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TheCityFix Picks, August 6: Commuter Pain, Summer Streets, Cities as Solutions
Stockholm has the "least painful" commute, according to a new IBM study. Photo by zeraien.

Stockholm has the "least painful" commute, according to a new IBM study. Photo by zeraien.

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: mobility, quality of life, environment, public space, and technology and innovation.

Mobility

Steven Cohen, executive director of Columbia University’s The Earth Institute, calls for increased mass transit subsidies in New York, saying, “It seems absurd to be working to develop a green economy and reduce energy consumption on one hand, and on the other hand reduce the incentive to use mass transit.”

Passengers on the Lagos Bus Rapid Transit system lament a recent hike in fares.

Quality of Life

Students in the Philippines learned about road safety in a seminar convened by the Social Communications Foundation for Asia.

Mint, the second-largest business newspaper in India, hosted an event on “Building Sustainable Cities: Critical Areas and Opportunities” in Bangalore on August 3, with panelists discussing issues to improving India’s urban infrastructure.

The Colorado governor’s race heats up…with some inflammatory remarks about bike-sharing. Dan Maes, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s policies to promote cycling are converting Denver into a United Nations community” and “could threaten our personal freedoms.”

Environment

The European Commission published a new report, “World and European Sustainable Cities,” on how continuous urbanization can be reconciled with sustainable and inclusive growth.

A trip in a car increases global temperatures more than the same trip by airplane, although the flight has a more immediate impact, according to a new study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency defends its claim that on-road vehicles contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that threaten Americans’ public health and welfare.

Public Space

Check out a new Streetfilms video on “Copenhagen’s Car-Free Streets & Slow-Speed Zones,” featuring interviews with livable streets experts Jan Gehl and Gil Penalosa about pedestrian life.

For the third year in a row, New York City residents can enjoy “Summer Streets,” which temporarily closes down streets to motorized traffic from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, thanks to the NYC Department of Transportation and other partners. The first of three consecutive car-free Saturdays starts tomorrow.

In a study released Thursday, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) embraced the “La Marqueta Mile” concept of an open-air market under elevated metro tracks from 111th Street to 133rd Street in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood.

Technology and Innovation

This week’s Techonomy conference — promoting “a rational, optimistic, forward-looking, technically savvy work ethic that celebrates technological achievement, human ingenuity, and sustainable living” — concludes today after lively discussions on topics like, “Cities as Solutions.”

Parkmobile, a parking management company, will partner with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to allow drivers to pay for parking from their mobile phones.



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