TheCityFix Picks, March 11: Smart Cities, Clean Air Research, Urban Bikeway Design
The above image was created by using data collected by tsunami buoys to estimate the wave arrival time and the wave height of the tsunami. Photo by NOAA via Technology Review.

How can we protect cities from tsunamis? Photo by NOAA via Technology Review.

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.


Metro management wants to cut back late-night weekend services, and in return, the District of Columbia may cut back $50 million in dedicated funding.

Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., a blogger discusses bus rapid transit’s level of success, in comparison to rail, in the United States.

In another part of the world, Eurail Group G.I.E. earned the Sustainable Travel Provider 2010 award, recognizing the group’s efforts in environmentally conscious rail services.

Quality of Life

President Bill Clinton announced the Clinton Global Initiative University’s fourth annual meeting that will take place April 1-3, 2011, where 1,000 students will meet with nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs and celebrities to discuss methods of improving quality of life around the world. One of the plenary sessions includes “The Urban Planet: Solutions for a Crowded World.”

IBM announced the first 24 cities that will be awarded investments to help solve urban concerns through implementing smarter technologies.

President Barack Obama stressed the need for new investments in clean energy in a press conference today, while defending his administration’s efforts in domestic drilling in the face of rising gas prices.


The Chinese government is preparing to announce a long-term goal in conserving energy, in the face of high-priced oil due to unrest in North Africa and the Middle East.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $32 million to fund four new Clean Air Research Centers at universities to understand the health impacts of air pollution.

The state of Wyoming, normally known for its crisp mountain air, is experiencing issues with air quality because of natural gas drilling in the region.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider an appeal by New York City to mandate fuel emissions standards for the city’s taxicabs.

Public Space

In addition to a tragic loss of life and massive damage to infrastructure, Japan’s recent earthquake creates a struggle for pedestrians trying to get home.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) published a new Urban Bikeway Design Guide, which provides examples of progressive bicycle facilities.

A new sustainable urban design project that reuses materials from a construction site Queens, New York aims to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Technology and Innovation

The technology behind Japan’s earthquake warning system could help protect urban life.

Santa Barbara County Parks implemented solar/LED lights in a local parking lot for improved energy sustainability and public protection.

As one TransportationCamp “un-conference” ended last weekend in New York City, another is getting ready to be held in San Francisco on March 19-20.

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