Also: Saarinen gets a New Urbanist reboot, and Barcelona’s bold play for affordable housing.

What We’re Following

Waiting for the Big One: As San Francisco rethinks its seismic regulations, the message from experts is clear: The building code won’t save you from the earthquakes. The New York Times maps where the biggest risk exists today and looks back to the last time an earthquake devastated the city, on April 18, 1906. The big unknown is that modern skyscrapers have yet to be tested by the unpredictable power of earthquakes. “It’s kind of like getting in a new airplane that’s only been designed on paper but nobody has ever flown in it,” one skeptic told the Times.

Cleaning up: A toxic waste site in Houston has been removed from the EPA’s “Emphasis List” of Superfund sites, with the agency citing progress on a cleanup plan since Hurricane Harvey, NPR reports. The two companies responsible for the site have agreed to a $115 million clean-up plan for the San Jacinto Waste Pits, a heavily contaminated area near homes and schools that was exposed by the September hurricane. The site has been on the Superfund list since 2008.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

A New Urbanist Developer Gives Saarinen a Reboot

A suburban megacampus for corporate giant Bell Labs makes way for a more diverse second life.

Anthony Paletta

In Search of Affordable Housing, Barcelona Turns to Repossessed Homes

Spain’s second city is forcing banks to find tenants for properties they own, but leave empty.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Four Years After the Water Crisis, Who Should Flint Residents Trust?

Officials say Flint’s water is safe. Residents say it’s not. Scientists say it’s complicated.

Nathalie Baptiste

From Prison's Horrors, a Work of Art

In a traveling art installation, an artist works through the trauma he experienced while jailed at Haiti’s Port-au-Prince prison, a place where inmates languish in dire conditions, often without trial, for years.

Aida Alami

Greening the Favela

In the dense favelas of Rio de Janeiro, residents are turning scarce empty space into community gardens.  

Ciara Long


Map of the Day

Esri map of how people filed taxes
(Esri)

Times up, taxes are due! The spatial analytics firm Esri has a sparkly map that shows how people did their taxes in 2017. The maps show where more people used a certified public accountant (purple), H&R Block (blue), TurboTax (yellow), or did their taxes manually on their own (green) at the state, county, and neighborhood level. See an interesting pattern in your city? Drop us a line at hello@citylab.com (h/t Fast Company).


What We’re Reading

Airbnb wants to point people to lesser-known towns that want tourists (Fast Company)

China made solar power cheap. Now it’s doing it for electric buses. (Vox)

How Phoenix’s real estate market is faring 10 years after the housing crisis (NPR)

Tesla says its factory is safer. But it left injuries off the books. (Reveal)


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. Transportation

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

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

  4. 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?

  5. Equity

    In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings

    The massive fines levied against the investment funds have been interpreted as a “declaration of war” from Mayor Ada Colau, who wants more affordable housing.