Also: The libertarian dream of a floating city, and street grids may make cities hotter.

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What We’re Following

The good, the bad, and the ugly: Next week, Nashville voters will decide the fate of a $5.4 billion transit overhaul—but in the final days of campaigning, things have gotten ugly. The politics were fraught from the beginning, pitting progressive urbanites against suburban conservatives—and the plan was introduced by a mayor who had to resign. Things only escalated from there, with an op-ed published under a fake name, cries of “dark money” flowing in, and a grim reference to the recent Waffle House shooting. As Steve Haruch writes for CityLab, It seems nothing is off limits in the fight over Nashville’s transit plan.

Give me the car: It’s practically conventional wisdom that people who live in a transit-rich neighborhood spend less on transportation. But a surprising new study calls that assumption into question. The most straightforward takeaway: Just because someone lives near good public transit doesn’t mean they give up their car. CityLab’s Laura Bliss has the details.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Long a Libertarian Dream, the Floating City Faces Rough Seas

The Seasteading Institute wants to construct a network of ocean structures to liberate humanity from state control (and taxes).

Hettie O'Brien

How Unhappiness Helped Elect Trump

A new study suggests that many Americans’ dissatisfaction and lack of optimism had a role in electing President Trump.

Richard Florida

Street Grids May Make Cities Hotter

By comparing buildings to water molecules, researchers found that the form of a city can intensify the urban heat island effect.

Linda Poon

The U.S. Is Finally Getting a System to Warn When an Earthquake Is Coming

But will its alerts come in enough time to make a difference?

Chau Tu

The City With the Most Expensive ACA Insurance in the U.S.

There’s only one individual-market carrier in Charlottesville, Virginia, and its premiums are too high for many residents to afford.

Rachel Bluth


Snapshot

Photo of a modernist public housing complex in Japan.
(Cody Ellingham)

What happens when modern architecture ceases to stand for progress—when it ceases, effectively to be modern? That’s the question facing Japan’s government housing complexes, built in the late ‘50s as part of a postwar boom. As society’s needs changed, the communities within these modernist complexes shrank, while the buildings themselves stood still. Cody Ellington’s nighttime photographs of the danchi shows how the fading buildings embody the slow decay of the Japanese dream of modernity.


What We’re Reading

What Amazon’s new headquarters could mean for rents (New York Times)

In Seattle, a group of Millennial techies is using data skills to alter the look, and affordability, of their adopted city (Politico Magazine)

Inside the controversial world of slum tourism (National Geographic)

A treasure trove of New York City park photos from the summer of 1978 (New York Times)

Can you identify a city by its Soviet spy map? (The Guardian)


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