Also: Doug Ford blows up Toronto’s city council, and another threat to Carolina’s lowcountry.

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What We’re Following

Memory lane: In a warehouse in Chula Vista, California, there’s an idealized 1950s town, complete with details like jukeboxes, rotary phones, and even a Ford Thunderbird. At first it might sound like a nostalgic playground, but it’s on an important mission to help people with dementia recall their past.

Built and operated by the George G. Glenner Alzheimer’s Family Centers, this first “memory town” aims to stimulate memories for patients through “reminiscence therapy.” The model town square offers seniors a quasi-urban experience, with a diner, a movie theater, a pet store, a park-like square, and even a city hall decked out in vintage style.

The diner in "Town Square" is pictured.
The diner in Town Square. (Senior Helpers)

Soon, Glenner Centers plans to take the concept beyond the warehouse. Do fake towns like this betray how we’ve failed to build age-friendly cities in the first place? CityLab’s Amanda Kolson Hurley looks at what a fake town for dementia tells us about urban design.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

In Toronto, Ford Nation Strikes Back

Doug Ford, the brother of the late and disgraced former mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, has thrown a local election into chaos.

Chris Bateman

Hurricane Florence Threatens Property Ties in Carolina’s Lowcountry

Thousands of acres throughout the flooded Carolinas are heir’s property, a form of land ownership that leaves residents vulnerable to speculators.

Laura Bliss

What Worker Wouldn’t Move to Scandinavia in America?

Chasing an HQ2 is a dying model. As the nature of working changes, U.S. cities that provide workers with the support that companies once did, will prosper.

Lev Kushner

Mapping Skopje’s Modernism

An earthquake hit the city in July 1963, killing over 1,000 people and leaving 200,000 homeless. The inventive, vernacular-influenced designs behind the rebuild are worth celebrating.

Feargus O'Sullivan

Teacher Wages Are Lower Than Ever

It’s not just that paychecks are shrinking. It’s that the advantages teachers once had are reversing.

Sarah Holder



What We’re Reading

Hurricane Florence’s surge is expected to hit homes that already cost the government millions (ProPublica)

Vision Zero: Has the drive to eliminate traffic deaths lost its way? (The Guardian)

Why the trial of the Chicago officer who shot Laquan Mcdonald matters (New York Times)

Meet the twist-and-turning streetlamp of the future (Curbed)

How local government became the hottest trend in fashion (GQ)


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