Barcelona is redesigning 21 downtown streets to prioritize people, not cars

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It’s a light version of the city’s revolutionary car-free neighborhood superblock program, but in a more central area. In central Barcelona, one in three streets will soon become “green axes” that prioritize people on foot and bikes instead of cars. On those streets, 21 intersections will be converted to public squares, so no one in the area is more than around 650 feet from a small park. Read Full Story

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The pandemic pushed cities to take back their streets from cars. Will they keep them in 2021?

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Across the world, as COVID-19 reshaped people’s routines, cities quickly converted streets to bike lanes, pedestrian areas, and places for outdoor dining. As the pandemic ends, it will require a lot of political will to prevent the status quo from returning. Until recently, the Rue de Rivoli, a major street that cuts across the center of Paris, was filled with cars. But when the pandemic forced the city to shut down in the spring, the majority of the road was turned over to people on bikes. On some days, as many as 20,000 cyclists use the street. But as the end of the pandemic draws closer, the change is going to become permanent. Read Full Story

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“It’s an incredible experiment”: Banning cars in cities stirs controversy—and has mixed results

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Converting streets slowly, and involving every member of the community, can lead to long-term closures that promote vibrant city life without cars. Streets are the realm of the automobile these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. Before cars and parking spots took over the space between our buildings and homes, streets were much more diverse: Photos from the pre-car era show people on foot and bike intermixed with horses, wagons, pushcarts, vendors, streetcars, and more. Today, the ubiquity of the motorized vehicle and the auto-dependency of much of modern cities has slashed the street’s diversity basically down to the car alone. Read Full Story

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Seattle made 20 miles of streets traffic-free during the pandemic—now it’s making them permanent

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The decision is part of a plan to try to convince residents not to start commuting by car as the city reopens. In April, as the pandemic made parks and sidewalks more crowded in Seattle, the city shut down most traffic on a series of streets to help give people more room for exercise or walking to the grocery store. Now, the city plans to make the changes permanent on 20 miles of streets. Read Full Story

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Paris is turning its iconic street into pedestrian gardens

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The Champs-Élysées is getting a major renovation—one that will remove most of the cars. In Paris, the Champs-Élysées was originally designed as a place to stroll. But in 2021, around 64,000 cars travel down the eight-lane avenue each day. It’s polluted and noisy, and while the sidewalks are filled with tourists, it isn’t a place where people living nearby want to walk. Read Full Story

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Cars have run their course in U.S. cities. Here’s what’s next

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“Cars are guests.” And they’re no longer welcome. Sticking closer to home because of COVID-19 has shown many people what cities can be like with less traffic, noise, congestion, and pollution. Roads and parking lots devoted to cars take up a lot of land . For example, in Phoenix, Los Angeles , and New York City , these spaces account for over one-third of each city’s total area. Read Full Story

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This $1000-a-month universal basic income program is designed to help foster youth survive

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California’s Santa Clara County will start giving cash to people transitioning out of foster care $1,000 a month to help them meet adulthood and its financial challenges—and hopefully serve as a gateway to a larger UBI program. In California, foster youth are able to stay in care until they turn 21. “At 21, you’re on the street, you’re emancipated,” says Supervisor Dave Cortese, one of Santa Clara County’s five elected supervisors. At that point, the transition into adult life can be tough. “Not to stereotype,” Cortese says, “but traditionally, it’s a cohort that would be overrepresented in clinical mental health problems, homelessness, and food anxiety.” A study conducted among transitioning Midwestern foster youths showed that 29% of the individuals had become homeless by age 23 or 24. Read Full Story

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Agency Leaders Were Predicting Growth in These Areas. Their Rosy Forecasts Are Unlikely to Hold Up.

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In spite of fears that gaining new business would be difficult, 2019 turned out to be a good year for agencies. A new report from Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) reveals that 6 in 10 agency leaders say they had a strong year in 2019, with about one-fifth (21%) saying it was one of their… Read More » The post Agency Leaders Were Predicting Growth in These Areas. Their Rosy Forecasts Are Unlikely to Hold Up. appeared first on Marketing Charts .

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California will ban new gas car sales starting in 2035

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It will help the state hit its goal of being carbon neutral by 2045. Californians buy more electric cars than any other Americans, though plug-ins still only make up a small fraction of new car sales. But the state now plans to accelerate that trend by making it mandatory: By 2035, under a new executive order from the governor, all new passenger vehicles will have to be zero-emissions. People will still be able to drive the gas cars that they already own, but they won’t be able to buy new ones. Read Full Story

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How to transform your street into a 1-minute city

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Sweden is testing designs to help activate individual blocks, in what it calls “1-minute city” designs. Last fall, a block in central Stockholm that looked like a typical city street—lined with parking spots, and with the rest of the road devoted to traffic—became part of a new national experiment. Using a Lego-like kit of parts, residents worked with designers to redesign the space with a new vision of what one agency calls the “one-minute city.” Read Full Story

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