ESRI/Madison McVeigh

Also today: Boston wants people to build tiny houses in their yards, and Chicago’s South Side gets dockless bikeshare.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

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What We’re Following

Bordering on: While the weight of border patrol operations is felt heaviest along the southwest border of the United States, immigration agents possess expanded search and seizure powers in a wide swath of the country known as the “border zone.” The zone, which hugs the entire edge of the United States and runs 100 air miles inside, includes some of the densest cities—New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago—and is home to around 75 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population, according to a CityLab analysis based on data from location intelligence company ESRI.

(ESRI/Madison McVeigh)

Inside this space, agents can enter private property and set up highway checkpoints; and have wide discretion to stop, question, and detain individuals they suspect to have committed immigration violations. CityLab’s Tanvi Misra reports on what it’s like to live or travel within the massive border zone—and how towns and activists are challenging the checkpoints that have become borders themselves.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Chicago’s South Side Gets Dockless Bikeshare

A pilot program on the South Side aims to expand beyond the reach of the city’s docked system. But will lock-to requirements and other regulations allow for enough bikes to be useful?

Andrew Small

Boston Wants People To Build Tiny Houses In Their Yards

The city is showing off a prototype for “pop-up” affordable housing—and easing rules on accessory dwelling units.

Anthony Flint

Britain Wants to Protect Its Postmodernist Architecture

Following an announcement by Historic England, 17 buildings, the youngest of which was designed in 1991, will be preserved. It’s not hard to see why the newly listed buildings caught conservationists’ eyes.

Feargus O'Sullivan

The Abstract D.C. Metro Maps That Might Have Been

A series of modernist transit design gems were discovered last week inside Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s archives.

Mark Byrnes

The Defense That Failed White Nationalists

Marchers from last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville who attacked a black counter-protester made a claim that has often worked for police officers: They acted in self-defense.

Adam Serwer


West flight story

(Teralytics)

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, nearly 400,000 Puerto Ricans left the island, and found shelter in Florida, New York, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Now, we know more precisely where people went because a New York-based tech company called Teralytics harvested data from 500,000 cell phones to track migration patterns after the storm.

Using that data, CityLab’s Martín Echenique and Univision’s Luis Melgar look at where Puerto Rico’s residents went after the storm—and when they came back.

The map above is just a snapshot of that post-Maria diaspora logged from September 2017 to February 2018. The streams of red show the exodus from the island territory, followed by waves of returnees in blue.

What We’re Reading

The future of transportation is the bike... (Wired)

… also, the future of transportation is the bus (The Verge) #BusToTheFuture

How could D.C. absorb Amazon HQ2 if it can’t handle housing and gridlock now? (Washington Post)

Black Oakland throws a big cookout to protest where a white lady called the cops (The Root)

These 95 apartments promised affordable rent in San Francisco. Then 6,580 people applied. (New York Times)

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