Also: Nobody’s taking L.A.’s incentive for urban farming, and what opportunity zones can do for America’s poorest cities.

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What We’re Following

Do not pass go: There’s no such thing as “free parking” in cities. By taking up street space, cars suck up a lot of land and resources—in fact, the total value of parking spaces can add up to billions of dollars in American cities.

And that’s not only true in the most expensive places. A new study takes an inventory of parking in five cities—New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Des Moines, and Jackson, Wyoming—and finds that parking gobbles up more acreage where land is cheap. That helps explain why Philadelphia has 3.7 parking spaces per household, while Jackson has 27. CityLab’s Richard Florida explains the huge amount of space taken up by parking in American cities, and the astronomical costs it represents.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

L.A.’s Incentive for Urban Farming Fails to Take Root

Hardly any lots have received a tax break so far under the Urban Agriculture Incentive Zones program.

Ludwig Hurtado

Lessons from New York’s Immigration Raids

Despite New York’s policies to protect immigrants, new analyses of federal immigration enforcement show how and why it is in many ways becoming more aggressive.

Tanvi Misra

Fixing America’s Forgotten Places

Opportunity Zones, created by Trump’s tax law, are meant to encourage investment in struggling communities. But in the poorest cities, many fear the program could do more harm than good.

Annie Lowrey

The European Heat Wave Is Brutal

As fatal wildfires ravage the Athens region, Northern European cities are broiling in record-breaking summer heat.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Climate Change May Cause 26,000 More U.S. Suicides by 2050

Unusually hot days have profound effects on mental health and human physiology.

Robinson Meyer


Scooting Along

A chart from Populous shows public perception of e-scooters by city

How does your city feel about e-scooters? With the sudden rise of scooter sharing, there’s been a wide range of reactions from municipal governments, ranging from full bans to cautious acceptance. The public’s perception has been harder to judge, but a new survey from Populus Technologies suggests people have a generally positive view of e-scooters. The chart above shows that breakdown across cities, with only San Francisco posting a mixed opinion on this micro-mobility option.

The study speaks to the stunningly rapid adoption of e-scooters: On average, about 3.6 percent of people in major cities have tried scooter sharing, and the companies have been in service less than 12 months. That’s about the same adoption rate as what traditional car-sharing services reached by 2012, approximately 12 years after Zipcar launched its service. CityLab context: The electric scooter war is no joke


What We’re Reading

A class action lawsuit by the Kushner Companies’ tenants in Baltimore is going forward (ProPublica)

New traffic signals in London will give pedestrians the green light by default (Streetsblog)

An awful lot of people use and love their public library, as an economics professor discovered this weekend (Washington Post)

One year after white nationalist rally, Charlottesville is in a tug of war over its soul (New York Times)

The political education of Silicon Valley (Wired)


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