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

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

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)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Why Are So Many People In San Jose Fighting Housing for Teachers?

    The school system’s plan to build affordable apartment units for the city’s teachers has triggered a fierce backlash in one affluent area.

  2. Transportation

    Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

    The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.

  3. Equity

    Yes, 311 Nuisance Calls Are Climbing in Gentrifying Neighborhoods

    A new analysis by the Science vs. podcast team crunches the numbers on which New York City blocks are seeing spikes in calls complaining about other residents.

  4. Aerial view of narrow strips of land divided by water, some with houses on them.
    Environment

    The Dutch Can’t Save Us From Rising Seas

    Dutch engineers are renowned for their ability to keep cities dry. But their approach doesn’t necessarily translate to an American context.

  5. Slogan projected on the Eiffel Tower for World Climate Change Conference
    Environment

    What Local Climate Actions Would Have the Greatest Impact

    In light of even more dire news about our warming planet, leading thinkers tell us the one thing cities and states could do to cut emissions significantly—and fast.