Also: The problem with suburban police, and Pride arrives in smaller cities.
Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.
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.
More on CityLab
Too Hot, Too Cold
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)