Also: Anthony Bourdain’s lens on cities, and Uber’s day of reckoning in London.

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What We’re Following

Not in My Back Nine: Bad news, dad—golf is dying. As Millennials show a waning interest in the sport, golf courses and country clubs are starting to shut down. That’s not great for golfers, but it could be a boon for cities and suburbs facing a housing crunch. The empty greens could open up thousands of acres for new homes and apartments—the only problem is that golf courses are broadly zoned for commercial uses. That could tee up big fights in the future over what should fill the former fairways. On CityLab: Dead Golf Courses Are the New NIMBY Battlefield.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Why Won't the Obama Presidential Center Sign a Community Benefits Agreement?

It's an old David vs. Goliath drama in Chicago's South Side.

Benjamin Schneider

You’re Thinking About Autonomous Vehicles Wrong

George Hotz, the hacker-turned-founder of an open-source self-driving startup, has a different philosophy of autonomy.

Laura Bliss

In London, Uber Faces Its Day of Reckoning

As an appeal against the removal of its license looms, Uber’s recent charm offensive risks backfiring.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Determining the Role of Culture in Cities’ Economic Growth

A new study, drawing on 1.5 million images of cultural spaces in London and New York, finds that cultural capital is a key contributor to urban economic growth.

Richard Florida

Mapping Childish Gambino’s Atlanta

A transplant to Atlanta from Pakistan (via London) has mapped the story of Atlanta as told through the songs of some of the city’s most famous rappers.

Brentin Mock

The Man Living Out Your Worst Airport Nightmare

Trapped in an arrivals hall in a Malaysian airport for the past 92 days, Hassan Al Kontar narrates his strange new life through selfie videos.

Abby Seiff


Anthony Bourdain, Urbanist

Anthony Bourdain is pictured.
(Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters)

Celebrity chef and travel show host Anthony Bourdain, who died today at 61, was a lover of cities as well as food. Bourdain’s culinary adventures in CNN’s Parts Unknown sussed out a real sense of place in a way that few travel shows on television could. The restaurant became Bourdain’s entry point to the wider culture of cities as his 11-season show uncovered urban life while dining on local delicacies from Los Angeles to Laos.

As a Parts Unknown producer summed up the show’s ethos in a New Yorker profile last year, Bourdain’s approach works as a mantra that applies to all kinds of urban wandering: “Don’t tell me what you ate. Tell me who you ate with.” On CityLab, Richard Florida explains how Bourdain inspired him to spread the message of cities and urbanism.


What We’re Reading

Why cities can’t stop poaching from one other (New York Times)

Building highways made racial segregation worse. Can removing them undo that legacy? (Streetsblog)

Senate panel maintains key funding for housing, transportation, and community development programs (Smart Growth America)

Developers are turning to prefabricated housing for entire apartments (New York Times)

Meet the New York architect who was a key figure in Donald Trump’s deals and connections in Eastern Europe (CNBC)


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