Also: What mayors want most this year, and why everyone is talking about parking.
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What We’re Following
Red all over: What’s your local newspaper worth? We’re not just talking about the price of a subscription here: New research finds that when cities lose their local paper, the costs of government actually increase. That has to do with a lack of scrutiny over deals, say researchers, who also found that long-term borrowing costs rise after disruptions in local news. CityLab’s Kriston Capps digs into how city finances suffer when local newspapers close.
Show and tell: Mayors are putting a bigger emphasis on infrastructure, housing, and health in their speeches this year, according to the National League of Cities’ latest State of the Cities report. More specific topics like the opioid crisis, broadband infrastructure, and school gun violence demonstrate how cities are addressing national problems. CityLab editor Nicole Flatow moderated a panel at the report’s release event today, which you can watch online via C-SPAN, starting around 17-minute mark.
More on CityLab
Food delivery culture in Seoul, South Korea, far predates the age of on-demand mobile apps. Since the 1970s, mobile refrigeration carts operated by middle-aged women known as ajummas, have been used to roll door-to-door offering up icy cold staples like Yakult yogurt in residential neighborhoods. Now those delivery jobs have been given a tech update—with sleek motorized yogurtmobiles designed to keep up with the pace of the city. CityLab’s Linda Poon is on the ground to take a look at the human side of this high-tech city, launching our Seoul Stories series.
What We’re Reading
Bird, the electric scooter company, races to become a billion-dollar startup (Bloomberg)
How fire departments stopped worrying and embraced safer street design (Streetsblog)
Another taxi driver in debt takes his life. That’s five in five months (New York Times)
To reflect reality, what should the next HGTV show look like? (Curbed)
Maryland’s flooding is a warning (Slate)