FROM Kriston Capps
Silicon Valley wants to rethink city life The Carnegie Library in Washington DC's Mount Vernon Square, which Apple will convert into one of its "town squares." Photo by Mark Schierbecker Tech companies are disrupting city life in all sorts of ways, from AirBnB to ridesharing and food delivery to self-driving cars. And cities are impacting tech. DnA talks to CityLab's Kriston Capps about the latest developments. Apple announced last week that its stores will be rebranded as "town squares," in which the public can gather in "plazas," browse new products on their "avenues" and take classes in their "forums." Why is Apple borrowing the language of city planning? And should they be setting up shop in hallowed architectural buildings, like Washington DC's Carnegie Library? The announcement of a vending machine startup Bodega ignited cries of racism and tone-deafness. Is a vending machine that uses facial recognition software to predict your purchases anti-urban? And why does Silicon Valley produce so many apps that serve young bachelors? And while Amazon promises to breathe new life into the city that wins the bid to host its second headquarters, is the company's online retail business sucking the life out of Main Street? And do Apple's "town squares" bring the customers back?
Bidding on the border wall US Army Spc. Michael J. Westall uses a motorized boom lift to get into position to weld the reinforcement of the primary steel border fence along the United States-Mexico border on June 7, 2007. Photo by Senior Master Sgt. David H. Lipp, US Air Force "There's work and there's politics. We build," said Marc Uribe, explaining why his firm De La Fuentes Construction is among hundreds that have expressed interest in helping to construct President Trump's Mexican-American border wall. The companies that are lining up range from global defense contractors to small, family-owned businesses. What about those who choosing not to apply, or to "punk" the project? And what kind of wall does the government really want, and how will it pay for it?
What Ben Carson as HUD chief means for public housing Donald Trump has chosen neurosurgeon Ben Carson to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson has no housing policy experience. He was previously considered for other cabinet positions, but reportedly told the Trump administration he didn’t have enough experience to run a government agency. What will he do at HUD?
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?