November 10: Trump and cities | Global urban inspiration | Strange weather

Inga Saffron takes a stab at what a Trump presidency will mean for cities, which have been the root of his business interests as well as places he variously referred to during the campaign as “hell.” One upside is a boost in infrastructure funding. “Even if some of his infrastructure money does trickle down to cities, most urban governments expect to be left to their own devices in the next few years. We’re going to be seeing more self-funding initiatives, like Mayor Kenney’s soda tax, which was crafted to pay for pre-K instruction.”

CityLab also takes a look at how cities could fare during a Trump-era, particularly in light of federal agencies looking newly fragile – Environmental Protection Agency, Housing and Urban Development, and Education among them. “A Trump presidency may very well wipe the slate clean, foregoing established institutions and funding mechanisms. Although he has not specifically proposed eliminating HUD, a notion he raised for the EPA and Education Department, he spoke of scaling back HUD’s influence on local communities, including the possibility of rescinding the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, and downsizing the federal government in general.”

David Gambacorta argues it’s largely too early to know how Trump’s jobs, education, or immigration stances will filter to policy – plans and details are scarce, and Trump’s website is still asking for donations and is skimpy on information. Of fears Trump policies will seriously roll back some of the progress Philadelphia has made, Councilwoman Maria Quiñones-Sánchez worried, “I don’t know how we’ll advocate now without creating a sense of ‘Them vs. Us’ in a very magnified way.”

Michael Kimmelman offers the other side of coin in the form of the world’s shifting perspective on cities from the UN Habitat III gathering in Ecuador. “The ethos here stressed grass-roots, environmentally conscious, entrepreneurial urban development. There was lots of righteous talk about redistributing real estate profits and treating housing as a basic human right, but also about how investments in things like public transit and infrastructure pay big economic dividends — how good cities are not just equitable and green but good for business.”

If these days seems strange, our weather offers confirmation: This fall has been so warm that in many places 2016 will set records for the latest first freeze on record, reports The Washington Post.

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