Also: The power of “social infrastructure,” and a daring experiment in digital democracy.

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What We’re Following

Street smarts: Every day, about 102 people in the United States are killed in motor vehicle crashes. The majority of the crash-related deaths (which total more than 37,000 each year) occur in rural areas, but these fatalities have been rising in urban areas since 2009. That has spurred more than 30 cities in the U.S. to commit to Vision Zero, with the goal of bringing their road fatalities to zero by 2025.

To make this happen, cities have taken a range of steps that include improvements in street design and stricter traffic enforcement. A new bit of research from the American Public Transportation Association and the Vision Zero Network finds that public transit can be a safety workhorse, too. In cities where public transit trips get taken more frequently, there are fewer road deaths for passengers and pedestrians. The secret? Buses and trains get more people out of their cars. Read up on the research in my latest story: Cities With Good Public Transit Have Fewer Road Fatalities

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

How ‘Social Infrastructure’ Can Knit America Together

Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People, talks about how schools, libraries, and other institutions can restore a sense of common purpose in America.

Richard Florida

Is This Experiment in Digital Democracy Too Crazy to Work?

A startup called Voatz wants to build an unhackable way to vote over the internet. What could possibly go wrong?

Sarah Holder

Homeless, But Part of Society in Montreal

Montreal has a multi-million dollar plan to address homelessness. At the center is social inclusion.

Sophia Chang

Ahead of Climate Summit, Marchers Take to City Streets

Preceding this week’s Global Climate Action Summit, thousands rallied for the environment in cities around the world.

Oliver Milman

Italy Defied Starbucks—Until It Didn't

The chain’s new store in Milan reveals some unexpected ways that coffee connects with national identity.

Rachel Donadio


The Arch of History

An illustration for St. Louis: 2068
(Susannah Lohr)

Fifty years ago, Vice President Hubert Humphrey dedicated the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, describing it as "a soaring curve in the sky that links the rich heritage of yesterday with the richer future of tomorrow.” What's to come in the next 50 years? An illustrated piece imagines a historian’s lecture in the year 2068, retelling 100 years of the city’s history as it struggles through an intractable soft decline. The St. Louis story continues with bankruptcy, emergency management, and vacancy, yet city leaders still hope for a return to vitality. Read on CityLab: St. Louis: 2068.


What We’re Reading

Los Angeles is teaming up with other cities to get cheaper electric vehicles (Wired)

Crumbling concrete, leaking roofs, and busted elevators: The state of the T (Boston Globe)

What millions of retiring small business owners could mean for cities (Next City)

How struggling Dayton, Ohio reveals the chasm among American cities (ProPublica)


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