Also: Where commuting is the worst, and what Manhattan’s land is worth.

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

Opportunity knocking? A little-known item in the recent tax overhaul features a new incentive designed to lure investment to the nation’s poorest urban, suburban, and rural communities. These so-called opportunity zones would target systemic problems in distressed areas for the greater social good. Could they actually undo America’s geographic inequality? As CityLab’s Kriston Capps writes, that depends on how well cities and states pick the right places for investment. Read the full story here.

Return of DACA: A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, terminated by the Trump administration, must continue and accept new applications. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio called the ruling “a victory for justice” and urged DACA recipients or potentially eligible city residents to apply for assistance under the program. Also: The Supreme Court heard arguments today about the administration’s immigration ban for eight countries, six of which are majority-Muslim countries.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Where Commuting Is the Worst

Lack of affordable housing and sub-par mass transit are boosting the ranks of “super commuters” in some regions outside of pricey metros.

Sarah Holder

What Manhattan's Land Is Worth

A new study traces the astonishing increase in the value of Manhattan’s land since 1950.

Richard Florida

Taxing Uber and Lyft to Fund Transit Isn't Fair to Transit

Roads improvements are part of the regular budgeting process. Why not transit?

Eric Goldwyn

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

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

Martín Echenique

New 'Mutant Enzymes' Could Solve Earth's Plastics Problem

Scientists accidentally created an enzyme that can break down plastic. But is it any better than recycling?

Linda Poon


Just a (Transpo) Bill

Bob Dorough is pictured.
(JoAnne Savio/Blue Note via bobdorough.com)

With the news of jazz pianist songwriter Bob Dorough’s passing yesterday at age of 94, we remember that his work at “Schoolhouse Rock” could sometimes be, dare we say, transit-oriented. The iconic “I’m Just A Bill” is technically about a transportation bill, regulating school buses stopping at railroads, and “Conjunction Junction” is all train track work once you get beyond “hooking up words and phrases and clauses.” (For the ultimate “Schoolhouse Rock” transit song, listen to “Too Long in L.A.” by Dorough’s longtime collaborator Dave Frishberg about Los Angeles’s evergreen congestion problems.)

We also got a chuckle from this description of the New York jazz musician’s cheery disposition: “Lou Reed’s idea of hell would be to sit in heaven with Bob Dorough.”


What We’re Reading

A new national memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery confronts America’s past (Curbed)

Should New York reserve parking for residents only? (The New York Times)

San Francisco will get over the “scooterpocalypse” (Bloomberg)

Op-ed: Cars are ruining our cities (The New York Times)

Why all companies fear “death by Amazon” (The Guardian)


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. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  2. Homes in Amsterdam are pictured.
    Equity

    Amsterdam's Plan: If You Buy a Newly Built House, You Can't Rent It Out

    In an effort to make housing more affordable, the Dutch capital is crafting a law that says anyone who buys a newly built home must live in it themselves.

  3. North Carolina's legislature building.
    Life

    Should Government Agencies Move Out of Capital Cities?

    North Carolina may relocate its Division of Motor Vehicles from Raleigh to boost lagging Rocky Mount. Can this be a national model for decentralizing power?

  4. Transportation

    China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter's Worst Nightmare

    What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

  5. Transportation

    Japan Keeps This Train Station Running for Just One Regular Passenger

    Trains here make only a few stops—when a lone high-school student leaves for school, and when class is over.