Also: SCOTUS strikes down a gerrymandering challenge, and the high cost of saving travel time.
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What We’re Following
From drab to prefab: With a complex web of architects, contractors, and subcontractors, the construction industry is difficult to streamline and resistant to gains in productivity. So, naturally, a Silicon Valley startup sees an opportunity to do what Silicon Valley startups do best: disrupt.
Katerra, a modular construction company, wants to take over the building process from start to finish, aiming to churn out apartments the way Starbucks pushes lattes. It’s not the first to chase the dream of prefabricated construction, and its investments in good architects and mass timber could give it a decisive edge—or prove to be a costly gamble. CityLab’s Amanda Kolson Hurley reports on Why Silicon Valley Wants to Conquer Construction
Just in: The Supreme Court rules that Texas lawmakers weren’t intentionally discriminatory in 10 out of 11 congressional and state legislative districts redrawn in 2010. The decision reverses a lower court decision that found racial gerrymandering undercut the voting power of black and Hispanic voters. (Texas Tribune)
More on CityLab
The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia packs 64 games into just four weeks. With as many as three games a day, workers all over the world are being pulled away from their desks, bending the productivity curve like… sigh, Beckham. This chart from Statista, shared by the World Economic Forum, shows where game times and work hours overlap in some major cities. Rio and New York have at least 60 hours of possible game-watching time during work. London, Los Angeles, Paris, and Berlin have over 30 hours. And if you really want to get technical, Tableau has a map exploring how the World Cup could affect the GDP of the 32 countries in the tournament—calculating both the potential upsides and downsides of wins and losses of their team.
ICYMI on CityLab: A World Cup Stadium embodies Russia’s complex history
What We’re Reading
Their friend died in a hit-and-run. Can they take on car culture in Los Angeles? (New York Times)
Coming soon to cities: one transit app to rule them all (Fast Company)
Diversity in architecture is improving—sort of (Curbed)
Cities are watching you—and urban sciences graduates are watching back (Wired)
Five things Trump gets most wrong about MS-13 (ProPublica)