Also: Relocating like LeBron, and the successes of “informal” development.

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What We’re Following

Family matters: City leaders are still wrapping their heads around the crisis created by separating migrant children from their parents in detention centers across the country. On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a center in Harlem where the federal government had quietly housed 239 unaccompanied children away from the border (New York Times). In Portland, Oregon, protests against the “zero-tolerance” policy shut down an ICE office (CNN). And in Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced an executive order prohibiting the city’s jails from accepting new ICE detainees (Governing).

Back in Texas, there were about 4,000 children spread across 32 shelters in the state by mid-May, according to the Texas Tribune, which has mapped the detention facilities along with the number of children and health/safety violations at each center. We’re watching as U.S. mayors visit the port of entry in Tornillo, Texas, today to call for action on family reunification. Stay tuned.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Learning From LeBron

More people should think about where they want to live and work as seriously as LeBron James does.

Richard Florida

When a Suburb Tries to Densify, Forget ‘Minnesota Nice’

Outside the Twin Cities, housing advocates are fighting with local governments, reluctant neighbors—and, occasionally, each other.

Rachel M. Cohen

The Tax on Black and Brown Customers When Dealing With Community Banks

According to a new study from New America, African Americans and Latinx incur more bank account costs and fees than whites even when dealing with small financial institutions.

Brentin Mock and David Montgomery

How the Plastic Straw Came to Life in American Cities

It started with a "Yankee mania for sanitation” and took off alongside soda fountains and McDonald’s. Local governments can try to ban the plastic straw now, but they can’t do a thing about the vast system that’s attached to it.

Alexis C. Madrigal

In Mumbai, a Push to Recognize the Successes of ‘Informal’ Development

An area made famous by Slumdog Millionaire might look crammed and chaotic to outsiders, but a local urbanist group shows the intricate, valuable complexity that exists there. Can that save the neighborhood from demolition?

Feargus O'Sullivan


Trailers, Mapped

An Apartment List map shows where mobile homes are most common in the U.S.
(Apartment List)

About 5.6 percent of all U.S. households (6.6 million households, or 17.7 million people) live in manufactured housing, commonly referred to as “mobile homes” or “trailers,” according to a new report from Apartment List. With one in 18 Americans living in a mobile home or trailer, the low-cost housing option is at its lowest share of total housing since the 1980s, after taking off as the Reagan administration slashed federal funding for affordable housing. The map above shows how common mobile homes are in metro areas around the country (larger circles mean more people, redder circles mean larger share of housing stock).

The top four states with the highest concentration of mobile homes are New Mexico (16.6 percent), South Carolina (15.7 percent), West Virginia (14.4 percent) and Mississippi (14.1 percent).

CityLab context: When it comes to affordable housing, mobile homes matter


What We’re Reading

Could architects help solve New York’s big, stinky trash crisis? (Fast Company)

When grudges build up, you get spite buildings (The Guardian)

Autonomous vehicles might drive cities to financial ruin (Wired)

20 ways cities can boost quality of life (Curbed)

Michael Bloomberg will spend $80 million on the mid-terms. His goal: flip the House. (New York Times)


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