Also: Behind the Uber self-driving car crash, and what surfers understand about gentrification.

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***

What We’re Following

Food truck catchup: Summer is nearly here, and with it comes outdoor concerts, block parties, street fairs, and food truck rallies. Not to rain on your Memorial Day parade, but much of that activity runs on mobile generators that burn diesel fuel to make electricity, spewing pollutants into the air. Luckily, cleaner and quieter forms of power may soon be on the way, as food truck operators upgrade to solar power and other tech to comply with new emissions standards. Chris Bentley has the story for CityLab on the dirty, noisy power behind those street-fair tacos.

Uber update: CityLab’s Laura Bliss has the latest on the National Transportation Safety Board’s findings about the fatal Uber crash in Tempe, Arizona: It highlights the serious “handoff problem” in vehicle automation.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Do Politicians Waste So Much Money on Corporate Incentives?

Political scientist Nathan Jensen answers questions about his new book, Incentives to Pander.

Richard Florida

What Surfers Understand About Gentrification

When it comes to waves, newcomers are not wanted.

Jack Persons

Are ‘Pee Beds’ the Answer to Public Urination?

In an effort to clean up popular sites of outdoor urination, researchers studied the mind of the man who pees in public. Their work could make stadiums and festival grounds smell a lot fresher in the future.

Feargus O'Sullivan

In Seoul, Sadness and Skepticism After Trump Cancels North Korea Summit

Many residents of the South Korean capital are hoping that U.S. diplomacy will continue.   

Sam Weber and Matt Neuman

New York City Will Consider a Ban on Plastic Straws

City Council member Rafael Espinal introduced the bill, calling the city’s dependence on plastic “a trend we have to reverse immediately.”

Amanda Holpuch and Oliver Milman

Can Community Archives Survive Climate Change?

Rare books, records, and other printed materials in thousands of U.S. archives face elevated risks from natural disasters or changing temperatures.

Sophie Yeo


One-Track Mind

Drawing of a tunnel on the New York subway
Phillip Ashforth Coppola/Princeton Architectural Press

For nearly four decades, Phillip Ashforth Coppola has carefully sketched the mosaics, ceilings, staircases, and plaques of New York City’s subway stations. Now a new book compiles his drawings of the transit system’s finest and often overlooked details, including some that no longer exist since he started drawing in 1978. The book recalls a time when the subway was groundbreaking—rather than something to grumble about. CityLab’s Teresa Mathew has the story.


What We’re Reading

A history of housing, planning, and discrimination in America (Frank News)

The fine art of spying on your neighbors (Fast Company)

Who’s afraid of fare-free transit? (Next City)

This tiny-house trend is getting out of hand (Curbed)

“It does something to your soul when everyone losing their homes looks like you” (Politico Magazine)


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