Also: Hate-watching “House Hunters,” and a teen city council that doesn’t mess around.

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What We’re Following

Rolling in the green: We told you little vehicles were going to be big business, and now Uber is buying in even more. Bloomberg reports the company is joining Google Ventures in a $335 million funding round for the scooter- and bike-sharing company Lime. The move comes just a week after Lyft bought Motivate, which operates docked bikeshare systems in some of the largest cities in the United States. Uber already lets users find Jump’s dockless e-bikes in the app, and plans to do the same for Lime’s rental scooters, accelerating the venture-capital-boosted race to the curb.

As ride-hailing companies embrace multimodal mobility, “dockless” vehicles are not without their detractors. Last week, Milwaukee announced a lawsuit against the scooter company Bird, which is run by a one-time Uber executive (Milwaukee Biz Times). Still, there are promising signs that tech companies now see value in a variety of transportation options, and we might yet see people get out of their cars and reconnect with city streets (New York Times).

Dollar signs:

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

I Hate-Watch ‘House Hunters’ to Understand Segregation

The HGTV show highlights more than just open kitchens and bickering couples

Natalie Y. Moore

The Global Compact for Migration Needs to Hear From Cities

In the U.S., more than 90 percent of immigrants live in urban areas; around the world, that proportion is even higher. City leaders should have more of a say in this week’s UN negotiations.

Jessica Brandt and Aarthi Gunasekaran

What If the Teen City Council Is Better Than the Grownup One?

These high schoolers take their local government very seriously.

Kriston Capps

To Better Predict Traffic, Look to the Electric Grid

The way we consume power after midnight can reveal how we bad the morning rush hour will be.

Linda Poon

Down With Fun!

“Fun House,” an installation by Snarkitecture at the National Building Museum, shows that the craze for crowd-friendly museum spectacles is still going strong.

Kriston Capps

A Plan for Even Cheaper Train Travel Between Paris and London

A proposed discount service could cut prices by 25 percent.

Feargus O'Sullivan


One Nation, Undercount

An illustration shows a citizenship question for the 2020 Census.
(Ariel Aberg-Riger/CityLab)

With a highly contested citizenship question planned for the next Census, vulnerable communities are bracing to be undercounted in 2020. But the history of manipulating the Census goes as far back as the Articles of Confederation.

The Census as a tool for representative democracy seems simple enough: count the people and apportion power to represent them. But making the count an inherently political machine has made it possible to exploit, especially as the ever-shifting concept of race began to evolve, and as people moved from rural to urban America. On CityLab, visual storyteller Ariel Aberg-Riger draws the throughline on this all-too-familiar story with A Visual History of the U.S. Census.


What We’re Reading

No, “drunk walking” is not causing the rise in pedestrian deaths (Streetsblog)

Former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu may or may not run for President (Politico)

Starbucks will say goodbye to plastic straws in 2020 (NPR)

Our cities are getting hotter—and it’s killing people (Curbed)

Please LeBron, don’t try to ride your bike to work in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Times)


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