Can Cities Shape the Automated Future?

Three robotic arms move brushes languidly across canvases as the glass eyes of cameras gaze ahead. The robots are painting a still life—lit with a tarnished black standing lamp—of a stuffed fox, a bird perched on a branch, a skull in the center, and a seashell to the side.

This summer in Paris, it is not only the clutch of international travelers filling the museums, but robotic visitors as well. The Grande Palais is hosting an exhibit called “Artistes and Robots” that features works created via artificial intelligence and robotic hosts. Elsewhere, AI-produced art is growing increasingly indistinguishable from the “real thing.” Since 2016, teams of programmers have competed in an annual RobotArt competition (here are this year’s finalists), and robot-made art will go on sale at the Seattle Art Fair this summer, alongside works that came solely from human hands.

This partnership between human and machine is what lies ahead as automation tools permeate our lives at a quickening pace. As many worry about the potential for robots to steal our jobs (or lead a violent overthrow of society), the reality may be more nuanced: They may end up being something more like creative collaborators, much like these robotic artists on display.

Estimates for the number of jobs potentially displaced by automation vary dramatically, depending who is doing the measurement. But it’s reasonable to assume that people in certain industries will indeed be greatly impacted, while others not as much. And it’s also safe to say that any mass displacement of workers would create a range of bad outcomes—poverty and populism top the list—that we can and must deliberately plan for now. We must re-tool the workforce, be ever learning, and open to rapid change to reduce the negative impact.

The urban environment will be the testing ground for these new technologies impacting the workforce, particularly in the transportation sector. The shift toward autonomy—whether with cars, trucks, trains, buses, or delivery robots on the sidewalk or in the air—is already happening. Projections for when these vehicles will be on the street at scale range from next year to the next decade, or even beyond. This being the case, my colleagues at the National League of Cities, together with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute, built autonomous vehicle scenarios to explore these changes and create people-centered solutions. First and foremost, cities should be in the driver’s seat, and these scenarios explain how city leaders and community members can shape the autonomous future—delving into mobility, sustainability, jobs and the economy, and urban transformation.

Overall, we found that “the robotization of the city” (as Paris deputy mayor Jean-Louis Missika calls it) may usher in job creation in certain sectors and make work more accessible to those who are now getting left out. A network of autonomous minibuses and taxis, for example, could help lower-income and disabled city residents who live in “transit deserts” and offer a solution for those who don’t have a car to travel to opportunities that are further away.

Robots could also help small mom-and-pop businesses. You may be imagining that a flying drone will someday deliver your burritos—it’s possible, but earthbound robots on sidewalks will most likely be doing it first. Such autonomous delivery machines could be a boon to local restaurants and retailers, allowing them to compete with Amazon in providing customers with almost-instant delivery. (On the other hand, these devices could also eliminate jobs for a lot of delivery people.)

The opportunities are vast, but it is up to us to make the right choices. To minimize job losses and embrace the positive benefits of automation, we need to focus on the great value humans first and foremost bring to the table—decision-making capacity, relationship building, critical thinking, and more. Jobs that are much less likely to be automated have strong soft skills and are in high-touch industries—think electrician not laborer, sales representative not cashier. Automation will also fuel the growth of nascent fields such as robot overseer and repairperson. And the increased convenience, lower costs, and enhanced productivity of these shifts should broadly benefit society.

It’s worth remembering that churn in the job market is hardly new. Does anyone truly mourn the passing of the elevator operator, iceman, or switchboard operator? Those who labored at these vanished professions—and many more—eventually made way for computer programmers, Lyft drivers, social media managers, and many other modern jobs that couldn’t have been imagined without the advent of new technologies. But what is new is the sheer pace and scale of potential job destruction across so many industries. According to one popular estimate cited by the World Economic Forum, for children today approximately 65 percent of jobs they may do have not yet been created. There’s a wide swath of new jobs that are still to be imagined.

Frankly, the kids who will be doing these jobs get it. This is the world they already live in, and their expectations reflect the reality that these changes will largely happen through a process of co-creation between human and machine. They’re preparing to live in a world that embraces the automation revolution as a creative partnership. It’s up to those of us in older generations to oversee this potentially disruptive process and make sure it’s a collaboration that ends up building something truly better, rather than just new.

As I strode through the Grand Palais watching robots and AI create art, it was hard not to ask philosophical questions about what makes “art” art. Our conceptions of what constitutes culture and work have radically changed over time. The 40-hour workweek did not exist, until it did. Depth and dimension in painting was not real until it was created. Vehicles that could drive themselves were a pipe dream for decades; now they rove in major cities.

This all speaks to the fact that we are on the cusp of radical change right now, with a story not yet fully written. Ultimately, the art on the wall, the music we hear, and the words written down frame our reality based on the values with which we imbue them. The robotic visitors will increasingly be with us in our galleries, workplaces, and homes, so now is the time to build a true partnership rather than standing against the changes happening all around us. We can shape how this future will look.

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10 Objectives for Assessing Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

MaaS has a lot to offer to public transit and it’s time to take a closer look at those benefits. Contrary to a common misconception, integration of third-party transit services into the wider public mobility offering doesn’t hurt transit, it actually encourages wider use of public transit, maintaining and even actively increasing ridership. Alternative transit services can address first/last mile problems as well as serve routes that are typically very costly and require a high level of government subsidy (e.g. paratransit), not only increasing revenues for transit agencies but also helping to direct funding and investment back to core transit services.

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Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

Charlie Goedecke carefully examined the fabric shaver I’d placed in front of him. The motor had stopped working, or so I assumed. Using a voltage tester, he checked to make sure the batteries inside weren’t dead—they weren’t. “Now the question is, how do we take this apart?” he said. I told him that’s where my colleague, who had entrusted me with the item, struggled when she tried to fix it.

“They don’t make it easy,” he replied.

We were at a “repair cafe” inside the Elkridge Library in Howard County, Maryland. Instead of silence, we were surrounded by the buzzing of power drills and the whirring of sewing machines. Goedecke was one of the “master fixers” there. He doesn’t like the term, though; he says it should be reserved for the professionals. “We’re all just amateurs at this, and we’re just having fun, mostly,” the 67-year-old retired engineer said.

Around the room, 10 others were helping residents repair everything from tables and lamps to jewelry and clothing. In one corner, a handful of vacuums had begun to accumulate. These were things people normally threw away when they malfunction. “[Our society] has been inculcated in the last 50 years with this disposable concept and to buy the best and the latest,” Goedecke said. “We just don’t expect to keeps things around.”

It’s that throwaway culture that former sustainability journalist Martine Postma—now the founder of the Repair Cafe Foundation—aimed to tackle in October 2009 when she created the first of such cafes in Amsterdam. The world had been chucking away some 20 million to 50 million tons of electronic waste a year, according to the UN, creating environmental and health problems when dump sites are burned. Meanwhile the the U.S. alone had generated almost 25 billion tons of textile waste that year.

“It’s not just electronics and textile; also furniture and bicycles and toys—lots of stuff,” Postma said, speaking from her office in Amsterdam. “At the time, the garbage was collected once a week, and every week there were mountains of waste outside, so much that it really shocked me.”

That amount of waste continues to grow today, but so has Postma’s movement. From that first cafe in Amsterdam grew nearly 1,600 more across the globe, including 82 within the U.S. The international attention came swiftly, she said, with like-minded environmentalists asking to set up coffee meetings with her to learn how to get started. She now sells a digital starter kit for €49 (about $58) that includes a manual, permission to use the foundation’s official logo, and communication access to all the other cafes out there.

What she’s discovered was that it wasn’t that people liked throwing away old stuff. “Often when they don’t know how to repair something, they replace it, but they keep the old one in the cupboard—out of guilt,” she said. “Then at a certain moment, the cupboard is full and you decide this has been lying around [long enough].”

Charlie Goedecke demonstrates how the wires are set up inside a lamp. (Linda Poon/CityLab)

That’s why the cafes teach people how to repair their belongings, rather than doing it for them. Back at Elkridge Library, Goedecke led a session on how to rewire lamps, taking one apart and showing the audience the individual components. Each time the fixers worked on something, they explained the process to the person across the table.

With the fabric shaver I’d brought in, the plastic safety switch had apparently broken, preventing the metal parts that carry electricity to the motor from touching. “What we can do is solder this piece together,” he said, showing me the metal plates. That meant getting rid of the plastic safety switch. I gave him the OK, and in minutes, the shaver began humming again.

Goedecke is usually the “catch-all guy,” fixing electrical appliances that don’t fall into the various stations the organizers had set up: sewing, woodwork, jewelry repair, et cetera. Some things are easier than others: Vacuums are among the most common and easiest to fix. Clocks can be surprisingly tricky.

For him, though, the focus isn’t so much on the appliances as it is on interacting with his community. “I have to be honest, when you go telling people you want to save the world, they often say, ‘That sounds nice, but I don’t have the time,’” he said. “But if there is this aspect of, ‘Do you want your toaster fixed, and while you’re having that done, can we talk about saving the world?’ they tend to be more receptive.”

Each cafe operates differently, but Postma says one thing often stays the same: “The atmosphere is always the same,” she said. “It’s always many funny products and happy people.”

Andrew Hendren watches as volunteers fix his lamp, which before could only be turned on and off by plugging and unplugging the cord. (Linda Poon/CityLab)

The event attracted an older crowd—as many of these do—which meant 21-year-old Andrew Hendren stood out as he watched one volunteer work on his table lamp. The switch broke, he said, so the lamp could only be turned on and off by plugging and unplugging the cord. He had never heard of repair cafes until the day before, and generally wasn’t the kind of person to fix things himself. But he was well aware of how often people throw things away.

“It is such a shame that we are such a throwaway culture,” he told CityLab. “[The volunteer] who was helping me noted that the mechanism isn’t designed to be taken apart and repaired. It’s designed to make you frustrated.”

Postma said the movement has made great progress over the last decade, but acknowledged that more can be done. Attracting younger people would be a good start goal. She wants schools to add—or rather, bring back—technical education. In the U.S., at least, those hands-on classes have been on the decline since the 1980s.

Goedecke himself grew up with woodwork classes, and learned to fix things by taking objects apart and tinkering with what’s inside. These days, though, it’s a bit more challenging, with products using more computerized technology and manufacturers using parts that can’t easily be disassembled. Just recently, he tried to fix his coffee grinder.

“Once I got inside, I discovered that [the manufacturers] had used anti-tamper screws,” he said. “So even if you could figure out how to go through the first layer, you couldn’t get to the motor unless you had a very specific screwdriver.” Other companies make it difficult to buy replacement parts or discourage third-party and self repairs—practices, known as planned obsolescence, that have spurred at least 18 states to introduce “right to repair” legislation.

The foundation, meanwhile, is starting to collect data on what people bring in and what challenges the fixers face, for example, to use as evidence to eventually spur policy changes on the local level, if not the national and international level.

For the time being, communities are doing what they can to encourage people to fix things. Libraries like the one in Howard County, for example, have started renting out tools and creating “makerspaces” where members learn to both repair and create. Elsewhere, cities have hosted MakerLabs, FabLabs—short for fabrication lab—and Innovation Labs for both adults and children. Bike shops and nonprofits alike have fished scrapped vehicles from the landfill to repair and donate to the underserved community. And similar to the Repair Cafe Foundation, a London startup called The Restart Project are encouraging communities to host “restart parties”with the goal of “fixing our relationship with electronics.”

After all, Goedecke said, it doesn’t take an engineer to figure out this stuff out: “You just have to have the curiosity and will to do things like that.”

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Seeing the Beauty in Ukraine’s Soviet Architecture

Welcome to the latest installation of “

The movement to preserve Soviet Modernism became more urgent last year when it became clear that neighboring Ocean Mall Plaza may soon swallow the the old UFO building. According to Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly, “buildings constructed between 1955 and 1991 aren’t considered a part of the city’s historical or cultural heritage.”

But in Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism, Bykov’s and Gubnika’s dramatic voice-overs make a case for the historical and cultural importance of these buildings as viewers are introduced to some of Kiev’s most iconic structures, like the UFO building and the House of Furniture.

“Each succeeding generation does not only reject the previous one but does not notice it at all,” Gubkina declares. The successive architectural styles during the Soviet period were created in voids, unconnected from the generations that preceded them.

They hope that trend won’t continue.

H/T: The Calvert Journal

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To Save a Town ‘By the Grace of God’

Editor’s note: From Charles Dickens to Ben Carson, those who visited Cairo, Illinois, have rarely described it in kind words. For her latest contribution to CityLab, writer and visual storyteller Martha Park explores the latest challenge facing this long-struggling city.

Further Reading:

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CityLab Daily: The Sensory City Philosopher

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

People watching, plus: Carlo Ratti is an architect, engineer, and inventor. He’s also a kind of philosopher of the smart city. As director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, Ratti’s team deploys digital sensors, artificial intelligence, and other wifi-connected inventions in cities. But his work differs from “smart city” dogma in a key way: It isn’t about directly addressing problems with technology as a “solution.” Instead, it’s about observing people’s interactions with urban spaces.

Thus the lab’s proposals have a more playful philosophy: Make tweaks and let them ripple. CityLab’s Laura Bliss visited the Cambridge, Massachusetts, lab to check out its latest projects. Read her story: The Sensory City Philosopher

Speaking of play… If you’re a parent raising small children in a city, take our survey to help inform coverage for our new series, “Room to Grow.”

Andrew Small

More on CityLab

Why New York City Is Reporting Its Sustainability Progress to the UN

So far, it’s the only city in the world to publish a review of its progress toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nicole Javorsky

What Cities Do Right to Integrate Immigrants, in 4 Charts

A sociologist interviewed hundreds of immigrants in New York, Barcelona, and Paris. Here’s what he says those cities get right—and do wrong—when integrating foreign-born residents.

Ernesto Castañeda

Grenfell’s Problem Wasn’t Just Lax Regulation

After the tragic, deadly fire in London, there have been calls for increased regulation and inspection, but that alone will drive up rents for the most vulnerable. Cities need a radical change in the way they approach housing.

Robin Bartram

Imagining a ‘Canadian Anti-Tourist League’

In a short 1950s comedy, a small group of grumpy natives celebrate awful customer service in the hopes of keeping Americans away.

Mark Byrnes

Launderettes of London

As a new photo project shows, these places aren’t just bright and slightly battered spots to clean clothes—they’re community hubs where people linger and make connections.

Feargus O’Sullivan

Moscow Cool

Fonvizinskaya Station, designed by Nikolai Shumakov and built in 2016. (Alexey Narodizkiy/Blue Crow Media)

Moscow’s 83-year-old transit system is layered with political and architectural meaning. Different generations have imposed their own visions on the system, from the ornate stations of the Stalin era to more recent utilitarian facilities. Architectural historian Nikolai Vassiliev recently curated an architecture and design map with descriptions and photos of more than 40 of the system’s notable stations. CityLab’s Mark Byrnes asked him a few questions to get behind the design of a Moscow Metro station.

What We’re Reading

Don’t call them parks: the success of New York’s pedestrian plazas (New York Times)

Chicago police release bodycam footage of deadly shooting (NPR)

How Helsinki arrived at the future of urban travel first (Bloomberg)

The urban tragedy of Flint’s poisoned water (Next City)

Wanted: male architect willing to navigate his own building in a skirt. (Los Angeles Times)

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

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Get Your Kicks Biking Route 66

Decades after the interstate highway system wiped it off the map, Route 66 still conjures up images of the golden age of the automobile, when travelers cruised through the majestic landscapes and quaint towns of the American West on a ribbon of blacktop.

Those days are long gone. But the “mother road,” which stretched from Chicago to Santa Monica, has found a new life—as a bike route. The first section of United States Bicycle Route 66, a route that would roughly follow the 2,400-mile course of the original highway, was inaugurated in Missouri and Kansas last month, and it’s already hosting a steady stream of two-wheeled adventurers.

Cyclists ride across a bridge in Spencer, Missouri, on U.S. Bicycle Route 66. (VisitJoplinMO)

The United States Bicycle Route System, or USBRS, is a national network of bike routes running along roads and trails across the country. So far, more than 13,000 miles have been designated as part of the network; the ultimate target is 50,000.

This first portion of USBR 66 begins in St. Louis and winds across Missouri, passing the cities of Rolla, Springfield, and Joplin before cutting through the southeastern corner of Kansas, closely following historic Route 66. Cyclists travel mostly on rural two-lane highways, and much of the route parallels Interstate 44, which replaced Route 66.

Dan Middleton, a 49-year-old from Joplin who has been road biking for the past several years, rode the route last month during the Big BAM cycling event across Missouri. He particularly liked a forested stretch near Newburg. “It’s really good rolling hills, a lot of beautiful scenery,” he said. “You cross an old iron bridge, and it was like you went back 40, 50 years.”

Riders pass many small towns and plenty of classic Americana from the highway’s glory days: Preserved filling stations, cafes, and other roadside attractions are scattered along the route. (One of Middleton’s favorite stops was Gary’s Gay Parita, a Sinclair gas station west of Springfield, complete with vintage cars parked out front and cold drinks for passersby.)

Route 66 memorabilia outside of Lebanon, Missouri (VisitJoplinMO)

The process for designating the route began in 2015, when the Adventure Cycling Association, which helps coordinate the USBRS, released maps of its national corridor plan, including USBR 66. Patrick Tuttle, director of Missouri’s Joplin Convention & Visitors Bureau, saw a bike route as a great opportunity for his region, and began drumming up letters of support. “We just knew we had to be involved,” he said.

Momentum grew on both sides of the state line, and in early 2018, the Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation submitted turn-by-turn maps of the route to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the organization that sets highway standards and numbering. AASHTO approved the route this summer.

Towns along the way are jumping at the chance to attract more travelers, just as they did in the chromed-out heyday of the original Route 66. Matt Messina, bicycle and pedestrian coordinator at KDOT, noted that one of the reasons Kansas applied for the route was to “help stimulate some of these smaller communities” that USBR 66 passes through.

Across the state line in Joplin, Tuttle is working to make cyclists a bigger part of the tourism equation in his area. He has acted as a bike-friendly consultant for Joplin’s businesses—making sure hotels have places to store bikes and even advising restaurants on what kinds of foods cyclists like to eat.

“It’s a new, niche market for us,” he said. “[Cyclists have] always been coming through, but we’ve been more focused on them than we have in the past.”

Bikes parked outside of Joplin Avenue Coffee in downtown Joplin, Missouri. Business owners along the route are preparing for more cyclists. (VisitJoplinMO)

Farther down the road, other businesses are making preparations for bike traffic. Stephanie Garber owns an RV park in Carthage, Missouri, along USBR 66. Although most of her customers arrive in motor homes or towing campers, so many cyclists now pass through that she created tent camping spaces specifically for them.

But making the route suitable for cyclists was no small task, and choosing the roads to include on the route meant balancing safety, tourism, and history. In addition to assessing factors like traffic volume and speed limits, staying close to the original highway and its Americana was paramount.

“We tried to pick routes that had a connection and were at some point signed with Route 66 where we could,” said Ron Effland, non-motorized transportation engineer at MoDOT.

Although cyclists can ride the route (and many already are), the project is far from finished. A steel truss bridge over the Gasconade River in central Missouri is currently closed to traffic until repairs can be made, forcing a detour onto I-44 or an even longer detour on county roads.

In addition, KDOT, MoDOT, and the communities along the way face the task of securing funding to put up signage. According to a MoDOT estimate, this could cost around $220,000 for Missouri alone. Tuttle has proposed a joint fundraising effort by the Route 66 communities and bike advocacy groups, and Messina said Kansas state highway safety funds could be a potential source of money. Either way, it won’t happen overnight: Messina doesn’t expect signage to go up until 2019 at the earliest.

Designating the full route from Illinois to California is an even longer game. The Adventure Cycling Association is working to rally communities and DOTs along the rest of the route. Arizona commissioned a contractor to develop its section of USBR 66, but work was held up by safety concerns raised in a few counties.

The Adventure Cycling Association’s Director of Travel Initiatives Ginny Sullivan and her colleagues are working with communities and officials in California and Oklahoma as well. Although progress can be slow, “there is a lot of great support for the route,” Sullivan said.

As the route takes shape, cyclists may bring a new wave of appreciation to this storied piece of America’s automotive past. For riders like Dan Middleton, biking is the perfect way to experience the old highway’s history.

“There’s so much out there that is never seen when you’re driving a car,” he said. “But on a bicycle, you get to see so much.”

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Former Santiago Mayor’s Approach to Equity Through Urban Planning

From June 26th to 28th 2018, urban transport and development practitioners, activists, and researchers from cities around the world convened in Dar es Salaam for the 3rd annual ITDP Mobilize summit. Themed “Making space for mobility in booming cities,” the event offered attendees a chance to directly experience the new Bus Rapid Transit system along […]

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Navigator: ‘Les Bleus’ From the Banlieues

This week, I decided to become interested in the football World Cup. I know, I know: there’s only one game left. But it’s, like, the best one, right?

I typically stay away from sports for the same reason I stay away from religion and nationalism: I have just never really felt any of these things. That’s despite (and perhaps because of) the fact that I’ve always been surrounded by people who have felt strongly about a team, a god, or a country over another. I get that it’s one way for people to express their identification with a place—That’s my city’s team; those are my people—but to me, a lot of sports-related fervor seems arbitrary and overly tribalistic. That’s why I’ve only been following the FIFA World Cup so far on Twitter, which seemed like a safe distance.

France’s ascent in the tournament has, however, caught my attention. I don’t have any real ties to the country as a whole—in fact, I tend to disfavor former colonies in global sporting events on principle—but I have realized that I care about its players. I’ve reported in some of the banlieues of Paris, suburbs that aren’t far from where many of them—including the formidable Kylian Mbappé—come from. These are areas that have, in many ways, been stigmatized by French policy, and its residents of immigrant background—especially Muslim ones from former colonies—continue to be treated as the other. It’s as if they cannot be French enough.

It’s ironic then, as Clint Smith notes in The New Yorker, that it’s these black and brown young men who dominate the field in their blue kits, taking the nation to victory. These are the Frenchest of the French, the true faces of the country—and yet, many in the French establishment have not accepted that. So while I don’t subscribe to the “us vs. them” aspect of sports, let’s just say I will feel something if the banlieusards win this one.

The young members of Bondy Football Club watching Mbappé in the France vs. Belgium match. (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

What we’ve been writing:

The country club is dead; long live the (millennial-oriented) country club. ¤ Inadvertent lessons on segregation from HGTV’s “House Hunters.”¤ A cultural history of the family road trip. ¤ We need to talk about farting on public transit. ¤ In London, a “carnival of resistance” brews in response to the American president. ¤ A Soviet-era synthpop ode to cars. ¤


What we’ve been taking in:

“Regardless of the number value, barbershop signs from Ghanaian painters, like the movie posters, left a lasting legacy in the art world.” (Atlas Obscura) ¤ The original map of the fictional home of Winnie-the-Pooh just sold for some big bucks. (Reuters) ¤ “To eat out alone is to partake of a city.” (Longreads) ¤ Are outsiders … gentrifying Cairo’s belly dancing scene? (New York Times) ¤ The skyscraper in Skyscraper is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s real nemesis. (The Ringer) ¤ The “dancing plague of Strasbourg” started in 1518, “when a lone woman stepped outside her house and jigged for several days on end.” (The Guardian) ¤

An audio recommendation from me:

This episode of The New Yorker’s Radio Hour follows writer Carmen Maria Machado—a favorite of mine—in a stroll through her hometown farmers’ market. It also features jazz musician Kamasi Washington and a report on extreme downhill bike racing in the heart of the Navajo Nation. “That’s my horse, it takes me places,” Vincent Salabye, one of the bikers says in the episode.”That’s how my mind-set is, just trying to explore the lands I always grew up on.”

View from the ground:

@brmarin23 captured the energy of Bourbon Street, New Orleans; @nikolai_em gave us a glimpse inside La Vega in Caracas, Venezuela; @mallory_wanders photographed the bustle of Manhattan’s Lower East Side; and @yanaazova froze a peaceful moment from an early morning excursion in Hong Kong.

Tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #citylabontheground!

Over and out,


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Imagining a ‘Canadian Anti-Tourist League’

Welcome to the latest installation of “

As retold earlier this month in the NFB’s blog, Tourist Go Home! was made for the Canadian Tourist Association, which used it to train industry workers and highlight the importance of American tourism money for Canada’s economy. It ended up being well received, but just in case it wasn’t, a disclaimer was left at the end of the film reminding viewers that “poor conditions are entirely fictitious and do not, in any way, represent conditions in these establishments.”

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