TheCityFix Picks, April 2: New Fuel Efficiency Standards, Smarter Cities, Urban Air Pollution Deaths
The historic Los Angeles funicular, known as Angels' Flight, is back in business after nine years.  Photo: racingbeat

The 110-year-old Los Angeles funicular, known as Angels Flight, is back in business after nine years being idle. Photo: racingbeat

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.


Transportation for America released a new poll showing that American voters overwhelmingly support broader access to public transportation and safe walking and biking.

New York City will pay $98,000 to Critical Mass cyclists who claimed they were wrongfully detained and arrested during a March 2007 ride.

For the first time in nine years, Los Angeles’ historic funicular is back in action.

Beijing is expected to invest 331.2 billion yuan into its subway system by 2015 — expanding the system to more than double its current size.

Quality of Life

Transit agencies around the world stepped up security in the wake of the Moscow subway bombings.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation introduced a new report, Helping Johnny Walk to School, which provides policy recommendations for removing barriers to community-centered schools.

Students at Princeton Public High School in New Jersey can now take gardening (vegetable and otherwise) for physical education credit.


The Obama administration set new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, marking the first time that the country has imposed limits on greenhouse gas pollution.

A Stanford scientist reports that CO2 “domes” increase the respiratory health impact of other air pollutants like ozone.

Poor air quality in the U.K. could result in up to 50,000 premature deaths per year, according to a recent report.

Public Space

San Francisco is the first U.S. city to count its parking spaces, a step which will inform future parking policies.

The 9.5-acre Pier One park, the largest of a set of six parks planned for the Brooklyn waterfront, opened.

Seattle has lessons for San Francisco’s controversial new laws that prohibit sitting on sidewalks, having passed a similar law in the early 1990s.

Alex Steffen from WorldChanging explains how technology is blurring the lines between cyberspace and physical space, making cities more accessible and efficient.

Technology and Innovation

The Citistates Group unveiled Citiscope, a new online forum with stories written by a global network of locally-rooted journalists, expert analyses, opportunities for users to submit their own ideas, and a knowledge network coming later this spring.

IBM announced its first Smarter Cities Technology Centre, located in Dublin, where IBM will work with cities around the world to better interconnect and manage their core operational systems such as transport, communication, water and energy.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials kicked off a new film series documenting innovative transportation projects in urban areas across the nation.

FedEx Corp. is kicking off a demonstration tour of its first all-electric truck, which will make its way along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.

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