Morning News Roundup

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    Here are our favorite headlines from the world or cities, urbanism, transportation, and beyond. Take a look below and share what you’re reading in the comments.

    In today’s affordable housing crisis, more demand but less supply. (Frontline + NPR)
    “More and more Americans are struggling to make rent. Each year, an estimated 2.5 million people across the country are evicted.” Watch the full Frontline episode here.

    How homeownership became the engine of American inequality. (NY Times)
    “When we think of entitlement programs, Social Security and Medicare immediately come to mind. But by any fair standard, the holy trinity of United States social policy should also include the mortgage-interest deduction — an enormous benefit that has also become politically untouchable.”

    How Amazon’s ‘invisible’ hand can shape your city. (Curbed)
    “Amazon has been able to ride this stealth presence and sink under the radar,” says Olivia LaVecchia, a research associate with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit focused on promoting small business. “Their true power and influence have remained invisible. They’re reshaping our commerce, built environment, and even social interactions.”

    Lawsuit, foreclosure sale complicates future of blighted Black Leaf property. (Courier-Journal)
    “After long-banned pesticides like DDT and other dangerous chemicals or heavy metals were found in the soil, Young said he became unable to pay the $20,000 monthly mortgage he owed to First Capital Bank of Kentucky. He also owes the city nearly $1 million in back property taxes and the Metropolitan Sewer District $200,000 for several years of unpaid drainage fees. But as Young this week faces the loss of the property he’s owned since 1999, he is taking steps to recover financially while he promotes his plan to develop affordable housing for western Louisville.”

    Rural America is more diverse than you think. (The Week)
    “The fact is, the nation’s countryside is much more diverse than the way it’s usually depicted in the media. It is not a parochial homogeny defined by narrow industrial interests, but a diverse landscape with a broad sweep of economic priorities.”

    How air conditioning shaped modern architecture—and changed our climate. (Curbed)
    “Air conditioning enabled our great modernist buildings to rise, but it’s also fueled today’s energy and environmental crisis. AC helped create a new building typology, one that environmentally conscious architects and designers are trying to move beyond with new designs and passive-cooling techniques.”

    Video shows what ancient Rome actually looked like. (Vox)
    “The goal is to take historical depictions of the city and create a true-to-life model of every period of Roman development, ranging from 1000 BC to 552 AD. This isn’t just a cool pastime; it’s useful for everyone from historians to filmmakers looking to capture what the city actually looked like.”

    Grants to bring an equity lens to urban sustainability work. (Inside Philanthropy)
    “As urban sustainability and livability features like green spaces, transit-oriented development, and walkable communities have become more popular, negative outcomes like spiking real estate and resulting displacement have followed. That doesn’t mean such efforts shouldn’t be pursued…”

    Oldie: How we came to play: A history of playgrounds. (National Trust)
    “Playgrounds are about more than equipment. Their location, design and construction speak to humanitarian goals, school activities, community development and planning, which offer cultural context.”

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