Also: The problem with suburban police, and Pride arrives in smaller cities.

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What We’re Following

Get smart: Songdo, South Korea, has been hailed as the world’s “smartest city,” promising the best of a sustainable, low-carbon, high-tech urban paradise. On futuristic amenities, the city delivers—it’s a walkable, sensor-laden showpiece of 21st century design. But there’s one thing Songdo doesn’t have: enough people.

Even with plenty of apartments, the city doesn’t have that same bustle you’ll find in other South Korean cities. People are more likely to interact via the internet than on the streets, leaving some feeling lonely among the urban silence. For our  ”Seoul Stories” series, CityLab’s Linda Poon visited Songdo and experienced the hardest thing about living in an eco-friendly master-planned utopia: meeting your neighbors.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How HUD Could Reverse Course on Racial Discrimination

The housing agency plans to revisit its rule regarding “disparate impact,” a legal doctrine that prohibits discrimination that happens because of a policy whose language is otherwise neutral.

Kriston Capps

When Pride Comes to Town

Several smaller U.S. cities are hosting their first Pride parades this year. For locals, it’s a chance to assert that they don’t need to leave their community to be gay.

Karen Loew

The Problem With Suburban Police

The East Pittsburgh police department that is responsible for killing the unarmed teenager Antwon Rose, Jr. is one of more than a hundred police departments across metro Pittsburgh—and that’s a problem.

Brentin Mock

Why Little Vehicles Will Conquer the City

Nearly all of them look silly, but if taken seriously, they could be a really big deal for urban transportation.

Benjamin Schneider

London’s $2 Billion Plan to Ease Congestion on the Tube

Without these 250 new trains, the Underground might well be on a fast-track to meltdown.

Feargus O'Sullivan

A 1990s Preview of a ‘Gateway’ for Cleveland

A local celebrity, dark backgrounds, smooth jazz, and a mysterious set of eyes surely sold the region’s corporate class on what’s now known as “The Q.”

Mark Byrnes


Too Hot, Too Cold

A Brookings map shows where it's hard to become a homeowner vs. where it's hard to build housing wealth.

While the high cost of housing can be a bear in expensive cities, finding an affordable home might take some Goldilocks finesse. A new report from Brookings finds that housing in the United States is too expensive, too cheap, and just right, depending on where you look. To find out how it breaks down, you have to go beyond metro-level affordability and look at neighborhoods. In the median U.S. neighborhood, house prices are about three times annual household income, which matches what’s recommended to spend without jeopardizing a family’s finances.

The map above looks at home price-to-income ratio within neighborhoods to rate affordability of metros across the country. What emerges isn’t strictly a picture of where housing is and isn’t affordable, though—even where homes are cheaper, it can be just as difficult to build wealth through home equity.


What We’re Reading

Inside a center for separated children in New York (New York Times)

Police report says driver was streaming Hulu before the self-driving Uber crash in Tempe (Reuters)

Young Trump staffers came to Washington—and they’re not fitting in (Politico)

How a red-hot housing market made Zillow into a media company (Marketplace)

Why the “distracted pedestrian” is a myth (Curbed)


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