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An emerging maker culture building Cincinnati, a "Green Line" making a Mexican city healthier, and a car-free festival changing L.A.—all that, plus preserving post offices in an age of email and three plans to save San Francisco from a housing crisis, in this week's Urban Reads.

  • "In America, nearly every city and town has, or at least used to have, at least one iconic type of building, frequently historic in character, that supports both the community's character and its downtown vitality." Why, in an age of email, cities should save their historic post offices [Switchboard]
  • How maker culture, tech collectives, and a focus on entrepreneurship are changing the face of Cincinnati [Soapbox]
  • Is living in a city worse for your health than living in the suburbs? Not really [io9]
  • Those adorable water towers that dot the skylines of our cities? Bacteria-filled cisterns of poop [Gizmodo]
  • An underground oil pipeline in Aguascalientes, Mexico has been transformed into a greenbelt that is knitting neighborhoods back together and improving the health of an estimated 300,000 citizens: "The result is a 12-kilometer long linear park that is one of Latin America's most extraordinary urban green spaces: La Línea Verde—The Green Line" [Citiscope]
  • A detailed plan to fix San Francisco's housing crisis and bring more affordable real estate to the city... [Atlantic Cities]
  • …or, San Francisco could just introduce a land value tax that was proposed by an economist 100 years ago... [Quartz]
  • …which probably won't work because the city's zoning is far too restrictive to get anything built [Slate]
  • "That kind of basic perspectival shift—changing not just our literal view of the built environment but our intellectual and emotional one—is precisely what L.A. needs at this point in the city's history, as we navigate a slow, difficult transition past car-dominated urbanism." Christopher Hawthorne on CicLAvia, L.A.'s open-streets festival [Los Angeles Times]
  • The Guardian's "Cities: Back from the Brink" reports on disaster recovery in Port-au-Prince, New Orleans, and Banda Aceh [The Guardian]

Opening image courtesy of Nicola Twilley—who you should be following on Instagram. Got an Instagram of your own you'd like us to use in our next link round-up? Tag it #gizmodocities and we'll be in touch if we want to post.

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Alissa Walker

Anyone want to guess what city the top photo was taken in? (Hint, it's not Cincinnati.)