Also: The climate refugees of Maryland, and discussing the far-out future of cities.

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What We’re Following

What, me worry? Most Americans expect to see driverless cars on the roads within 15 years. But they don’t expect to own one, and they don’t want to get near one while walking or biking. That’s the takeaway from three recent surveys about the future of autonomous vehicles, according to The Washington Post. A majority of people, ranging from 55 percent to 75 percent across the three surveys, responded that they wouldn’t ride in a driverless vehicle, suggesting that recent crashes have influenced public opinion.

It’s especially interesting to see the mixed feelings among younger people. Last month, 64 percent of people between 20 and 37 told AAA that they’re unwilling to ride in a driverless car, up from 49 percent at the end of 2017. But another survey found that a majority of adults under 34 believe that driverless cars are safer and would make roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Given how many deaths regular car crashes already cause, the question remains the same for the driverless future: Are we programming for a world that’s built for humans, or a world that’s built for cars?

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

My Town Is Getting Washed Away, and We're Angry

In just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon, the residents of Ellicott City, Maryland, became climate refugees. Here’s what that feels like.

Max Robinson

More Routes = More Riders

Why is transit ridership dropping across North American cities? Blame declining bus service.

Laura Bliss

Fortress ‘Black in America’: Closed to Africans?

In a real-life Killmonger-T’Challa story, a writer of Kenyan origin reflects on her experience as an immigrant in America and her struggle to find bonds with black Americans.

Mkawasi Mcharo Hall

We Need to Talk About the Far-Out Future of Cities

How do we shift our mindsets? How do we think about our urban historical past? Mayors, thought leaders, and practitioners weigh in.

CityLab Roundtable and Longpath

One Year After Trump Left the Paris Agreement, Who’s Still In?

City and state coalitions just announced they’ll be setting their own climate goals.

Sarah Holder


Construction Paper

A city sculpture by Bodys Isek Kingelez is pictured.
(Pierre Schwartz ADAGP; courtesy Musée International des Arts Modestes)

Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez made impossibly intricate sculptures of buildings and urban spaces using paper, paint, and glue. Now, an exhibit at MoMa features his city dreams and architectural imaginings, revealing a bold and direct vision of what Kingelez wished the world could contain: vivid, colorful, and sturdy structures. CityLab’s Teresa Mathew has the story on these fantastical cities made of dreams and paper.


What We’re Reading

Gay Americans have little to fear from the Supreme Court’s compromise in the case over wedding cake baker (Slate)

The high cost of abandoned property (Curbed)

Seattle is trying to make access to soccer fields more equitable (The Guardian)

How claiming queer urban enclaves were shaped by sexuality, race, class, and real estate (Urban Omnibus)


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