A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Taxi wars: The more than 40,000 Uber drivers in London are still allowed to drive—for now—as an appeals process plays out over the city’s surprise decision not to renew Uber’s license. But greater questions loom about the cultural battle stewing between Uber’s “techie upstarts” and the city’s immensely trained and once-revered black-cab drivers. The Washington Post reports:
The Uber fight in London not only pits new ways against old, it also reveals modern-day ruptures in the labor market — such as, what is the value of a worker who knows things versus a worker who knows how to look up things online?
There is also this: In multicultural London, Uber drivers are far more likely to be named Ali or Muhammad, while black-cab drivers tend to be an Ollie or a Brian. And the fight is playing out in a city where much of the white working class finds itself challenged by the forces of globalism, mass immigration and galloping technological change, all hot-button topics since Britain voted to leave the European Union.
Outbreak: California’s governor has declared a state of emergency as hepatitis A wreaks havoc across cities—including the hardest-hit San Diego, where homeless people make up the majority of the nearly 500 reported cases. Efforts to curb the outbreak include vaccines, street bleaching, and new port-a-potties. (Quartz)
Reproductive freedom: Casting U.S. cities as the counterweight to the Trump administration’s stances on women’s health, The Local Reproductive Freedom Index ranks the 40 most populated metros on the strength of their services. The National Institute for Reproductive Health project rates L.A., New York, and San Francisco the highest. (Fast Company)
“Dear Amazon…”: In an open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, 73 civic groups from across the U.S. beseech the retail giant to forgo tax benefits and pay its “fair share” to whatever city lands HQ2, laying out a wish list that includes protection of worker’s rights and affordable housing, support for mass transit, and education programs. (Seattle Times)
In other Amazon news: The company is rolling out a new network of lockers to receive its deliveries in more than 850,000 apartment buildings across the U.S. (Quartz)
Conversion therapy: Urban warehouse conversions are old hat by now, but big adaptive reuse projects are getting more creative—like the prison-turned-film studio in Staten Island, or the giant textile mill adding apartments and shops to Norwich, Connecticut. (New York Times)