This week in What's Ruining Our Cities: Racist mascots! Illegal apartments! Hedge fund slumlords! Basically everything you'd expect from some Sin City bargain bin fan fiction, except in Calfornia, China, and beyond.
An offensive mascot is ruining Coachella Valley
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee is asking the school district in Southern California's Coachella Valley to change the depiction of its Arab mascot. Right now, they say, it's stereotypical, portraying the Arab as a "snarling, hook-nosed, bearded man wearing a headscarf, sometimes pictured with a single tooth." The Arab mascot was selected back in the 1920s due to the prevalence of date farming in the region, but has grown increasingly menacing over the years. [The Desert Sun]
Illegal apartments are ruining China
It's one of the more intriguing real estate scams: You buy a great apartment—only to find that it was built illegally by shady developers. But it gets much worse. Homeowners who try to get out of the deal become mired in legal limbo because they can't get a certificate of ownership to sell it. These so-called "dead projects" are becoming widespread in Chinese cities, and are leading to some bizarrely inventive architecture. [Gizmodo]