Jeff Wood
Urban Reads

The City as Open-Air Cafe

All the city news you can use.

By - May 2nd, 2020 06:16 pm
Town Hall Square' Vilnius. Photo by FaceMePLS. (CC BY 2.0)

Town Hall Square’ Vilnius. Photo by FaceMePLS. (CC BY 2.0)

Want more links to read? Visit The Overhead Wire and signup. Every day at The Overhead Wire we sort through over 1,500 news items about cities and share the best ones with our email list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and share them with Urban Milwaukee readers. They are national (or international) links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

The space ceded to cars now revealed: The current pandemic has exposed the vast amounts of space given over to the automobile each day at the expense of pedestrians and cyclists as many people stay home. Fearful of getting to close to another person, pedestrians keep thier distance on what little space they have, while automobiles move more freely on the vast expanse given to them by years of carveouts and engineering. (Tom Vanderbilt | The Atlantic)

Does our government want pedestrians to die, or not?: A new report by the GAO shows that government agencies have been disintrested in preventing pedestrian fatalities with known actionable solutions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the power to enact them, but lacks the will to make it happen. (Aaron Gordon | Vice Motherboard)

Retail store loses could number in the hundreds of thousands: Wall Street analysts at UBS believe that by 2025 the Coronavirus will bring about the demise of 100,000 retail locations as people reduce spending and shift to online shopping. It could also mean more consolidation among the larger retailers and big box stores. (Coral Murphy | USA Today)

The city as one big open air cafe: Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, has decided to give plaza and street space in the old city to restaurants in order to allow them to keep business going while observing physical distancing and health regulations. The country’s strict regulations require 2 meters (6.5ft) space between tables, masks in public places, and a limit to the number of customers in a shop at any given time. (Jon Henley | Guardian)

Where are those emissions from?: Much of the world has reduced movement and activities because of the coronavirus and emissions have dropped. But global CO2 emissions are only expected to drop 5.5%, so where are all those emissions coming from? The short answer is that some energy has been transfered from work to home use and activities such as steel production have continued. To put this in perspective, to curb climate change the world will need a 7.5% drop every year to reach zero emission goals. (Shannon Osaka | Grist)

Quote of the Week

Pollinators are the consultants of the natural world, supreme reproducers and they don’t charge for it. The plan to convert every street into a biocorridor and every neighbourhood into an ecosystem required a relationship with them.

-Former Curridabat, Costa Rica Mayor Edgar Mora in The Guardian discussing why he gave pollinators citizenship.

This week on the podcast, the City of Oakland’s Warren Logan talks about thier pandemic response and thier open streets program.

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Categories: Urban Reads

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