisco’s sidewalks, but the problems they caused were all too human. According to The Washington Post, there’s one big hurdle for electric scooter sharing to clear: jerks. The overlapping dilemmas of clutter and vandalism point to why we can’t have nice things. The Post even wrote handy PSAs for how to behave on a scooter. But the problem is probably best summed up by this kicker:

“People just need to be responsible and know the limits,” said Patrick Tao, 37, after taking his first ride on a Bird in San Francisco on Tuesday. He parked his scooter, which had a flat tire, next to a bike rack. He thinks the tech could have a future, but acknowledges, “There is always going to be some a--hole who ruins it.”

Bias training: The Philly Starbucks incident sparked a sweeping national conversation about being black in in public spaces. And today, Slate features an essential discussion with Slate writers Jamelle Bouie and Aisha Harris, NPR’S Gene Demby, and sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom about how society’s racism adds friction to the routine transactions of everyday life if you’re black, from getting coffee to attending a yoga class. CityLab context: Brentin Mock writes about how bias is part of Starbucks’s design.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Rise of the Rest (of the World)

American cities still have the edge when it comes to high-tech startups and venture capital, but other parts of the world are rapidly catching up.

Richard Florida

Three Years After His Death, Freddie Gray's Neighborhood Faces a New Loss

Baltimore plans to partially demolish Gilmor Homes, the public housing complex that was once the focus of protests.

Michael Anft

Why Are Newspaper Websites So Horrible?

The pop-up ads! The autoplaying videos!

Andrew Zaleski

Puerto Rico Is Hit by a Total Blackout

Almost seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is experiencing a complete power outage. The island’s electricity provider said it will take from 24 to 36 hours to bring power back across the U.S. territory.

Martín Echenique

How 'Evicted' Became an Exhibit

The National Building Museum brings Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book—and the American housing crisis itself—to life.

Kriston Capps


Photo of the Day

Robin Hood Gardens, London. Oliver Wainwright
Robin Hood Gardens, London. (Oliver Wainwright)

Beauty is in the eye of the destroyer. An exhibit at Boston’s pinkcomma gallery showcases the demolition of Brutalist buildings as a call to preserve this divisive architectural style. Curator Chris Grimley compares the modern distaste for béton brut to a similar wave of “venomous dislike” for Victorian buildings about 50 years after the style emerged, which led to many of them being destroyed. “Now, we’d be like, ‘that’s so short-sighted and narrow-minded,’” Grimley says. CityLab’s Teresa Mathew has the story, and the photos.


What We’re Reading

“Bicycle Day”—how the town where LSD was discovered celebrates the drug’s 75th anniversary (The Guardian)

Illustrations of the hidden masterpieces of the NYC Subway (Fast Company)

“They can’t be here for us”: Black men arrested at Starbucks tell their story (Washington Post)

America’s richest people live in one particular kind of neighborhood (Quartz)

Coachella, underground—how the Latino communities in the Valley have adjusted to life under the Trump administration (Longreads)


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 hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  2. Life

    How Manhattan Became a Rich Ghost Town

    New York’s empty storefronts are a dark omen for the future of cities.

  3. Maps

    Europe’s Capital Cities Keep Getting Richer and Younger

    Other areas, not so much.

  4. Design

    A Step-by-Step Guide for Fixing Badly Planned American Cities

    An excerpt from Jeff Speck’s Walkable City Rules, a step-by-step guide to fixing America’s cities and towns.

  5. A man in a blazer stands on a stage giving a presentation
    Life

    America Is Losing Its Edge for Startups

    It used to be that 95 percent of global startup and venture-capital activity happened in the U.S. Today, it’s just over one-half.